Rear Adm. W. Crane is a 1984 graduate of Virginia Tech. He then worked as a Civil Engineer through 1986. He was commissioned an ensign in December 1986 through Aviation Officer Candidate School. He was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1988.
His career as a Naval Aviator includes assignments at VF-101, VF-143, VF-43, VFC-12, VR-56 and culminated in command of VFC-12. Subsequent command tours include Navy Reserve (NR) Commander Strike Force Training Atlantic (CSFTL), Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s (NECC) Expeditionary Training Group, and NR U.S Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) Joint Task Force Detachment 100.
Non-command tours include NR Commander Second Fleet (C2F), Joint Forces Air Component commander (JFACC), reserve component (RC) director for the merger of USFFC and C2F, RC USFFC and C2F chief staff officer, and NR chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Operations and Plans (N3/N5) chief staff officer. He served on active duty as the director of Operations for the Air Launched Weapons Team (ALWT) to manage weapons readiness as an Enterprise under Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF). Additionally, he served as a facilitator for CNAF’s Character and Integrity Initiative.
His education includes Joint Professional Military Education and a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Navy War College. He has accumulated over 3500 flight hours in multiple U.S. Navy aircraft and logged 312 carrier landings. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various campaign and service awards.