Rear Adm. W. Grant Mager, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, graduated as a member of the class of 1988 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School and is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College Joint and Combined Warfighting School.
Designated a naval aviator in August of 1990 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Beeville, Texas, his initial fleet assignment was as an F-14 Tomcat pilot with the Black Aces of Fighter Squadron (VF) 41 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). During this tour he attended Top Gun and served as the squadron air-to-air training officer. Following sea duty he transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet, serving as an adversary instructor with the Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC) 12 “Fighting Omars” at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.
In 1998 Mager joined the Navy Reserve and was reassigned to VFC-12, assuming command in 2006. During his tenure, his shipmates earned the Golden Wrench for Maintenance Excellence and the Chief of Naval Operations Safety ‘S’ award.
Subsequent command tours included Navy Reserve (NR) Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21, NR Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk and NR Maritime Operations Center Headquarters at United States Fleet Forces Command. He also served as executive officer at NR NATO Allied Command Transformation Det. Norfolk and as Reserve chief staff officer at United States Fleet Forces Command. In 2016 he mobilized to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa to serve as the chief staff officer for a Special Operations Joint Task Force.
Now in his first flag assignment, Mager currently serves as the Reserve deputy director of Navy Assessments, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV (N81)).
In his civilian career, Mager is the founder and president of a technical services company that specializes in aviation consulting and complex system test & evaluation.
Mager has accumulated over 3,500 military flight hours and more than 200 carrier arrested landings. His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal. In 2008 he was awarded the Rear Adm. McCellan Award for academic excellence by the Naval Postgraduate School.