A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, Rear Adm. Erik Ross studied government and international relations at Cornell University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1988. He received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program at Cornell. Ross first served ashore as a student in the Advanced Education Program at the University of San Diego, graduating with a Master of Arts in International Relations.
At sea, he served as gunnery officer and electrical officer in USS Coronado (AGF 11). Subsequently, he served at sea as assistant operations and plans officer on the staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron 1, operations officer aboard USS Callaghan (DDG 994), operations and plans officer on the staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron 4, executive officer on USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and operations officer in USS Tarawa (LHA 1). From February 2006 to August 2007 he commanded the USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41). Most recently, he served as executive officer aboard USS Bataan (LHD 5) from May 2010 to July 2011, fleeting up to command USS Bataan (LHD 5) from August 2011 to February 2013.
He served ashore in the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate on the staff of Commander, United States Pacific Command, on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel (OPNAV N00K), as the director of the Fleet and International Training Department (N72) at Surface Warfare Officers School and as an instructor at the Navy’s Command Leadership School. He also served as OPNAV N953, branch head for amphibious warfare and as chief of staff for Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic.
Ross is the 67th president, Board of Inspection and Survey. He is responsible for assessing the material readiness of the fleet.
His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, as well as other individual, unit and campaign awards.