Rear Adm. Baze is a native of San Antonio, Texas and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Rice University. He commissioned through Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1990 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1992.
He deployed multiple times flying the SH-60B in support of detachment and carrier operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom — assigned to HSL 45 June 1992-1996 as a first tour pilot and HSL 47 June 2002-Oct. 2004 as a safety and the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) officer, Det. 5 officer in charge, and squadron maintenance officer in San Diego, California. He also served as a flight instructor, operations and administrative officer twice at HSL 41 in San Diego July 1996-March 1998, and Sept. 2001-June 2002.
Rear Adm. Baze was the aide to the President, Board of Inspection and Survey in Norfolk, Virginia April 1998-Aug. 1999. He then earned a Master of Science in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California 1999-2001, serving also as an associate fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations’ Strategic Studies Group.
His significant staff assignments have included service on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. as an action officer in the J-3 Joint Operations Division, and then as an aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Jan. 2005-Nov. 2006. He served as deputy director for Aviation Distribution and head air combat placement officer at Navy Personnel Command March 2010-Feb. 2012, and later became the director of Aviation Warfare Distribution (PERS-43) Dec. 2016-July 2019 in Millington, Tennessee.
In command, he led the men and women of HSL-45 and USS America (LHA 6). At HSL 45 in San Diego, Aug. 2007-Feb. 2010, his squadron was awarded the Battle “E” twice, the Golden Wrench Award for Maintenance Excellence, and the Commander, Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award for three consecutive years. As the executive and then commanding officer of the Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, the USS America (LHA 6), July 2012-Aug. 2016, he shepherded America from the early pre-commissioning phase, a C4F deployment, commissioning, first-in-class tests and trials, RIMPAC 2016 Exercise, and readiness for Joint Strike Fighter Developmental Testing-III.
In his current assignment, he is the director of Maritime Headquarters (N4/5/8/9) supporting naval component theater engagement development, resource programing and operational planning in support of U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command.
He is authorized to wear the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), and multiple joint, unit and campaign awards.