Rear Adm. W. Grant Mager is a native of Annapolis, Maryland. He is a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and is a designated Naval Aviator. He also holds a Master in Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Mager assumed responsibilities as the vice, director Navy Staff in June 2018. In this capacity, he is responsible to provide leadership and oversight of chief of naval operations (OPNAV) business processes and programs for the Navy. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the reserve deputy director of Navy Assessments, OPNAV (N81).
His initial fleet assignment was as an F-14 Tomcat pilot with the Black Aces of VF 41 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during which time he attended Topgun 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 VFC 12 Fighting Omars in the Navy’s only 4th Generation Adversary Squadron.
In 1998, Mager joined the Navy Reserve (NR) 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 NR Tactical Air Control Squadron 21, NR Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk, and NR Maritime Operations Center Headquarters at U.S. Fleet Forces Command. He also served as executive officer at NR NATO Allied Command Transformation Detachment Norfolk and as reserve chief staff officer at U. S. 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.
In his civilian career, Mager is the founder and president of a technical services company that specializes in aviation consulting and complex system test and evaluation.
Mager accumulated over 3500 military flight hours and more than 200 carrier arrested landings. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal. In addition, he was awarded the Rear Admiral McCellan Award for academic excellence from the Naval Postgraduate School.