Rear Adm. Stuart “Studa” Baker is a native of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Paper Science and Engineering in 1989 and was commissioned through the Naval ROTC program. He also attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where he earned a master’s in national security and strategic studies.
Designated a naval aviator in March of 1991, his operational tours include the “Vigilantes” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch on USS Constellation (CV 64). Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 as the strike operations officer, while there he returned to the Arabian Gulf on USS Lincoln (CVN 72) in support of operations in Iraq. Following his Carrier Air Group Staff tour, Baker reported to the “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146. While attached to VFA-146 he completed an Arabian Gulf deployment with CVW-9 on USS Stennis (CVN 74) and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Ashore, Baker’s assignments include the “Outlaws” of Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific as a Strike Fighter Tactics instructor, in Lemoore, California; and the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) in Fallon, Nevada, where he served as the Topgun executive officer. Following command, Baker reported to the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C., and served in the J-39 Special Technical Operations Directorate for one year. For the remaining two years he was the executive assistant for the director for operations, J3. His last shore assignment was at U.S. Fleet Forces Command as the executive assistant to the commander.
Command operational assignments include the “Kestrels” of VFA-137 on the USS Lincoln (CVN 72) and CVW-9 on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
Baker assumed duties as director, operations and plans, OPNAV N31, in May 2017.