Rear Adm. (ret) Jon W. Bayless, Jr., a native of Dallas, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering. He was designated a Naval aviator in April 1981.
From 1981 to 1986, Bayless flew the P-3 Orion with the "War Eagles" of Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16) in Jacksonville, Fla., and served as an instructor pilot with the "Boomers" of Training Squadron 27 (VT-27). After transitioning to the Reserve Component, Bayless was assigned to the "Executioners" of Patrol Squadron 93 (VP-93) at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Detroit, and served as department head for Administration, Operations and Maintenance. He led armed patrols for Sharp Guard and Maritime Guard supporting the United Nations (UN) sanctions against the former Yugoslav Republics and also flew sorties during Operations Support Democracy and Able Manner supporting the UN sanctioned embargo of Haiti. In 1993, he reported to the "Black Hawks" of Patrol Squadron 68 (VP-68) at Andrews Air Force Base (AFB), Md. As the executive officer, Bayless flew multiple detachments in the Mediterranean and counter narcotics operations throughout the Caribbean from Roosevelt Roads, Key West and Howard AFB in Panama.
In July of 1996, Bayless took command of Patrol Squadron 66 (VP-66) at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, Pa. During his tenure, the "Liberty Bells" won the MPA community’s international competition for ASW excellence and were recognized with two CNO safety awards. Subsequent command tours have included Naval Reserve (NR) Tactical Support Center 472 (TSC 472), NR Battle Group Staff 8 (BGS-8) and NR Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe (COMNAVEUR) Joint Task Force Contingency Unit 413 (CNE JTFCU 413). Bayless has also served as a culture workshop facilitator for Commander, U.S. Naval Air Force Atlantic (COMNAVAIRLANT), as deputy, Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) for United Endeavor and Reserve Chief of Staff for Eisenhower Battle Group (IKEBATGRU).
Bayless was recalled to active duty from April 2002 to March 2003 as deputy commander, Task Force 57 (CTF-57) at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), Bahrain, in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. His initial flag assignment included a tour as the deputy for U.S. Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic while also serving as commander, U.S. Harbor Defense Forces, Western Pacific. He served as deputy to Navy Region Midwest before becoming the commander in October 2006. Bayless reported to the Office of the Chief of Navy Reserve in October 2008 for his final assignment.
Among his personal decorations are the (2) Legion of Merit, the (4) Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.