Rear Adm. (ret) David Cronk joined the Navy in 1975 through Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. Upon earning his wings in November 1976, he reported to Corry Field, Pensacola for Advanced Electronic Warfare training, then proceeded to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129, Whidbey Island, Washington for training in the EA-6B Prowler.
His first operational tour was with the "Scorpions" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132, making deployments on USS Constellation and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower where he held positions as Schedules Officer, Aircraft Division Officer and Assistant Operations Officer. In 1981 Cronk reported to Commander 25th NORAD, McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Wash., for a joint tour as Staff Plans and Liaison Officer. Cronk left active duty in August 1983 to pursue a civilian career. Immediately affiliating with the Reserves, he reported to Naval Air Reserve, Whidbey Island, Wash., serving as Training Officer and Flag Secretary for MATWING 289. He had brief tours at North Island, Calif., as Engineering Division Officer for USS Ranger’s Reserve Augment Unit and as a Staff Intelligence Officer for AIRPAC OPINTEL 0194.
In 1986 Cronk returned to flying as the Avionics Division Officer for the "Jockeys" of Tactical Aerial Refeuling Squadron (VAK) 208, Alameda, Calif. October 1987 found him back in the Electronic Warfare community flying EA-6As and EA-6Bs for the "Axmen" of VAQ-309 where he served as Maintenance Officer, Electronic Warfare Officer, Executive Officer and Commanding Officer. During his tour as Commanding Officer, the Axmen won the Battle "E", Safety "S" and the CVWR-30 Golden Hook Awards.
Subsequent commands have included Naval Reserve (NR) USS Constellation (CV 64) Detachment 0294 from October 1994 to October 1996, NR Carrier Strike Group 0589, Commander Carrier Group 5’s augment unit, from October 1996 to October 1998, and NR Naval Air Force Pacific 1094 from October 1998 to October 2000. His follow-on assignment was to NR AADC Pacific as the J3. During his assignment at AADC Pacific, Cronk was recalled to active duty as Commander 3rd Fleet’s representative to the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) in support of Noble Eagle. He then served as Deputy Commander Naval Air Forces Pacific. His final assignment was as Deputy Commander Navy Region Southwest.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from California State University Pomona and a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.