spacerOfficer In Charge

Navy Recruiting Leadership Academy





spacerMark E. Yates

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Commander Mark E. Yates was born in Irving, Texas and was raised across the country as a military dependent. He is a 1995 graduate of the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. After graduation he worked in the corporate world for two years and then received a commission via Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL in 1997. Upon completion of his advanced flight training in Corpus Christi, Texas, he was winged as a Naval Aviator in 1999. He then reported to VP-30 in Jacksonville, Fla., to begin fleet replacement pilot training in the P-3C Orion.

Completing the P-3C syllabus in the summer of 2000, Cmdr. Yates reported to the Rangers of VQ-2 at Naval Station Rota, Spain. As an instructor pilot with the squadron he held various positions including ground safety officer, configuration officer, pilot training officer and assistant training officer. He completed over seven detachments and led crews on missions in the third, sixth and fifth fleet AOs. 

In the fall of 2003, Yates checked into VT-27 for duty as an instructor pilot. He served as a schedule writer, squadron leader and class flow officer. While at VT-27 he earned designations as an IP, standardized instrument pilot, FAM, BI/RI and IUT IP. In the spring of 2006, Commander Yates reported for duty as a catapult and arresting gear officer “shooter” onboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in San Diego, Calif. He completed two deployments to the Persian Gulf and a shipyard sustainment and work up cycle. He led the V-1 Division and then the V-2 Division as the lead shooter, “Top Cat,” during his second deployment to the Gulf. 

In the summer of 2008, Commander Yates was selected to serve on a GSA as the Combined theater electronic warfare test and evaluation officer at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Upon completion, he reported to the World Watchers of VQ-1 as a department head serving as the CTF 57.1 officer in charge, administration, safety/NATOPS, operations and maintenance department head. In December of 2011, Commander Yates reported to PACFLT as the ISR operations officer.

In October of 2013, Yates reported to the “Wildcats” of VT-10 as the executive officer. In June of 2014 he assumed command of the “Wildcats”. During his tenure in command, the Wildcats were awarded the CNO Safety “S” and the CTW-6 nominee for the John Towers Safety Award.

In November of 2015, he reported to COMUSNAVCENT in Manama, Bahrain as the COMUSNAVCENT/COMFIFTHFLT Maritime Operations Center executive officer and deputy N3.


In January of 2017, he assumed duties as officer In charge, Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit.
Commander Yates has flown over 2600 hours in multiple aircraft. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (three), Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three) and the Navy Achievement Medal as well as various campaign, squadron and unit awards. 




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Updated May 14, 2018 (kbh)