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Commander Benjamin “Frenchy” Martin was born and raised in Esneux, Belgium, where he lived until completion of High School. In May 1999, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and was commissioned an ensign. In September 2001 he earned his wings of gold in Meridian, Mississippi as a Naval aviator and received orders to the Greyhawks of VAW-120 based at NS Norfolk, Virginia, for training in the C-2A. 

Upon completion of VAW-120’s syllabus and carrier qualifications, Commander Martin joined the Rawhides of VRC-40 and deployed in 2003 with Carrier Air Wing EIGHT aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in the Eastern Mediterranean for the opening phase of operation IRAQI FREEDOM. As a Rawhide, he quickly made aircraft commander, received his airwing qualified designation as a landing signal officer, and was selected in 2005 as C-2 pilot of the year (Sea). Following his tour at VRC-40, he returned to the Greyhawks of VAW-120 where he served from 2005 to 2008 as a fleet replacement squadron instructor pilot and a training qualified landing signal officer. 

In September of 2008, Commander Martin reported to Ft Jackson, South Carolina for training before deploying to Iraq on a global war on terrorism support assignment as deputy J-5 director for the Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component in support of both operation IRAQI FREEDOM and operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Upon return from his tour in Iraq, he attended the Army’s Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas where, as a student, he completed joint professional military education phase I while earning a Masters of Arts degree in international relations from Webster University. 
    
Commander Martin was selected for department head as a C-2A officer in charge in 2009 and after a refresher syllabus at VAW-120, reported in September 2010 to VRC-40 where he immediately stepped in as the squadron’s maintenance officer. In May 2011, he was put in charge of the first ever forward deployed C-2A detachment in support of a foreign carrier, French Carrier Charles De Gaulle participating in operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR in Libya.  From August 2011 to June 2012, he took over as officer in charge of VRC-40 Detachment FIVE attached to Carrier Air Wing SEVENTEEN aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and completed a WESTPAC/Fifth Fleet Combat deployment.

In December of 2012, Commander Martin was handpicked to serve as SACEUR/Commander EUCOM’s deputy executive assistant (EA) and moved with his family to Mons, Belgium. In May of 2015, he assumed the full duties as SACEUR’s EA and guided the SHAPE and EUCOM staffs during their responses to the Ukraine and Syrian Crises.
 
His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Crops Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and numerous other unit and personal citations and awards.  He has accumulated over 2,100 flight hours and 200 carrier arrestments in the T-34C, T-44A, T-2C, E-2C and C-2A.
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Updated March 2, 2017 (kbh)