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Commander Matthew Sass hails from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin on a full NROTC scholarship and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in history. Upon his commissioning as an ensign in the United States Navy, he began flight training in Pensacola, FL, and earned his wings of gold as a Naval flight officer in March of 2006, selecting the venerable P-3C Orion platform. After completing the Fleet Replenishment Squadron (VP-30) training pipeline, Cmdr. Sass reported to the VP-40 Fighting Marlins located in Whidbey Island, Washington.

Sass conducted two combat deployments (2007, 2009), flying sorties out of Iraq, Bahrain, Japan, Guam, Italy, Scotland, and Norway. While with the Fighting Marlins, Sass qualified as a tactical coordinator (TACCO), mission commander, and instructor TACCO. He was the mission commander for the CPRW-10 Combat Aircrew of the Year, 2009.

Commander Sass then reported to Misawa, Japan to serve on the staff of Commander Task Force (CTF) 72 where he was selected to attend the weapons and tactics instructor course in Fallon, NV, and Jacksonville, FL, earning his Level 500 designation, the highest possible qualification in the P-3C. 

In March of 2013, Cmdr. Sass reported to the USS John C Stennis (CVN-74) as a catapult and arresting gear officer (Shooter). He completed one deployment before the ship entered a dry-docked planned incremental availability. While in dry dock, Sass served on the USS George Washington (CVN-73), USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75), and the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), launching and recovering aircraft around the world.

Sass reported to the VP-46 Grey Knights in February of 2016, forward deployed to Bahrain. There he served as the tactics officer and administrative officer, leading the Grey Knights to the 2016 Battle “E” award, before deploying again in the summer of 2017. He led the squadron’s initial detachment to Kadena, Japan, as the officer in charge (OIC) of 46 personnel, then returned to Bahrain where he flew combat missions in Iraq, Syria, the Arabian Gulf, and the Red Sea. Upon the completion of the deployment, Commander Sass took over as the operations officer and was awarded an unprecedented second consecutive BATTLE “E” in 2017.

Over the summer of 2018, Cmdr. Sass served in the Joint Fires Element and the ECJ-5/8 Eastern Flank Plans department onboard U.S. European Command (EUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany. He was selected for special mission command shortly thereafter and started his current position as Navy Talent Acquisition Group Great Lakes Executive Officer in September 2020.


Sass’ personal awards include a Joint Meritorious Service Medal, five Air Medals (Strike/Flight), one Joint Commendation Medal, three Navy Commendation Medals, one Navy Achievement Medal, and various Service and Unit awards.




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Updated November 19, 2020 (kbh)