Captain Mark M. Leary
Captain Mark M. Leary
United States Navy
CAPT. Mark M. Leary, USN, a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and History from Clark University, and earned a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1981. He earned his Navy commission through Aviation Officer Candidate School in July 1982.
After completing flight training in May 1984, he was assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Six (HC-6) in Norfolk, Va., flying the H-46D Sea Knight. In November 1984, he became part of the initial contingent of the newly established Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eight (HC-8), also in Norfolk, and deployed with the squadron's first detachment aboard USS KALAMAZOO (AOR 6). After a subsequent deployment aboard USS SYLVANIA (AFS 2), he was assigned to the H-46D Fleet Replacement Squadron, HC-3, in June of 1987, where he served as an Instructor Pilot and NATOPS Officer.
Following training in the UH-1N, he reported in August 1990 as Aircraft Handler and V-1 Division Officer aboard USS NEW ORLEANS (LPH 11), and then deployed for Desert Shield and Storm. Returning from an extended deployment to the Arabian Gulf, he served as Assistant Air Officer and qualified as Officer of the Deck (Underway).In August 1992, he reported to the Command and Staff College at the Naval War College, in Newport, R.I., graduating (with distinction) in June 1993. He then returned to HC-6 and served as Detachment Officer in Charge onboard USNS SATURN (T-AFS 10) and USNS CONCORD (T-AFS 5). Returning from deployment he served as the Squadron Administrative Officer and Squadron Maintenance Officer.
In January 1996, he reported to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Financial Management and Comptroller in the Pentagon and served as a Legislative Liaison to the Congressional Appropriations Committees. He then screened for command and reported as Executive Officer of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron FIVE (HC-5) in Yigo, Guam, in April 1999. In January 2000, he assumed command of HC-5 and served until May of 2001. During his tenure, HC-5 earned two consecutive Battle Efficiency awards.
In July of 2001, Leary reported as Navigator to USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) and qualified as Command Duty Officer (underway). In February 2002 he deployed to the North Arabian Sea where JFK and AIRWING SEVEN conducted combat strikes in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In August of 2003, Leary reported as Operations Officer for the Naval Command College, where he planned and executed executive level visits to business, government, and educational institutions in 18 U.S. cities for more than 80 senior international officers of the Naval War College.
In September 2005, after screening for major command ashore, CAPT Leary reported as Commander, U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Cuba, supporting U.S. Southern Commands Joint Task Force Guantanamo in its Global War on Terror Detention Mission. As Commander NAVSTA GTMO, Leary also flew the Naval Stations UC-12M aircraft and conducted monthly Fenceline Meetings with his Cuban military counterparts as the senior U.S. Representative at this unique military to military (U.S./Cuban) venue. In January 2009, Leary assumed Command of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Unit at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Learys decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards) and various service medals, campaign medals and ribbons. He has accumulated more than 3,100 flight hours.