CLASS OF 1978
Captain Gary Wilson graduated from Girard High School in 1978. He earned a BA in Biology and Economics from Washington and Jefferson College and holds a MBA from Troy State University. He was commissioned in December 1985 following Aviation Officer Candidate School. After completing Naval Flight Officer Training in Pensacola, Florida he earned his wings in April 1987. He reported to NAS North Island and VS-41, the S-3 Fleet Replacement Squadron for initial Viking training.
In June 1988, he reported to his first fleet assignment with VS-21 in San Diego, California. This assignment included a world tour aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65). Following a brief tour at COMASWWINGSPAC, Captain Wilson reported to VS-41 as a flight instructor and served as the legal officer and NFO STAN Officer. His next assignment was as a Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Group FIVE onboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). He completed a western Pacific deployment in 1994.
Captain Wilson then attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in August 1995. Graduating in June 1996, he reported to VS-41 as a Department Head. Captain Wilson returned to VS-21 in Atsugi, Japan for his operational department head tour and deployed numerous times, onboard USS Independence (CV-62) as well as USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). He participated in Operation Southern Watch.
Captain Wilson returned to San Diego and reported to Commander, Sea Control Wings, U. S. Pacific Fleet in January 2000 as the Chief Staff Officer. In October 2001 he completed his desert time with Commander, U. S. Naval Central Command in Bahrain to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom. After returning to Sea Control Wing and refresher training at VS-41, he reported to Sea Control Squadron THREE FIVE as Executive Officer and assumed duties as Commanding Officer in September 2004 during their Western Pacific deployment onboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74).
After the decommission of VS-35 in March 2005, he reported to Sea Control Squadron FOUR ONE as the Commanding Officer in April 2005. This tour included a memorable decommission ceremony and the last of the S-3B Viking Squadrons stationed on the West Coast. Captain Wilson reported to USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in January 2007 as the Navigator and deployed to the Arabian Gulf in 2007 and Westpac in 2008 supporting numerous Operations and Exercises.
Captain Wilson reported to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in March 2009 as the Deputy of Fleet Support. Captain Wilson has accumulated over 2400 S-3 flight hours and over 800 carrier landings.