Commander Marcus A. Kephart

Commanding Officer, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132

23 October 2020 Born in Fort Wayne and raised in Plymouth, Indiana, CDR Marcus Kephart is a 1998 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees in English Education and Religion and Philosophy.  He taught high school and middle school English in Indiana and Germany and then was commissioned through Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Pensacola, Florida, March 2003.
 
Upon winging in October 2005 from VT-86 in NAS Pensacola, CDR Kephart reported to VAQ-129 at NAS Whidbey Island, completing his initial fleet training December 2006.  Assigned to the World Famous Black Ravens of VAQ-135, CDR Kephart flew EA-6B Prowlers with Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN-68), deploying three times in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.  Additionally, he received the LTJG Michael J. Debartolomeo Leadership Award.
 
Completing the Prowler Tactics Instructor course in March 2010, he transitioned to the EA-18G, instructing at VAQ-129, serving as the Airborne Electronic Attack Phase Head and the Assistant Operations Officer.  After attending the Growler Tactics Instructor course in Fallon, Nevada, in June 2013, he served as the first Growler Training Officer at VAQ-136 with Carrier Air Wing TWO onboard USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN-76) where he was recognized as the COMVAQWINGPAC Training Officer of the Year in August 2015.
 
CDR Kephart transferred to the Zappers of VAQ-130 where he served as the Administrative and Operations Department Head with Carrier Air Wing THREE onboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69), completing a successful combat deployment in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.
 
He then served again at VAQ-129 for his Post-Department Head tour as the Training and Operations Officer from December 2017 until February 2020. 
 
CDR Kephart has logged more than 3,000 flight hours and 420 traps in EA-6B and EA-18G aircraft. His decorations include Strike/Flight Air Medals (three), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (three), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals (three), and various campaign and service awards.  His peers selected him in 2017 as the Electronic Attack Community’s Commander Naval Air Forces’ Leadership Award recipient.  Most importantly, he and his beautiful wife Melinda are the proud parents of Ellison and Ava Kephart.
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