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Commander Jason Harrel

A native of Newbury Park, CA, Commander Harrel graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2004, earning a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science. CDR Harrel was commissioned through Officer Candidate School and reported to NAS Pensacola, FL for flight training in December 2006. He earned his Naval Flight Officer Wings in December 2008.  In January 2009, CDR Harrel reported to the VFA-122 “Flying Eagles” for initial fleet training as an F/A-18F Weapons Systems Operator. 
CDR Harrel began his operational flying in December 2009 with the “Black Knights” of VFA 154.  While a “Black Knight”, he made one deployment aboard USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN76), participating in Operations TOMODACHI, NEW DAWN, and ENDURING FREEDOM. 
CDR Harrel reported to Fallon, NV for TOPGUN in April 2013 and graduated as an SFTI in June 2013.  He then reported to the “Vampires” of VX-9 in China Lake where he served as training officer in the Special Programs office.  In July 2015 CDR Harrel graduated the United States Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River Maryland as part of Class 147 and reported to VX-9 Det Nellis, serving as a Project Officer for Navy programs.
CDR Harrel returned to the fleet as a Department Head in VFA-41, the “Black Aces”.  With the Black Aces, he completed one deployment aboard USS JOHN C STENNIS (CVN74) in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and INHERENT RESOLVE, serving as both Operations Officer and Maintenance Officer.  While assigned to VFA-41, CDR Harrel was selected as the 2019 AIRPAC Naval Flight Officer of the Year.
Following his department head tour, CDR Harrel reported to the “Flying Eagles” of VFA-122 (West Coast FRS) and currently served as the training officer until November 2022.  He selected for squadron command in March 2021 and is scheduled to report to VFA-154 as Executive Officer on 6 July 2023.
CDR Harrel has accumulated over 2,300 flight hours in 20 different TMS aircraft and 410 carrier arrested landings, including 20 combat missions. His awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Aerial Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and various service awards and ribbons.

Last Updated: 18 July 2023

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