Successful Alumni

Each week, we will feature alumni who are successful in their careers and in life, and who embody the positive impact of The Gator Nation®.

Mark Emerson



Rear Adm. Mark Emerson started his naval career after graduating from the first four-year class to complete the University of Florida Naval ROTC program. He was commissioned an ensign and designated as a navy aviator one year later.

Emerson flew the A-7E Corsair during sea assignments abroad the USS Midway, and he transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet for his second tour on the Midway then the USS Independence. He participated in airstrikes and coordinated joint and coalition air strike planning for operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990.

In 2006, Emerson took command of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada, which trains all Navy carrier air wings. Prior to this, he was commander of the Strike Force Training Command, Pacific.

He received the Distinguished Service Metal when he retired in 2009 after 33 years of service. The metal recognized his exceptional service of improving naval aviation training, doctrine and combat effectiveness while serving as the NSAWC commander. He is now director of Navy Unmanned Combat Air System at Northrop Grumman Corp., a leading global security company.

Check back each week for a new Successful Alumni Story!

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