Captain Louis J. Schager, Jr. grew up in Palatine, Illinois and graduated with Merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1990, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He attended flight training in Pensacola, Florida and Meridian, Mississippi and received his Wings of Gold in July 1993.
Captain Schager reported to the “Grim Reapers” of VF-101 at NAS Oceana in August 1993 for replacement training in the F-14A “Tomcat.” After completion of this training, he reported to VF-211 “Checkmates” at NAS Miramar. He embarked on a Western Pacific deployment with VF-211 onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in 1995-96. In September 1997, Captain Schager returned to VF-101 as an F-14A/B/D Instructor Pilot. During this tour, he graduated from the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program at Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in May 1998. Captain Schager was awarded Fighter Wing Atlantic Instructor of the Year for 1999.
Captain Schager reported as a department head to VF-103 “Jolly Rogers” at NAS Oceana in May 2000. He served as Maintenance and Operations Officer while VF-103 embarked onboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) for Arabian Gulf deployments in 2000 and 2002. Captain Schager received the Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet peer selected Leadership Award for 2001.
Captain Schager next attended the U.S. Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island and was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies in November 2003. He then reported to the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, Washington, DC at the National Military Command Center. He served as Assistant Deputy Director for Operations and Senior Emergency Actions Officer, providing initial analysis of developing military and political situations worldwide for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States.
Captain Schager served as Executive Officer of VFA-32 “Swordsmen” from August 2006 to November 2007. He received the Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet peer selected Leadership Award for 2007 and 2008. Next, Captain Schager was assigned as Executive Officer of VFA-106 in 2009 before moving on to his Command tour with the “Blue Blasters” of VFA-34 beginning in May 2010 where he completed two Western Pacific/Arabian Gulf deployments aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72).
Captain Schager has accumulated over 4200 flight hours and 815 arrested landings. He has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Individual Air Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and numerous campaign medals and deployment ribbons.