A native of Madison, New Jersey, Captain Baird graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1996, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He was selected for flight training and reported to Pensacola, Florida. After flight training he reported to NAS Cecil Field, Florida for initial training in the FA-18C with VFA-106.
Captain Baird’s fleet tours include service with the “Dambusters” of VFA-195, forward deployed to Atsugi, Japan, the “Gunslingers” of VFA-105, and the “Tomcatters” of VFA-31 flying both the F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18E Super Hornet in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM, as well as numerous international exercises.
Captain Baird’s shore assignments include the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and Strike Fighter Weapons School, Atlantic (SFWSL), United States Pacific Command (PACOM) where he served as Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, the Eisenhower School of the National Defense University, the Office of the Secretary of Secretary of Defense, Acquisitions, Technology & Logistics, and the F-35C Fleet Integration Office.
Captain Baird commanded the “Dambusters” of VFA-195 from May 2013 to July 2014, deploying aboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON throughout the Asia Pacific.
Captain Baird has logged over 3,500 flight hours and 800 arrested landings in the FA-18. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (five awards, one with combat distinguishing device), the Navy Achievement medal, and various unit, service, and campaign awards. He earned Master’s degrees in international relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University.