Commander James Rankin graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 1997. Following Primary and Advanced Flight Training in Corpus Christi, Texas, he was designated a Naval Aviator in 1999 and reported to Patrol Squadron THIRTY (VP-30) for initial P-3C training.
CDR Rankin’s first fleet assignment was with the Rangers of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron TWO (VQ-2) in Rota, Spain. While assigned to VQ-2 he held positions as the Special Projects Division Officer, Assistant Pilot Training Officer, and Pilot NATOPS Officer. While assigned to VQ-2, he deployed to Europe and the Middle East.
In August 2005, Commander Rankin reported to the Pro’s Nest at Patrol Squadron THIRTY (VP-30) in Jacksonville, Florida for duty as a Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) Instructor Pilot. While attached to VP-30, he served as the Pilot Track Manager and the Assistant Operations Officer.
In May 2007, CDR Rankin reported for duty onboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) in Norfolk, Virginia as a Tactical Action Officer. While attached to ENTERPRISE, he deployed to FIFTH and SIXTH Fleets. He additionally performed the duties of OI Division Officer and Antiterrorism / Force Protection Officer.
CDR Rankin reported to the World Watchers of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1) in Whidbey Island, Washington, for his Aviation Department Head tour in January 2009. While attached to VQ-1, he served as Officer in Charge of CTG 57.1, the Safety/NATOPS Officer and the Maintenance Officer. At the completion of his Department Head tour in November 2010, CDR Rankin volunteered for a Global War on Terror Support Assignment with Task Force 5-35 in Afghanistan. Following his return in July 2011, he reported to Naval Ocean Processing Whidbey Island (NOPFWI) where he served as the Shore Operations Officer.
CDR Rankin most recently served as the Antiterrorism / Force Protection Officer for Carrier Strike Group ELEVEN (NIMITZ STRIKE GROUP) in Everett, Washington.
Commander Rankin completed his Masters of Arts in National Security Studies with American Military University in 2012. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (two), Air Medal (two Strike/Flight), Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three), and the Navy Achievement Medal (two) as well as various campaign and unit awards.
He assumed duties as Executive Officer, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in April 2017.