Lt. Cmdr. Sam “Grinner” Clement, a native of Arnold, Maryland, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in History. He reported to flight school following graduation and earned his wings of gold in April 2009.
His first sea duty was with the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron, Light (HSL) 46, where he flew the SH-60B Sea Hawk. While there, he deployed aboard USS Mason in support of international counterpiracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden. On shore, he served as the squadron Naval Air Training and Operating Procedure Standardization (NATOPS) Officer, and stood up the NATOPS program for the MH-60R Sea Hawk as the squadron transitioned aircraft types. Additionally, he supported sister squadron HSL-48 as their NATOPS Instructor while the billet was gapped.
For his disassociated sea tour, Clement served as an Assistant Air Operations Officer aboard USS John C. Stennis during which time he completed a Western Pacific deployment. During that deployment, he also led sailors as the Air Transfer Officer and he was responsible for the safe departure and arrival of hundreds of passengers and more than 200,000 pieces of cargo.
Clement’s shore duties included a tour at the United States Naval Academy’s Office of Special Events, where he coordinated ceremonies and public events, and at Commander, Navy Region Northwest’s Region Operations Center, where he led efforts to deploy Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) equipment and tactics.
Clement became Naval Magazine Indian Island’s Executive Officer in December 2019.
His personal awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.