Commander Donald Anthony Baker, born in Miami, grew up in Germany, Arizona, California and Florida as the son of dual military parents. After graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 2000, he attended Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and was subsequently commissioned a second lieutenant. As a logistics officer he served tours in 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MWSS-374), First Marine Expeditionary Force (G-4), and Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (Headquarters Battalion). Among his official billets included platoon commander, detachment commander, training officer, operations officer, and company commander. In 2006, he resigned his commission as a captain in the Marine Corps and was re-commissioned an ensign in the Navy.
In 2008, CDR Baker returned to active duty as a Navy lieutenant and received orders to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MWSS-171) in Iwakuni, Japan. During his tour, he participated in Talon Vision 08, Key Resolve/Foal Eagle 09, 10, 11 and deployed to Manila, Philippines in support of the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy in 2009.
In 2011, CDR Baker received orders to USS BLUERIDGE, the Seventh Fleet flagship, permanently forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. For outstanding community outreach and relations in 11 countries in the AOR, he led the ship to receive the Project Good Neighbor Award in 2011 and 2012, a Navy wide award.
In September 2013, CDR Baker reported back to the Marine Corp Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, California where he served as the Chapel Programs Manager. In 2015, he returned to Headquarters Battalion to serve as the Command Chaplain.
In 2016, CDR Baker received orders to USS MOUNT WHITNEY, the Sixth Fleet flagship, ported in Gaeta, Italy to reestablish the Supervisor Chaplain billet after a 13-year gap. During his tour, he participated in Black Sea Operations 2016 and Baltic Sea Operations 2016 with port visits to seventeen countries in the AOR. In 2017, CDR (s) Baker cross-decked to Destroyer Squadron 60 to serve aboard USS Ross in support of Operation Inherent Resolve during kinetic engagements in Syria.
At the conclusion of his time aboard the ship, CDR Baker reported to Naval Air Station Jacksonville as the Command Chaplain in 2017. During this tour he received temporary duty orders to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to serve in a coverage gap.
In 2018, the Navy selected CDR Baker for the Ethics subspecialty code. He attended Duke University as a visiting military fellow in the Navy funded-graduate education program. Upon completion in 2019, he reported to the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) and attended Joint and Combined Warfighting School in Norfolk, VA. CDR (s) Baker is graduate of JPME I and II. He now serves as the Ethics Advisor and chaplain at JFSC. In 2021, the National Defense University conferred the Assistant Professor title to CDR Baker for his academic contribution to the institution.
In addition to the bachelor’s degree from FSU, CDR Baker holds graduate degrees from Regent University (Master of Divinity in Practical Theology), Liberty University (MBA in International Business), and Duke University (Master of Theology in Ethics). He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Philosophy from Liberty University. He is also a nationally certified Emergency Medical Technician.
Chaplain Baker’s personal decorations include Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (x 5), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (x 6), as well as various unit and service awards and campaign medals.
He is married to the former Ms. Jennifer Bradshaw. They have five kids in total: Chris, Ezra, Jesse, Asher and Selah.