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Rear Adm. Michael Groothouse graduated from the Naval Academy in 1975 and became a Naval Aviator in 1976. In more than three decades of service, Groothousen has served with several squadrons, staffs and a joint assignment with United States Space Command before becoming commanding officer of VFA-137 operating the FA-18. He has commanded USS Shreveport (LPD12), USS Harry S Truman (CVN75), Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, and Navy Region Europe. He holds the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (five awards), and the Bronze Star, as well as numerous other decorations.