Rear Adm. Michael A. Wettlaufer
Commander, Military Sealift Command
23 September 2020
In his current role, Rear Adm. Michael A. Wettlaufer is the commander of Military Sealift Command.
Wettlaufer is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, was commissioned in 1986 and designated a naval aviator in 1988. He holds a Master of Science in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee and Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. Wettlaufer is a Navy Test Pilot School graduate (Class 104) and completed Navy Nuclear Power Training in 2008.
Ashore, Wettlaufer was assigned to various training squadrons during qualification. He served on the 2nd Fleet staff; as a project officer, test pilot and landing signals officer with Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland; and as an Empire Test Pilots’ School fixed wing tutor and experimental test pilot on exchange with the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. He was a Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group associate fellow (SSG XXI) and served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as an analyst for the deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO Policy. His first Flag assignment was as US European Command Deputy J5/8 based in Stuttgart, Germany. Wettlaufer assumed command at Military Sealift Command in June 2019.
Wettlaufer previously commanded the Dambusters of VFA-195, USS Denver (LPD 9), USS John C. Stennis
(CVN 74) and Carrier Strike Group 3 during the 2018-19 around-the-world deployment. He deployed multiple times to the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf flying the A-6E Intruder with VA-85 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) ONE aboard USS America
(CV 66) including Operation Desert Storm. Forward deployed from Japan, he flew the F/A-18C aboard USS Independence
(CV 62) and USS Kitty Hawk
(CV 63) as a Dambuster department head and CVW-5 operations officer, and he deployed to the Pacific as executive officer and commanding officer aboard USS John C. Stennis
Wettlaufer has 3,800 hours flying 50 different aircraft types and over 900 arrested landings on 14 carrier decks, and conducted developmental Joint Strike Fighter flight control trials aboard HMS Invincible
He is entitled to wear the Defense Superior Service, Legion of Merit (three awards), Distinguished Flying Cross (combat V), Defense Meritorious Service, and Meritorious Service Medals, individual and strike flight Air Medals (combat V), and various other personal, unit, and service awards.