Active Duty Staff
CAPT Douglas E. Wright, USN
Commanding Officer, North Carolina Peidmont Consortium
Captain Doug Wright, a native of Peoria County, Illinois, graduated from the University of Illinois in January 1985 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Metallurgical Engineering and received his commission via the Naval ROTC Program. After completing initial training, he reported to USS BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (SSBN 640) in Charleston, SC where he served as Reactor Controls Assistant, Damage Control Assistant, and Sonar Officer during a refueling overhaul and subsequent post-overhaul deterrent patrol on the BLUE crew. He also conducted two deterrent patrols out of Holy Loch, Scotland aboard USS HENRY CLAY (BLUE) (SSBN 625) during this tour
In 1989, Captain Wright returned to the University of Illinois as a NROTC Naval Science Instructor, earning a Master's Degree in Nuclear Engineering. After graduating from the Submarine Officer Advanced Course, he reported to USS BERGALL (SSN 667) in Norfolk, VA. He served as Engineer Officer from July 1992 to June 1996 and completed Northern Atlantic and Mediterranean deployments prior to decommissioning the ship in Bremerton, WA. He then reported to Submarine Squadron Eleven in San Diego, CA where he served as Squadron Engineer until August 1998.
Captain Wright subsequently served as Executive Officer of USS ASHEVILLE (SSN 758) until May 2000, completing a Western Pacific/Persian Gulf deployment with the USS STENNIS Battle Group. Following this tour, he reported to US Strategic Command in Omaha, NE where he served as Executive Assistant to the Director of Operations and Logistics and the Director of Plans and Policy.
Captain Wright assumed command of USS HELENA (SSN 725) in Guam while deployed to the Western Pacific in December 2003. USS HELENA also conducted another Western Pacific Deployment and numerous strike group exercises out of her homeport of San Diego and was awarded two Meritorious Unit Commendations during his tour. His first post-command assignment was as Deputy Executive Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, serving there from July 2006 through July 2007. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College class of 2008, earning a Master of Science in National Security Strategy. Captain Wright most recently served as Commodore of Submarine Squadron FIFTEEN in Guam, consisting of USS FRANK CABLE (AS 40), USS CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI (SSN 705), USS HOUSTON (SSN 713) and USS BUFFALO (SSN 715), from July 2008 to July 2010.
LtCol Daniel U. Spano, USMC
Executive Officer, North Carolina Piedmont Consortium
LtCol Spano entered the Marine Corps in 1990 after graduating from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. He received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and a USCG 3rd Mates License, Any Ocean, Any Tonnage. Following his completion of the Basic School LtCol Spano reported to Fort Sill, OK for the Artillery Basic Officers Course where he earned his Artillery MOS. He reported to Battery B, 1st Battalion 12th Marines as a Forward Observer. During his tour, he served as a Forward Observer, Fire Direction Officer, Artillery Liaison Officer, and Headquarters Platoon Commander. LtCol Spano deployed to Okinawa, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program. During this tour, he applied for and was selected for a transition to pilot training through the Field Accession Program.
LtCol Spano completed flight training in NAS Pensacola, FL and NAS Meridian, MS and was designated as a Naval Aviator in March 1996. He was ordered to MCAS Cherry Point, NC for training as an AV-8B pilot at Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 (VMAT-203). He completed AV-8B training and was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 223 in July of 1997. During his time at VMA-223, LtCol Spano served as a schedule writer, Assistant Operations Officer, Intelligence Officer, Air Frames Officer, Administration Officer, and Training Landing Signal Officer. He deployed aboard the USS Bataan with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) from Sept of 1999 to March of 2000 and with the 26th MEU from Sept 2001 to April of 2002. During the 26th MEU deployment, LtCol Spano flew combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
LtCol Spano was assigned to VMAT-203 as an instructor pilot in May of 2002. He instructed newly winged Marine Aviators in all phases of flight in the classroom, in the simulator, and in the aircraft. He served as the squadron Director of Safety and Standardization, rewriting the squadrons Operational Risk Management Order. LtCol Spano next served as the squadron Maintenance Officer, responsible for over 200 personnel assigned to the Maintenance Department and the maintenance and upkeep of 28 AV-8B Harriers. He also served as the squadron Executive Officer and Detachment Officer in Charge for multiple training detachments.
In July 2005, LtCol Spano was assigned to Commander Naval Air Force (CNAF) in Norfolk, VA as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Class Desk Officer. He worked with the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office in developing and validating the Performance Based Agreement for logistics support, Global Sustainment Plan, and Basing and Ship Suitability for the JSF.
In Aug 2008 LtCol Spano was assigned to Second Marine Air Wing (2d MAW) as the Future Operations Officer. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the 2d MAW (FWD) Future Operations Officer and Senior Watch Officer. Upon return from OIF, LtCol Spano was assigned to the G-5 Plans section of 2d MAW.
In Jun 2010 LtCol Spano reported to his current assignment as the executive officer for the North Carolina Piedmont Consortium. The Executive Officer holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from TUI University, and his personal decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal (Gold Star), Air Medal (4th Strike/Flight Award) and The Navy and Marine Commendation Medal.
Surface Warfare Advisor
The Surface Warfare Officer is a native of Clinton, New Jersey, and a 2007 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA. He earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering with a focus in Process Management, and was commissioned through the Naval ROTC program.
His first sea assignment was aboard USS HALSEY (DDG-97) where he served as the ship's Electrical and Auxiliaries Officer, as well as the Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Officer. While on HALSEY, he participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed to the Indian and Pacific Oceans as a part of the PELELIU Strike Group. While deployed, his ship took part in numerous anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa in support of Combined Task Force 150.
After completing the NECC Expeditionary Combat Skills School in September 2009, he reported to Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) Five as the Weapons Officer. During his tour, he completed two deployments to the 5TH Fleet Area of Operations, providing integrated landward and seaward security in and around the strategic ports of the Arabian Gulf. Utilizing the 34-ft Sea Ark patrol boat, his squadron protected US-flagged vessels and other designated high value assets in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In August 2011, the Surface Warfare Officer reported onboard the Naval ROTC Unit at North Carolina State University where he currently serves as a Naval Science Instructor and Junior Class Advisor. He is pursuing a Masters in Business Administration from the N.C. State Poole College of Management.
His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and multiple unit and service awards.
Submarine Warfare / Nuclear Advisor
The Submarine Warfare Officer commissioned from Old Dominion University on December 2006. In June 2008, the Submarine Warfare Officer reported to the USS NEWPORT NEWS (SSN 750) stationed in Norfolk, VA. While onboard NEWPORT NEWS, the Submarine Warfare Officer served as the Reactor Controls Assistant, the Chemical and Radiological Controls Assistant, and the Communications Officer. In May 2011, he reported to North Carolina State University as the Sophomore Advisor and Engineering Instructor.
Aviation Warfare Advisor
The Aviation Warfare Officer commissioned through the NROTC program at the University of Virginia, and graduated with a B.A. in Economics in 2005. He began flight training in the T-34 with the VT-6 Shooters at NAS Whiting Field. He then attended helicopter advanced training in the TH-57 with the HT-8 Eightballers. After achieving his "Wings of Gold" in June 2007, he selected the brand new platform, MH-60R and reported to HSM-41 as the 20th FRS pilot through the new pipeline.
After completion of flight training, he reported to the HSM-71 Raptors at NAS North Island in San Diego, CA. While at HSM-71 he conducted two deployments as part of CVW 9 and CSG 3 aboard the USS John C. Stennis, USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Kidd. He has flown over 1100 flight hours and achieved numerous qualifications including NATOPS Instructor, Helicopter Aircraft Commander, Functional Check Pilot, and Helicopter Mountain Flying Pilot.
In March 2012, the Aviation Warfare Officer reported onboard the Naval ROTC Unit at North Carolina State University where he currently serves as a Naval Science Instructor and the Senior Class Advisor. He is pursuing a Master's in Public Administration from the N.C. State School of Public and International Affairs.
Naval Flight Officer Advisor
The Naval Flight Officer advisor was born in Woburn, Massachusetts and commissioned as a College Program student through Norwich University's NROTC. In 2005 he graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science and a B.S. in Geology and following graduation, reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola for Naval Flight Officer Training. Upon graduation in 2007, he was selected for advanced training to fly the EA-6B Prowler and reported to NAS Whidbey Island in Washington.
Upon completion of his training in the EA-6B, he reported to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134 Garudas to serve as an Electronic Countermeasures Officer (ECMO). During his time with the Garudas, he deployed to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan twice to support United States and Coalition forces engaged in combat operations throughout the country. He deployed a third time aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, also supporting missions in Afghanistan.
The Naval Flight Officer advisor reported to Naval ROTC Unit North Carolina State University in July of 2011 and was assigned duties as the Freshmen Class advisor and Introduction to Naval Science instructor. He is currently working towards a Master's degree in Atmospheric Sciences with NC State's Department of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
Marine Officer Instructor
Captain David A. Merles enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1996 and attended Marine Recruit Training at MCRD Parris Island, SC. Upon graduation from recruit training and subsequent assignment as an Aviation Operations Specialist, he reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group in NAS Meridian, MS and was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal for graduating as the class honor graduate. Captain Merles received orders to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW) and reported for duty with the Future Operations section, 1st MAW G-3 and was meritoriously promoted to Corporal. Captain Merles received a Secretary of the Navy nomination to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, RI and attended the school until receiving orders to the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) Preparatory School in San Diego, CA. Captain Merles graduated from the Citadel in Charleston, SC with a Business Administration degree and received his commission on 20 December 2002.
Following commissioning, Captain Merles attended The Basic School in Quantico, VA. Captain Merles was assigned as a Logistics Officer and graduated from the Logistics Officer Course (LOC) at Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools at Camp Johnson, NC as a distinguished graduate. Upon completion of LOC 4-04, Captain Merles was assigned to MEU Service Support Group 22 (MSSG-22) as the Transportation Support Detachment AOIC/OIC and deployed to Camp Wilson, Twenty nine palms, CA for six months in support of Revised Combined Arms Exercise in October 2004. Captain Merles deployed with MSSG-22 as the Transportation Support Detachment Commander in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM as part of the 22d MEU (SOC) in November 2005. Captain Merles served as the Assistant Operations Officer for Combat Logistics Battalion 22 and deployed with the 22d MEU in July 2007 which conducted various operations and exercises throughout the CENTCOM, PACOM, and AFRICOM areas of responsibilities. Captain Merles executed orders to The Basic School in March 2008 and served as a Warfighting Instructor; Staff Platoon Commander for WOBC 1-09, BOC 6-09, and WOBC 1-10; and as the Company M Executive Officer. In May 2011, Captain Merles graduated from the U.S. Army’s Combined Logistics Captain’s Career Course at Fort Lee, VA as a distinguished graduate. Captain Merles returned to Camp Lejeune for duty with 2d Battalion, 6th Marines. Captain Merles deployed to Nawa in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM as the Battalion Logistics Officer. Upon the battalion’s return, Captain Merles served as the Headquarters and Service Company Commander and the Battalion Executive Officer until reporting to North Carolina State University for duty as the Marine Officer Instructor.
Assistant Marine Officer Instructor
The Assistant Marine Officer Instructor (AMOI) graduated boot camp on September 27, 1996 at MCRD Parris Island, SC and reported to Marine Combat Training at Camp Geiger, NC until completion in November 1997. He then attended the Motor Transportation Basic Operator’s Course in Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri and was assigned the MOS of 3533. In February 1997 he reported to Combat Service Support Group 3, Motor Transport Company, Marine Corps Base Hawaii where he served as a Motor Transportation Operator until he was honorably discharged in July 2000.
In January 2001, he re-enlisted and attended Aviation Supply School in Meridian, MS and was assigned the MOS of 6672. In June 2001, he was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14, MCAS Cherry Point, NC until October 2005. While there, he served as a Warehouse Chief and a Corporals Course Instructor. During that time, he also deployed to Bahrain in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
From October 2005 to December 2005 he attended Drill Instructor School, at Parris Island, SC and upon completion was assigned to 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Mike Company where he served as a Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor and Series Gunnery Sergeant. Subsequently, he returned to Drill Instructor School in October 2007 as an instructor, and trained five classes of Marines. In January 2009 he received orders back to Marine Corps Base Hawaii and was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 in the Aviation Supply Department and held the billets of the Supply Response Division SNCOIC, Squadron Gunnery Sergeant, and Warehouse Chief. In August 2011 he deployed to Afghanistan until March 2012. Upon return, he was selected as the AMOI for NC State University and in May 2012 reported to OCS, Quantico, VA where he completed two increments as a Sergeant Instructor in India Company.
In August 2012 he was welcomed to the NC State Wolfpack NROTC battalion as the unit's Assistant Marine Officer Instructor.