Commander Lauper graduated from United Township High School in East Moline, IL. In 1993, Commander Lauper graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and earned a commission through the Navy ROTC program. While teaching at The Ohio State University Navy ROTC, Commander Lauper earned a Master of Arts from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. He has continued his education with additional courses through the University of Minnesota and Fort Hays State University.
Commander Lauper is a Surface Warfare Officer, which means that he drove ships in the Navy. His first assignment was in USS COMSTOCK (LSD 45), where he was a division officer in charge of the flight deck and well deck, and then serving as Navigator, responsible for the safe navigation and operation of the ship. On his second ship, USS ZEPHYR (PC 8), then LT Lauper was the Operations/Executive Officer and Navigator as ZEPHYR circumnavigated South America in 1997. Commander Lauper’s first Department Head tour was in USS CARTER HALL (LSD 50), where he was responsible for the flight deck, well deck, boats, and cranes while deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in 2001. His second Department Head assignment was as First Lieutenant in USS BOXER (LHD 4). Commander Lauper was responsible for the movement of vehicles and troops via the well deck while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Following the 2003 deployment, Commander Lauper became the Navigator in USS BOXER as they deployed back to the Middle East in 2004. Following a staff assignment with Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific, Commander Lauper became the Officer in Charge of Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Detachment Norco from 2006-2010. Commander Lauper’s final sea duty was again in USS BOXER (LHD 4) from 2010-2012, where he served as Operations Officer while deployed to the Gulf of Aden in 2011. Commander Lauper’s final assignment in the Navy was as the Executive Officer/ Associate Professor of Naval Science at Navy ROTC Unit, University of Minnesota. Retiring in 2013 after 20 years of active duty, Commander Lauper began his next career teaching Navy JROTC at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, CA. In 2016, Commander Lauper seized upon the opportunity to join Area 11’s finest NJROTC program at Troy High School.
Chief Fernandez attended Anaheim High School in California and joined the delayed entry program for the Navy in the December of her senior year. She went to boot camp on August 1st of 1995, the year of her graduation, for 9 weeks. Chief Fernandez then went on to learn how to become a fireman through the Fireman Apprenticeship Training. While in the Navy, Chief Fernandez earned her Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Currently, she is working to earn her teaching credentials for Career Technical Education.
Chief Fernandez boarded her first ship in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii called the USS Willamette. She deployed to Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf for a time period of 6 months. Some of her many achievements include being awarded Junior Sailor of the Year in her first ship and her second year aboard and being made Chief Petty Officer in the Navy.
First Sergeant Lyon
First Sergeant Lyon is a California native who attended Bell High School before enlisting in the Marine Corps. While in the Marine Corps he continued his education by earning an Associate’s Degree from Saddle-back Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree from National University in San Diego, and a Second Master’s Degree from California State University in Fullerton.
First Sergeant Lyon enlisted in the Marine corps on 7 July 1974. While in the military his primary Military Operational Specialty (MOS) was 0300 Infantry. Throughout the course of his service he served as a 0311 Rifleman, 0321 Reconnaissance Ranger, 0331 Machine Gunner, 0341 Mortar-man, o351 Anti-Armor, 0369 Small Unit Leader, as well as being a 8511 Drill Instructor, a 8599 Parachute and Scuba qualified First Sergeant with Reconnaissance, and a 0317 Scout Sniper (previously 8541). He also was a Tactics Instructor and Platoon Commander at the Infantry Training school, Director for the Non-Commissioned Academy, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Inspector Instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, and was lastly selected for the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Degree Completion Program. After 21 years of service, attendance of 36 military schools, completion of 21 correspondence courses, five west-pac deployments, and traveling to forty-five states as well as 55 countries, First Sergeant Lyon retired from the Operating Forces after experiencing a five-week level five coma on January 1, 1995.
First Sergeant Barnes
First Sergeant Barnes attended Doniphan High School. He later attended Palomar College.
First Sergeant Barnes enlisted in the Marine Corps on December 4, 1978 because he wanted to serve his country. During his time in the Corps, he was a radio technician/repairman. He was advanced to First Sergeant three years before his retirement in December of 1999.