Wheeler L. Baker
|Wheeler L. Baker|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Commands held||1st Reconnaissance Battalion|
|Awards||Legion of Merit (3)|
|Other work||Hargrave Military Academy|
Wheeler L. Baker was the ninth President of Hargrave Military Academy. A career U.S. Marine, Baker commanded the unit made famous in the TV miniseries Generation Kill, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, from 1983 to 1985.
Baker enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a private, earning an officer's commission later on in a career that ultimately spanned 39-and-a-half years. Baker's service include commanding a Reconnaissance company in Vietnam and the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion from 1983 to 1985. He was promoted to Colonel in 1989, following which he served in Operation: Desert Storm as commander of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. In 1994, Baker served as chief of staff of the 1st Marine Division in Somalia. During his career in the Marines, Baker was decorated many times. Among his awards are the Legion of Merit, which he received three times, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, and the Purple Heart.
Wheeler Baker graduated from the University of Tampa with a bachelor's degree in Economics in 1972, going on to obtain a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Catholic University of America. He studied at the Naval War College and Salve Regina College and earned a PhD in Organizational Learning and Instructional Techniques at the University of New Mexico in 1998.
Prior to coming to Hargrave, Baker was chairman of the Naval Science Department at the University of New Mexico. He arrived at HMA in 1997, serving as provost until the resignation of Colonel John W. Ripley, then President of Hargrave, on March 18, 1999. On June 24, 2011, Colonel Baker retired as President of Hargrave, transferring leadership of the school to Brigadier General Doyle Broome, Jr., a retired US Army officer and the first flag officer to be President of HMA. Six years later, on June 2, 2017, Broome's retirement was announced effective May 31, 2017. To ensure Hargrave would not be without vital senior leadership while the search for a new President went on, Baker agreed to return from retirement to serve as Hargrave's interim President.
- Years of Change; Years of Growth: A History of Hargrave Military Academy 1970-2003, 2004, by Mary M. Tallent
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