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Where are they now? Alex Ellermann

Captain Alex Ellermann, USNR (Ret) served on the Emerald Bay staff in 1983, ’84, ’86, and ’87. He worked as a ranger, on the waterfront, and as a commissioner, and has returned as a volunteer commissioner. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the St. John’s College Graduate Institute, and the U.S. Naval War College.

Staff sunbathing on top of a pile of luggage on the barge.
Barge duty in 1986 or 1987

During the sea duty phase of his naval career, Alex served as a helicopter pilot. He served aboard the aircraft carriers NIMITZ and STENNIS, twice circling the globe and serving in every theater of operations. He was a multiple winner of the Pacific Antisubmarine Warfare School’s Quick Kill Award for excellence in submarine hunting, as well as a multiple winner of Carrier Air Wing Nine’s “Top Chop” award, given to the #1 at-sea helicopter pilot.

Ashore, Alex served as the lead primary flight school instructor pilot for Training Air Wing Four, responsible for the training and oversight of all of the air wing’s primary flight instructors.

Alex left active service in 2002 and transitioned to the Navy Reserve, where he flew C-130 Hercules aircraft all over the world and rose to command of his own squadron in 2012. Alex’s squadron swept the Navy’s competitive awards for C-130 squadrons, winning the 2012 Battle “E” for warfighting excellence, the Golden Wrench for excellence in aircraft maintenance, Golden Anchor for excellence in Sailor retention and reenlistment, and Blue “M” for excellence in medical readiness.

Next, Alex commanded at the strategic level, leading the Navy Reserve element of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Cyber Operation Department. His element, which was based in Illinois, won the Commander, Information Dominance Corps Reserve Midwest Cyber Unit of the Year Award.

In 2015, Alex took a break from command and transferred to the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center. There, he served as lead training officer and chief staff officer. While serving as training officer, he completely rewrote the Navy Reserve’s leadership development curriculum for all officers below the executive level, trained the instructor cadre in the new curriculum, and led its global execution.

In 2018, by this time a captain in the Navy Reserve, Alex assumed command of the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center’s Reserve Element: a command with detachments and personnel all over the world. He was recalled to Active Duty during the COVID-19 national emergency, working with the Navy Expeditionary Command on the unique challenges posed by COVID to the global mobilization and movement of the Navy’s Sailors. While there, Alex earned the Legion of Merit, one of our military’s highest honors.

In 2021, Alex returned to his passion project, the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center, for his retirement tour. Excited to keep sharing what he’d learned after his Navy Reserve retirement, he partnered with Captains Paul Jensen and Eric Parlette to start Applied IQ, LLC. Applied IQ takes the lessons of the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center and brings them to clients in the academic and corporate worlds.

In his civilian career, Alex is a New York – based pilot with Delta Air Lines. He has flown as a captain in the Boeing 717, 737, 757, and 767. Currently, his is a line check pilot in the 757 and 767. As a line check pilot, Alex trains pilots who are new to the aircraft, gives periodic check flights to serving captains to ensure they’re operating within standards, and certifies captains for operations into the airline’s most challenging airfields. He was recently honored for being among captains most identified as role models by pilots who are new to the captain’s chair.

Alex has three sons, one of whom has worked at Emerald Bay. His oldest, Ian, is an Eagle Scout. His middle son, Gunnar, has just gained approval (as of this writing), for his Eagle project. His youngest son, Tristan, is currently a Star Scout. Alex has served in Scouting in a variety of positions, including den leader, assistant cubmaster, pack committee chairman, troop committee chairman, assistant scoutmaster, and scoutmaster. He expects to continue as a Scouter for as long as he can say “Fellowship and Comrades Lasting.”

Alex and Danny in Emerald Bay Association bicycle jerseys, stopping for a photo opportunity in front of a scenic review view.
Alex (left) with fellow EB’er Danny Watt in Rhode Island in 2023


  1. Randall Cook
    Randall Cook May 1, 2024

    And while living in SF, I lucked into seeing Alex pilot his helo in the early morning sunrise past the Golden Gate Bridge while he escorted the USS Stennis aircraft carrier as it made its way under the Golden Gate Bridge at low tide (it had a few inches to spare) during Fleet Week. Only later did I discover that was Alex up there.

    And of course Alex has a book with him on barge duty.

    Randall Cook

  2. Robert Ave-Lallemant
    Robert Ave-Lallemant May 17, 2024

    Alex was a role model to me on the waterfront staff in 1987. EB attracts great people and helps to propel their success. Best wishes old friend.
    Robert Ave-Lallemant, ’87, ’88, ’89

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