Unit Staff – Senior Officers

CAPT Mark A. Prokopius, USN

Commanding Officer

A native of Seven Hills, Ohio, Captain Prokopius received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at the University of Notre Dame in 1990.  Following the Nuclear Training pipeline, he reported to his first assignment aboard USS Tecumseh (SSBN-628) in Charleston, SC where he served in various Division Officer billets.  After decommissioning in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, he reported to USS Tucson (SSN 770) with the initial manning increment, and served aboard during initial sea trials, delivery and commissioning.

After a shore tour at Naval Space Command in Dahlgren, VA, Captain Prokopius served as Engineer Officer aboard USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) completing a northern Atlantic deployment for which the Rickoverreceived a Navy Unit Commendation.  He then served as a member of the Atlantic Fleet Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board before reporting to USS Norfolk (SSN 714) as Executive Officer.  While aboard Norfolk, he completed an Engineered Refueling Overhaul and conducted a surge deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in support of NATO Response Force commitments.

Following a tour on the staff of Commander, Submarine Forces as the Force Nuclear Power Officer, Captain Prokopius took command of USS New Mexico (SSN 779), completing the new construction process, delivery, commissioning and commencement of the Post Shakedown Availability.  After command, Captain Prokopius served on the staff of Submarine Squadron Six as the Deputy for Operations, and then served as a Deployable Training Team Chief in the Deployable Training Division, Joint Staff J7 Suffolk, responsible for providing worldwide support to increase the readiness of Joint Force Commanders and staffs through sharing of insights and best practices.

Most recently, Captain Prokopius served his Major Command as the Commanding Officer of USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), home ported in Guam, executing a change of home port from Diego Garcia and conducting a five month deployment in the Fifth and Seventh Fleet AORs.

Captain Prokopius holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.  Captain Prokopius’ personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (six awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal (three awards) as well as various unit awards.

CDR Jason Thompson, USN

Executive Officer

Commander Jason Thompson is a native of El Paso, Texas and graduated from The United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2000 with a U.S. Coast Guard Third Mate’s License and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation. He also holds a Master of Science degree in
Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Notre Dame.

After completing Basic Flight Training at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida and Advanced Flight Training at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, he was designated a Naval Aviator and assigned to the United States Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet Replacement Squadron, Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30) at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.

Upon completion of the Fleet Replacement Squadron syllabus in the Lockheed P-3C Orion, he was assigned to the “Pelicans” of Patrol Squadron Forty Five (VP-45). He deployed to the United States European Command and Central Command areas of responsibility in support of Commander, Task Force 67, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

For his department head tour, he was assigned to the “Mad Foxes” of Patrol Squadron Five (VP-5), also at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville Florida. While supporting Commander, Task Force 72, Thompson deployed to the United States Pacific Command area of responsibility and led several detachments as Officer-In-Charge in Australia and Guam. During his tenure at VP-5, the squadron successfully transitioned aircraft to a derivative of the Boeing 737, the P-8A Poseidon.

Ashore Thompson served as the Operations Officer with Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Seventh Fleet at Kadana Air Base, Okinawa; a Joint Strategic Plans Officer with United States Central Command in Tampa, Florida; and while flying the Beechcraft C-12M Huron and NP-3C Orion, the Project Director with Scientific Development Squadron One (VXS-1) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

His most recent assignment prior to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit, University of Notre Dame, was as the Safety Officer on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in Bremerton, Washington.

Commander Thompson is authorized to wear the Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Air Medal – Iraq Campaign, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (2 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards) as well as various other personal, unit and service awards.