Mark Wilson was born on May 27, 1966, in Richmond, Virginia. He was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy through the Navy ROTC program at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, on May 25, 1988. Ens Wilson next served as a staff officer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, followed by Surface Warfare Officer School at Newport, Rhode Island. He served as Gunnery Officer and then Communications Officer aboard the dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) home-ported at San Diego, California, from January 1989 to February 1992, and during this time he deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf from August 1990 to April 1991. LT Wilson served as Junior Officer (Surface) Assignments Officer with the Bureau of Naval Personnel in the Pentagon from March 1993 to July 1994, followed by Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado, California, from July 1994 to February 1995. After completing Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia, LT Wilson served with SEAL Team TWO at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from March 1995 until he was killed in a training accident at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on December 4, 1995. Mark Wilson was buried at Westhampton Memorial Park in Richmond, Virginia.
His 2nd Navy Achievement Medal Citation reads:
For professional achievement in the superior performance of duties while serving as Gunnery Officer and Communications Officer in USS FORT MCHENRY (LSD 43) from January 1989 through February 1992. Lieutenant Wilson performed his duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner. He exhibited superior leadership and management skill in developing an elaborate communications structure in support of the Alaskan oil spill cleanup operation. The same exceptional insight and technical knowledge also marked the detailed preparation he orchestrated in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Despite a tenfold increase in message traffic volume, the radio and signal bridge watch teams performed superbly and were regularly cited for their professionalism. His diligent efforts and resourcefulness inspired all who observed him and contributed to the accomplishment of USS FORT MCHENRY's mission. Lieutenant Wilson's professionalism and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Sailor's Creed:
I am a United States Sailor.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.