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Rear Admiral (Ret) Victorino Mercado at his retirement ceremony in front of the USS Halsey (DDG 97) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on August 7, 2018. (Source - U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago)

With the contours of missile defense expanding into the domains of space, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies. MDAA is expanding its mission through Academia and Innovation. Education and its Diversity of people, thought, and ideas is at the fundamental core of excellence in the world, and we are establishing our role in enabling innovators in policy and technology to ensure the United States and its Allies maintain a competitive advantage. In taking our first step towards this vision, we are honored to announce the Honorable Victorino G. Mercado as MDAA’s Academic and Innovation Coordinator.

Vic’s inspiring career of service makes him uniquely equipped to tackle the challenges that missile defense presents. As Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities, he advised the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on strategy, contingency plans and the associated capabilities and posture necessary to implement the national defense strategy, including missile defense policy.

Vic is a 35 year Navy veteran, whose background includes a tour with the Navy’s engineering and acquisition community as command, control and communications engineering manager for the AEGIS Program, responsible for integrating ballistic missile defense systems into the AEGIS fleet, and numerous tours that helped shape the programming, development, integration and the operations of ballistic missile defense systems, both within and outside the Navy.

Vic’s operational Navy career included several command tours, including USS Decatur during an accelerated deployment with the John C. Stennis Battle Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Destroyer Squadron 21, and Carrier Strike Group EIGHT.

His senior staff tours include deputy director, Surface Warfare Division and director, Assessments Division on the Navy staff, and vice director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J5) at U.S. Central Command.  During his last tour with the Navy, he was the director, maritime operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Vic has been celebrated as one of the highest-ranking Filipino Americans to serve in the Department of Defense, both as a civilian and in the Navy, and was the first officer of Filipino descent to command an aircraft carrier strike group.

Born in Virginia, Vic graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science, and he holds a master’s degree in systems technology in Joint Command, Control and Communications from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

MDAA is honored to have Vic Mercado join our team in leading educational innovation in space and missile defense.

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Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.