I grew up in the Mayfair section of northeast Philadelphia
and joined the Navy in 1991 when I
found myself at a crossroads in life. I
was not very successful in my first
attempt at college during one year at
Drexel University. I was in a situation
where my original plan didn’t work
out and at a loss for direction in life,
so I decided to join the Navy. I enlisted under the Nuclear Power Program
and found my way onto ships as a
conventional electrician’s mate (EM).
I did three consecutive ship tours,
serving on board the submarine rescue ship USS Kittiwake, the aircraft
carrier USS America and the
amphibious assault ship USS Bataan.
I was selected for the Seaman-to-Admiral Program in 1998 and started
school at Old Dominion University
in Norfolk [Va.] in 1999, earning a
bachelor’s degree in Information
Technology in 2002. Later, during my
FRS [Fleet Replacement Squadron]
instructor tour, I earned an MBA
[Master of Business Administration]
through Naval Postgraduate School.
After 11 years as an enlisted Sailor,
I was commissioned as an ensign.
During the application process for
the Seaman-to-Admiral program I
had taken the Aviation Selection Test
Battery exam, but at the time hadn’t
realized the results and the opportunities they could provide. During
designator selection, I was told I
qualified to be a pilot. At almost 31
years old, I began the aviation training pipeline after commissioning.
Through aviation training you
learn and are evaluated on your own
personal strengths and weaknesses,
and I learned helicopters were probably the best fit for me. It seemed like
helicopters went all over the place
and did all kinds of cool stuff, and
I’ve gotten to do a lot of that, so it has
been an incredible experience flying
the mighty MH-53E Sea Dragon.
I’ve been a Helicopter Mine
Countermeasures [HM] guy my
entire aviation career, now in my
fourth consecutive tour in the HM
community. After training in the
FRS, I started off at HM- 14. Then I
went back to the FRS to be an
instructor, followed by a tour at HM-
15 as a Sea Dragon weapons and tac-
tics instructor. Now I’m back at HM-
14 for my department head tour,
serving as the operations officer.
Our helicopter community is
very small and tight knit with the
entire HM community [three
squadrons] all here in Norfolk.
Between our work community and
my wife’s family here in Virginia
Beach, I’m fortunate enough that my
wife has a support network in place
to take care of her and our children
when I’m deployed.
The primary mission for HM- 14
and the MH-53E is mine counter-
Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Grover II
HELICOPTER MINE COUNTERMEASURES SQUADRON 14 (HM- 14)
PROFILES IN SERVICE
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 38 SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016