1967 - PRESENT
Commander Spence was commissioned in 1994 at the University of Colorado in Boulder and subsequently began flight training in Pensacola, Florida in 1995. CDR Spence was designated a Naval Aviator in June 1997 in Kingsville, Texas with orders to Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 125 in Lemoore, California for F/A-18 Replacement Pilot training.
Upon completion of F/A-18 training in 1998, Commander Spence was ordered to the Marauders of VFA 82 based at NAS Cecil Field in Jacksonville. FL. He completed the shake-down cruise for USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) and deployed in USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CVN 67) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. During his tour with the Marauders, VFA-82 ended the long-standing Naval Aviation presence at Cecil Field and moved to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC. Upon completion of nearly three years with VFA 82, he was selected for the US Naval Test Pilot Cooperative Program. CDR Spence attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA from June 2001 to October 2002 before moving to NAS Patuxent River, MD to attend the US Naval Test Pilot School. Upon completion of TPS, he earned a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering and was transferred to the Salty Dogs of VX-23. While at VX-23 he served as a Project Officer overseeing test and evaluation projects on F/A-18 A-F propulsion, aircraft structural and aerial refueling systems.
In May 2005, CDR Spence was ordered to the VFA 14 Tophatters where he served as a Department Head deploying in USS NIMITZ (CVN 68). He participated in multiple deployments and in support of OPERATIONS IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM as well as VALIANT SHIELD and various SEVENTH Fleet watch stations.