Alan "Blues" T. Baker graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1978 and reported to USS Brooke for his first sea tour. He returned to the Naval Academy in 1981 as an instructor in the Department of Professional Development. Answering the call to ministry in 1984, Baker transferred to the Naval Reserve while attending seminary.
Graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1987, Baker was ordained by the Reformed Church in America and recalled to active duty as a Navy chaplain. His first Chaplain Corps assignment was as a Ship's Chaplain of USS Richmond K. Turner in which he deployed to the Persian Gulf supporting Operation Earnest Will escorts of reflagged Kuwaiti tankers.
Baker reported for service with the United States Marine Corps in 1990. During combat operations to liberate Kuwait in the first Gulf War, he provided ministry in the field to the Marines and supporting units of Marine Aircraft Group 11.
In 1992, Baker began three years on staff at the Naval Chaplains School as primary instructor and administrator for the Chaplain Basic Course providing initial training to newly commissioned Navy Chaplains. Following a tour as chaplain with the United States Coast Guard in New York (1995 to 1998), Baker was ordered to the Staff of the Chief of Navy Chaplains in Washington, D.C. where he served as Branch Head of Chaplain Corps Professional Development.
In 1997 Baker received a Doctorate from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. He has an additional professional subspecialty in Education and Training Management.
In 2001, he reported as Command Chaplain of USS Harry S. Truman with additional duties as Carrier Strike Group Chaplain in Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2003, Baker assumed duties as Senior Chaplain Corps detailer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Millington, Tennessee where he was responsible for worldwide assignments of chaplains throughout the Sea Services.
In 2004, thirty years after arriving as a Plebe, Baker returned to the United States Naval Academy as Command Chaplain, where he was responsible for religious support to the 4,300-member Brigade of Midshipmen as well as management of the Academy's historic chapels.
In 2006, Baker was promoted to rear admiral (lower half) and became the 16th Chaplain of the Marine Corps, succeeding Rear Admiral Robert Burt, who was promoted to become the U.S. Navy's Chief of Chaplains.
In 2006, Baker attended the Executive Business Course at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and in 2007, received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Grove City College in Pennsylvania.
In 2009, The Navy Times reported that Baker would not be nominated for a second star or be promoted to the position of Chief of Chaplains based on a determination of the Navy's Inspector General that he "reprised against" his former Executive Assistant during the Chaplain Captain promotion board held in early 2008. The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Roughead described Baker as a “man of character, integrity and honor” in a four-page memo dated June 19.
In 2010, Baker joined the staff of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in the newly created role of Directional Leader. In this role, Baker partnered with Senior Pastor John Ortberg in casting and executing the vision for the church, which has locations in Menlo Park, San Mateo, and Mountain View, CA. That same year Baker was named a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Public Service and Policy Development at Nyack College, Washington DC where he served in an advisory role on leadership studies.
In 2013, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary appointed him as Adjunct Professor, and he was also named Chaplain Endorsing Agent and Supervisor of Chaplain Ministries for the Reformed Church in America. In 2014, he was appointed Adjunct Faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2015, he was named Senior Fellow at the United States Naval Academy Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership. As principal consultant with Strategic Foundations, he also teaches, coaches and advises organizations on vision development and implementation.
Chaplain Baker’s personal decorations include:This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Marine Corps.