Capt. Michael Rak is a 1997 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and a U.S. Coast Guard Third Mates License. He earned a master’s degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2003. In 2020 he earned a second master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies as well as a Graduate Certificate in Maritime History from the U.S. Naval War College. He has completed numerous joint and operational assignments including as commanding officer of USS Milius (DDG 69) and USS Cowpens (CG 63).