Photograph Commander David PetersonGraduation with Honors is not the highest recognition that Dr. David Peterson received from the United States Sports Academy. The U.S. Navy Commander is also being awarded the Academy’s 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award for his outstanding performance as a student and a professional.

Commander Peterson received his Doctorate in Sport Management with an emphasis in Health and Fitness from the Academy in July of 2014. His dedication to his educational journey and commitment to his career have been exemplary.

He currently serves as the Executive Officer, Physical Education Department at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. In this role, he acts as the Senior Military Advisor and Reporting Senior Officer for all active duty military personnel within the department. The Naval Academy’s Physical Education department is one of the broadest of its kind in the nation and is responsible for the physical mission development for each Midshipmen within the brigade. This development is accomplished through structured and rigorous instruction in the areas of swimming, personal defense, recreational sports, and administration of the semi-annual Physical Readiness Test. Midshipmen must meet specified physical education requirements during each of their four years at the Naval Academy in order to graduate.

He also serves as the Director, Human Performance Laboratory at the Naval Academy in which he provides physiological testing and fitness counseling to various Division I varsity and club sport athletes as well as general Midshipmen struggling to meet Naval Academy physical mission requirements.

Most recently, he was requested by name to present at the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) annual Tactical Strength and Conditioning Conference (TSAC) that took place in Orlando, Fla., in April of 2015. He also presented at the NSCA Delaware State Clinic in February of 2015.

Commander Peterson is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with Distinction through the NSCA and has published several manuscripts on physical fitness testing within the military for the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal and Military Medicine.

“None of these accomplishments would have been possible without my Ed.D. from the Academy,” Commander Peterson said.

His Dissertation Chair, Dr. Stephen Butler, the Dean of Academic Affairs, says the Academy’s program was a perfect fit for someone like Commander Peterson.

“He was an outstanding student,” said Dr. Butler. “When you look at his career in the United States Navy, you see that he is exactly the type of student that the doctoral program at the Academy was designed for.”

With over 17 years of active duty experience, Commander Peterson has provided aeromedical support to a vast number of Navy and Marine Corps aviators and aircrewmen. As a Naval Aerospace and Operational Physiologist, he has provided aeromedical training and support on a variety of subjects including hypoxia, spatial disorientation, and fatigue countermeasures.

Commander Peterson currently resides in Annapolis, Md. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Truman State University in 1995 and his master’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 1997.

Previous recipients of the Alumnus of the Year Award include Greg McDermott, Men’s Head Basketball Coach at Creighton University; Dr. Mark Janas, Inventor, Business Developer, and Managing Partner of In3 Inc; and China Jude, Assistant Vice President of Athletics for Queens College at the City University of New York.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy visit