A native of Waverly, Virginia, Cmdr. Blake "Lamar" Thomas graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2004, earning a Bachelor of Science in oceanography. He reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, for flight training in June of 2005, receiving his designation as a naval aviator in January 2007.
After completing Fleet Replacement Squadron training at Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, he qualified in the E-2C Hawkeye and reported to the "Tigertails" of VAW-125 in July 2008. While assigned to VAW-125, he served aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), completing three deployments in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and United Response.
After finishing his first sea tour, Thomas reported to the "Greyhawks" of VAW-120 in 2011 as an instructor pilot. In addition to his normal duties Thomas was temporarily assigned to the VX-1 "Pioneers" as a trusted agent for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. After completion of IOT&E, he was assigned as VAW-120's first Fleet Transition Officer, leading the first E-2D operational squadron through their platform transition.
In 2014, Thomas returned to the fleet, reporting to VAW-125. During this tour he completed multiple detachments aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in support of the inaugural Fleet Readiness Training Plan cycle for the E-2D, culminating in the U.S. Navy's first Initial Operating Capability for the aircraft. After selection for an aviation department head tour, he reported to the "Seahawks" of VAW-126 in April 2016. There he served as administrative officer, training officer, and maintenance officer during the squadron's transition to the E-2D platform and pre-deployment workups with the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Following his department head tour, Thomas reported to the Joint Force Development Directorate of the Joint Staff in November 2017. There he served as an Operations and Information Sharing Observer/Trainer and a Senior Leader Education Facilitator in the Deployable Training Division.
Thomas currently serves as the commanding officer of the "Tigers" of Training Squadron 9 at NAS Meridian, Mississippi.
Thomas has flown over 2,500 hours and performed over 200 arrested landings. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal (2 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards), Humanitarian Service Medal, and additional individual, campaign, and unit awards.