The National Naval Aviation Museum is the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida. Share the excitement of Naval Aviation’s rich history and see more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. These historic and one-of-a-kind aircraft are displayed both inside the Museum’s over 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and outside on its 37-acre grounds.


CAPT Sterling Gilliam is a native of Henderson, NC and graduate of East Carolina University. He was commissioned in 1983 after completing Aviation Officer Candidate School at NAS Pensacola, FL. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1985 and received orders to NAS Whidbey Island, WA, to fly the EA-6B Prowler.

His fleet assignments include VAQ-138 deploying aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the CVW-9 staff as the Air Wing Landing Signal Officer (LSO) and VAQ-139 as a squadron department head deploying aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). CAPT Gilliam commanded VAQ-141, VAQ-129, Carrier Air Wing Nine and the George Washington University NROTC unit in Washington, DC.

CAPT Gilliam’s other flying assignments include VAQ-129, where he served as an instructor pilot and LSO, as well as Commander, Naval Air Forces, where he served as the Force LSO. His shore assignments include the Joint Staff where he served in the Special Operations Division and later as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Current Operations (J33). He also served as the Chief of Naval Operations EA-6B and EA-18G Requirements Officer where he was the resource sponsor for all EA-6B readiness, sustainment, and follow-on platform programs.

CAPT Gilliam is a graduate of the National War College and served as the Executive Assistant to the Director for Warfare Integration (N8F) on the Navy Staff. Retiring in 2013, CAPT Gilliam spent three years in the private sector before becoming the fourth Director of the National Naval Aviation Museum in 2015.

CAPT Gilliam has over 4,600 flight hours and more than 1,300 arrested landings on 12 different aircraft carriers. He is a Life Member of the Tailhook Association where he also served as a member of the Board of Directors and as President. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Visit Pensacola.

Director, National Naval Aviation Museum

The NNAM is a cashless venue, most credit cards and Apple Pay are accepted.