Frick was commissioned upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1986. After being designated as a Naval Aviator in February 1988, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida, for transition to the F/A-18 Hornet. Upon completion of training, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 83 also at Cecil Field, and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea onboard the USS Saratoga (CV-60). During the 8 month deployment, he participated in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, flying 26 combat missions from the Red Sea to targets in Iraq and Kuwait. He was also designated an airwing qualified landing signals officer. After leaving Strike Fighter Squadron 83 in December 1991, Frick participated in a cooperative program consisting of 15 months at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and 1 year with the Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Upon graduation in June 1994, he was assigned as a project officer and test pilot to the Carrier Suitability Department of the Strike Aircraft Test Squadron also located at Patuxent River. While there, he conducted shore-based and shipboard testing of the F/A-18 Hornet. Frick was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 125 in Lemoore, California, preparing for return to a deployed F/A-18 squadron when selected for the astronaut program in April 1996.
Frick Has logged over 1,800 flight hours in 27 different aircraft, and has over 370 carrier landings.