Commodore AARK Perera joined Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy as an Officer Cadet on 21st July 1987, and underwent basic training at KDA and Naval & Maritime Academy, Trincomalee. He was commissioned as an Acting Sub Lieutenant on 23rd June 1989, and graduated from KDA in 1990 obtaining a BA (Defence Studies) Hons degree. He was selected as the ‘Best Student Officer posted to the Navy’ of his intake at KDA. He has followed International Sub Lieutenant Course in Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC), Dartmouth, UK in 1991/1992 and specialized in Communication at Signal School, Kochi of Indian Navy. He followed Staff Course at Defence Services Command and Staff College, Makola, Sri Lanka, and awarded with Master of Defence Studies degree from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. He was adjudged as the ‘Best Officer of Naval Wing’ at DSCSC, and awarded the prestigious ‘Golden Owl’. Further, he was also awarded with Commandant’s Honours by the Staff College for obtaining an overall average of more than 70%. He has followed Anti Terrorism and Anti Piracy course in USA, and participated in two regional and international workshops conducted by US Pacific Command.
Commodore Perera has commanded various ships and craft of Sri Lanka Navy including Fast Attack Craft, Fast Gun Boats and SLNS Samudura; an OPV(Ex USCGC Courageous). He has commanded Naval establishments SLNS Elara at Karainagar and Naval Deployment Pulmoddai. He has held the post of Training Commander of SLNS Nipuna at Boossa, and SLNS Shiksha at Poonewa, and has instrumented in establishing the Naval Recruit Training Centre at Sampoor as the first Training Coordinator. He has held important staff appointments at Naval Head Quarters which include Staff Communication Officer, Senior Staff Officer (Local Training), Senior Staff Officer (Foreign Training), Deputy Director Naval Personnel & Manager Human Resources. He has served as Staff Officer Operations of Northern Naval Command and Captain Operations Department of Western Naval Command and Assistant Port Facility Security Officer of Port of Colombo. Commodore Perera served as the Chief Instructor of Naval Wing of the Defence Services Command and Staff College, Makola, Sri Lanka since 10th October 2014 prior taking up the appointment as the Commandant Naval and Maritime Academy on 06th April 2016.
He has been awarded with Armed Services Long Service Medal and Clasp and Uttama Sewa Padakkama for distinguished service, and received Commendations from the Commander of the Navy for Outstanding Performance of Duty, and exceptional contributions to Naval Service. He is a recipient of Riviresa Campaign Service Medal and Clasp, East Humanitarian Operation Medal, North Humanitarian Operation Medal and Clasp, North and East Operation Medal and Clasp, Poornabhoomi Padakkama, 50th Anniversary of Independence Commemoration Medal and Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Commemoration Medal.