Lyman Evans Goodnight was a member of the first class to attend the Naval School of Aerial Photography at NAS Miami, FL in 1918 and upon graduation was designated a Chief Printer (Aviation) and assigned as an instructor there. In 1921 he was transferred to the Naval School of Photography at NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C. until 1923 when he was sent to NAS Pensacola, FL to set up the Navy's Photo School. During his navy career he served over seven tours of duty at the Navy's Photo Schools as an instructor or Training Officer.
In September 1942 CHPHOM Goodnight was promoted to the new Warrant Officer (Photographer) (CHPHOT), the Navy's first. During WW II he was promoted to LTJG(T) and on 1 September 1945 promoted to Lt, USN (T).