Military Bios

Rear Admiral John W. Townes III:

Military Branch:United States Navy
Position: Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel/ Commander, Navy Personnel Command
A second generation Naval officer, Rear Admiral Townes' father was a career Naval Aviator and his mother, a former WAVE. A native of Pensacola, Fla., Rear Adm. Townes completed high school in Virginia Beach, Va., attended the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned an Ensign in June 1972.
Rear Adm. Townes has extensive experience with both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets operating throughout the world and has participated in, or directly supported, combat operations in Viet Nam, Lebanon, Grenada, Iraq, and Somalia.
His first assignment was as Combat Information Center Officer in USS John King (DDG-3). Following completion of Navy Destroyer School, he reported to USS Myles C. Fox (DD-829) as Weapons Officer with subsequent assignment in USS Bristol County (LST-1198) as Engineering Officer. Rear Adm. Townes served as Executive Officer in USS Clifton Sprague (FFG-16) and his at-sea command assignments include USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58), USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3), and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Battle Group/Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight.
Between assignments at sea, Rear Adm. Townes has served as an assignment officer in the Surface Warfare Division in the Bureau of Naval Personnel; Executive Assistant/Flag Secretary to Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Chief, Conventional War Plans, Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate, U.S. Pacific Command; Chief, Land Attack Warfare Branch, Surface Warfare Directorate, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; and as Executive Assistant to the Chief of Naval Personnel/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower and Personnel).
A graduate of the Naval War College and the Armed Forces Staff College, Rear Adm. Townes has been awarded a masters degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, and is a designated Joint Specialty Officer with emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, he was a participant in the Senior Officials in National Security Fellowship Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Rear Adm. Townes' initial Flag officer assignment was as Commander, Navy Region Hawaii/Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. His next assignment was as Commander, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Battle Group/Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight. His most recent assignment was as Vice Commander, Naval Education and Training Command/Commander, Navy Region Gulf Coast. He reported to his current assignment as Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel/Commander, Navy Personnel Command in August 2003.
Rear Adm. Townes' awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (5), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service, Meritorious Service (3), Navy Commendation (2), Combat Action Ribbon, and various unit and campaign awards.
Updated: 4 September 2003


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