ADM Jonathan W. Greenert, USN (Ret.) - 2017 Distinguished Sea Service Awardee

Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN (Ret.)

The Distinguished Sea Service Awards are given “to recognize the exemplary service of a senior flag officer and senior enlisted member of one of the maritime services, who has finished a continuous career of active service.” Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN (Ret.), former Chief of Naval Operations, is one of 2017's honored recipients.

The award will be formally presented during our annual Congress in Jacksonville, Florida.

Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, a decorated career officer with the US Navy, retired Chief of Naval Operations, cites personal integrity and team work as essential qualities for successful leaders.

Greenert is a native of Butler, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering and completed studies in nuclear power for service as a submarine officer.

ADM Greenert's career as a submariner includes assignments aboard USS Flying Fish (SSN 673), USS Tautog (SSN 639), Submarine NR-1 and USS Michigan (SSBN 727 - Gold Crew), culminating in command of USS Honolulu (SSN 718) from March 1991 to July 1993.

Subsequent fleet command assignments include Commander, Submarine Squadron 11; Commander, US Naval Forces Marianas; Commander, US 7th Fleet (August 2004 to September 2006); and, Commander, US Fleet Forces Command (September 2007 to July 2009).

Greenert has served in various fleet support and financial management positions, including deputy chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources (N8); deputy commander, US Pacific Fleet; chief of staff, US 7th Fleet; head, Navy Programming Branch and director, Operations Division Navy Comptroller. Most recently he served as 36th Vice Chief of Naval Operations (August 2009 to August 2011).

He is a recipient of various personal and campaign awards including the Distinguished Service Medal (6 awards), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (4 awards), Officer Submarine Warfare insignia, Silver SSBN Deterrent Patrol insignia with gold star, Officer Deep Submergence insignia, and the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification badge. In 1992, he was awarded the Vice Admiral Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership. He considers those awards earned throughout his career associated with unit performance to be most satisfying and representative of naval service.


In March of 2016, Admiral Greenert became the third holder of the John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies (Shali Chair) at the National Bureau of Asian Research to help inform policy debates on critical issues pertaining to the Asia-Pacific through briefings of senior leaders, and research and writing.

The board chairman of Arlington-based BAE Systems Inc., Michael Chertoff, a former secretary of Homeland Security, announced in April 2016, that retired Admiral Greenert was appointed to the board of directors for BAE Systems for a three-year term.

“We will approach our challenges, and we’ll implement our changes that will have to be done in the future with three tenets in mind. Number one, warfighting first. We have got to be able to apply our craft to fight and win if we are called upon. We will build the ability to win tomorrow as well. Two, we have got to operate forward. That is where we are most effective. And three, we have got to be ready. . . We will harness the teamwork and the talent and the imagination of this wonderful diverse force that we have.”

Remarks by ADM Greenert, who became the 30th Chief of Naval Operations, 23 September 2011.