Military Wiki
Vernon E. Clark
27th Chief of Naval Operations (2000-2005)
Born September 7, 1944(1944-09-07) (age 78)
Place of birth Sioux City, Iowa
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1968-2005
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held Chief of Naval Operations
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Other work Raytheon, Board of Directors
SRI International, Board of Directors

Admiral Vernon E. Clark USN (Ret.) (born 7 September 1944) was the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in the United States Navy. He retired 22 July 2005, making his tenure of five years the second-longest serving CNO behind Arleigh Burke. He currently sits on the board of directors of Raytheon and SRI International. In November 2009, he was selected along with former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo West by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to lead the military investigation into the Fort Hood massacre.


Vernon Clark speaks on USS Wisconsin

Clark (left) relieving Johnson as Chief of Naval Operations

Born in Sioux City, Iowa, and raised in the midwestern states of Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois, Admiral Clark graduated from Evangel College and earned a master's degree of Business Administration (Master) from the University of Arkansas. He attended Officer Candidate School and received his commission in August 1968.

Admiral Clark served aboard the destroyers USS John W. Weeks (DD 701) and USS Gearing (DD 710). As a Lieutenant, he commanded USS Grand Rapids (PG 98). He subsequently commanded USS McCloy (FF 1038), USS Spruance (DD 963), the Atlantic Fleet's Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, Destroyer Squadron Seventeen, and Destroyer Squadron Five. After being selected for flag rank, Admiral Clark commanded Carl Vinson Battle Group/Cruiser Destroyer Group Three, Second Fleet, and United States Atlantic Fleet.

Ashore, Admiral Clark first served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Systems Analysis Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He later completed assignments as the Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Surface Warfare) and as the Administrative Aide to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. He served as Head of the Cruiser-Destroyer Combat Systems Requirements Section and Force Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer for the Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and he directed the Joint Staff's Crisis Action Team for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.[citation needed]

Admiral Clark's first flag assignment was at the United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) where he was Director of Plans and Policy (J5) and Financial Management and Analysis (J8). While commanding the Carl Vinson Battle Group, he deployed to the Persian Gulf and later served as the Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia. Admiral Clark has also served as the Deputy and Chief of Staff, United States Atlantic Fleet; the Director of Operations (J3) and subsequently Director, of the Joint Staff.[citation needed]

Admiral Clark became the 27th Chief of Naval Operations on July 21, 2000, relieving Admiral Jay L. Johnson. In 2001, Clark was considered to be on the "short list" of choices for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff[citation needed]; the eventual pick was Air Force General Richard Myers.[1]

Admiral Clark now serves on the Board of Directors of Raytheon Company, Rolls Royce North America, SRI International, Horizon Lines, the Armed Forces YMCA, and is on the World Board of Governors of the USO. He serves as a senior advisor with Booz Allen Hamilton, the Defense Policy Board, the advisory boards of Fleishman-Hillard, Computer Science Corporation, the Comptroller General's Advisory Board of the GAO, and the Executive Committee of Military Ministry. In addition, he is currently a distinguished professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Clark teaches in the Robertson School of Government and the School of Business & Leadership[2] and is a member of the Regent's Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Board of Visitors at Air University.[citation needed]

Awards and decorations

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters (three awards)
Gold star
Navy Distinguished Service Medal with one Gold Award Star (two awards)
Gold star
Gold star
Legion of Merit with two Gold Award Stars (three awards)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Meritorious Service Medal with three Gold Award Stars (four awards
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster (two awards)
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Navy "E" Ribbon with two Battle E's (two awards)
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with one service star (two awards)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with two service stars (two campaigns)
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with one service star (one campaign)
Silver star
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one Silver Award Star (six awards)
Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
Vietnam Campaign Medal

Since his retirement, Clark has been honored with the Eisenhower Award from the Business Executives for National Security and the Distinguished Sea Service Award from the Naval Order of the United States.[citation needed]

Clark was elected to the board of directors of Raytheon in December 2005 and the board of directors of SRI International in March 2007.[3]



This article incorporates text in the public domain from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Military offices
Preceded by
Jay L. Johnson
United States Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded by
Michael Mullen

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