Military Wiki
William L. Stubblefield
Rear Admiral William L. Stubblefield, NOAA
Allegiance United States United States
Service/branch United States Navy
NOAA Commissioned Corps.png National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps
Years of service 1962 - 1968 (US Navy)
1971 - 1999 (NOAA Corps)
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Rear Admiral
Commands held NOAAS Surveyor
Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps
Awards Department of Commerce Silver Medal[1]

William L. Stubblefield (born 1940),[2] is a retired NOAA Commissioned Corps Rear Admiral. He served as the director of the NOAA Commissioned Corps from 1995 to 1999.

Early life and naval career[]

A native of Medina, Tennessee, Stubblefield received his bachelor's degree from the Memphis State University. In 1962, he was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy after he completed Naval Officer Candidate School. A surface warfare officer, he served on a minesweeper and icebreaker at sea, and ashore at submarine tracking faclilites in Bermuda and in Grand Turk. Stubblefield left the navy in 1968 to pursue a Master of Science degree at the University of Iowa.[1]

NOAA career[]

In 1971, Stubblefield joined the NOAA Commissioned corps as a Lieutenant upon the completion of NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training. His first assignments were at sea on NOAAS Pathfinder and Rainier. He next served ashore as the Deputy Director of the Marine Geology and Geophysics Division at the Environmental Research Laboratory, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research in Miami. For his work while serving in Miami, Stubblefield was awarded the NOAA Corps Achievement Medal.[3]

Stubblefield subsequently returned to sea as the operations officer on board NOAAS Researcher before he returned to further his education. From 1978 to 1979, Stubblefield attended Texas A&M University earning a PhD. in geological oceanography. After a stint back at the Environmental Research Laboratory, Stubblefield returned to Researcher as Executive Officer.[3]

Following his assignments at sea Stubblefield served in a number of administrative and scientific positions with NOAA. He returned to sea in 1988 as the commanding officer of NOAAS Surveyor. Under his command Surveyor conducted research from the arctic to the Antarctic. At the time Surveyor gained the distinction of having traveled the farthest north and farthest south of any NOAA vessel to date.[3]

In 1990, Stubblefield was named as coordinator for the Fleet Modernization Study, a project to assess the life of the existing fleet and to predict the way forward for future NOAA ships. For his work on this study he was awarded the Department of Commerce Silver Medal, the second highest award for NOAA Corps Officers. Later in 1990, Stubblefield became the Executive Director, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. In 1992, he was promoted to Rear Admiral Lower Half and made the Deputy Director, Office of NOAA Corps Operations.[3]

On 22 May 1995, Stubblefield assumed the position of director of the Office of NOAA Corps Operations, the top commissioned officer in the NOAA Commissioned Corps.[4] He served in this position until 2 March 1999.[5]

Later life[]

After leaving the NOAA Commissioned Corps, Stubblefield and his wife Dr. Bonnie McGregor Stubblefield, retired to Berkley County, West Virginia in 1999.[5] He was active in local politics serving on the Berkeley County Public Service Water District and subsequently as the president of the Berkeley County Council. He left office in 2012 with no intention of running for another elected office in the future, but does plan on remaining active in the community.[2]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sigmund R. Petersen
Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps
Succeeded by
Evelyn J. Fields

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