A native of Washington, D.C., and a 1982 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Rear Adm. Rowden has served in a diverse range of sea and shore assignments.
Rowden's sea duty assignments include duty in cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. During these tours, he deployed to the Arabian Gulf, Western Pacific, Sea of Japan, South China Sea, East China Sea, Philippine Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, Black Sea, and Gulf of Guinea/West Africa areas of operation. He commanded USS Milius (DDG 69), served as reactor officer in USS George Washington (CVN 73); commander, Destroyer Squadron 60; commander, Carrier Strike Group Seven; and commander, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Strike Group. His most recent assignment was commander, Carrier Strike Group 11, and commander, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Strike Group.
Ashore, he has served on the Joint Staff as an action officer in the Defense and Space Operations Division (J38); on the chief of naval operations staff as the theater missile and air defense branch head for the Director, Navy Missile Defense (N71), and as the executive assistant to the Director of Surface Warfare (N76). He completed a tour as Surface Warfare Officer (nuclear) assignment officer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel Command, and served as commanding officer of Surface Warfare Officers School Command, Newport, R.I., where he oversaw the training of every officer en route to duty on ships at sea. His first flag assignment was commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea.
Rowden earned his Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. His last assignment was on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff as director, Surface Warfare Division.
Rowden's decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and other personal, unit, and campaign awards.