In his final assignment, Rear Adm. (ret) Robert E. Cowley III served as Commander and Chief Executive Officer, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), Virginia Beach, Va. NEXCOM, a non-appropriated instrumentality, provides management oversight for 108 Navy Exchanges, 44 Navy Lodges, 156 Navy Ship’s Stores, 35 Military Sealift Command Ship’s Stores, Navy’s Retail Uniform Program Management Office, Worldwide Telecommunications Services afloat and ashore, Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility, and Navy’s Fleet and Family Support Services, afloat and ashore, including Food Service, Disbursing, Postal and Household Goods Services. NEXCOM employs over 15,000 civilians around the world. Average annual sales are $3.0 billion providing an estimated $500 million savings to Sailors and their Families and $85.1 million in profit contribution to Navy’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Quality of Life Programs. Rear Adm. Cowley is a graduate of the University of Dallas at Irving, Texas. He completed his Masters Degree at George Mason University. He is also a graduate of the University of Michigan Executive Program. Moving from enlisted ranks, Rear Admiral Cowley obtained his commission through Aviation Officer Candidate School. Cowley previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Acquisition Management for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) and as Competition Advocate General of the Navy. His broad range of experience in the acquisition field includes tours as Assistant Commander for Contracts, Naval Air Systems Command; Special Assistant to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition); Deputy for Program Support in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Acquisition and Business Management) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition); Deputy Director for Tactical Aircraft Contracts, Naval Air Systems Command; Director, Contracts Department, Navy Regional Contracting Center, Washington, D.C.; Contracting Officer, Navy Regional Contracting Center Branch, Washington, D.C.; and Contracting Specialist, SSN-688 Class Submarines, Naval Sea Systems Command. His operational tours include Damage Control Assistant, Auxiliaries Officer and Navigator, USS San Diego (AFS-6), Supply Officer, USS Bowen (FF-1079), Assistant Supply Officer, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), and Supply Officer, USS Enterprise (CVN-65). Rear Adm. Cowley's awards include Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal and various other unit and campaign ribbons. He is a qualified Surface Warfare Officer, Naval Aviation Supply Officer, and a member of the Navy Acquisition Professional Community.