Rear Adm. (ret) Ames is a native of Stamford, Conn. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Designated a naval aviator in July 1977, he joined Patrol Squadron (VP) 48 at NAS Moffett Field, Calif. Flying the P-3C Orion, he conducted operations with VP-48 throughout the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. In 1981 Rear Adm. Ames served with The Joint Staff (J5) and subsequently acted as Aide/Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans, Policy and Operations) in Washington. This was followed by a tour as Flag Lieutenant to Commander 3rd Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Rear Adm. Ames was Assistant Navigator in USS America (CV 66) from 1983 until 1986 with operations in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian Oceans. After a tour with VP-30 as Instructor Pilot and Maintenance Officer, he joined VP-24 as Operations Officer in 1987, conducting deployed operations from bases in Iceland and Bermuda. Rear Adm. Ames next reported to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, where he served as Assistant Washington Placement Officer, responsible for the placement of naval officers in the Executive branch, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Navy Staff. In 1990, Rear Adm. Ames commenced advanced studies at Harvard University, earning a master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass. He then commanded VP-16 through 1994, operating from Spain, Iceland, Panama and Puerto Rico, after first serving as the squadron’s Executive Officer. Following surface command training in 1995, Rear Adm. Ames acted as Operations Officer to Commander, Combined Naval Forces, Operation United Shield aboard USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3) during the withdrawal of United Nations forces from Mogadishu, Somalia.
Rear Adm. Ames assumed command of USS Tarawa (LHA 1) in 1996, following a year as the ship’s Executive Officer. During his command, Tarawa deployed to the Persian Gulf, participated in Operation Desert Strike, and earned the Pacific Fleet’s Golden Anchor Award for retention excellence, while receiving other national and Secretary of the Navy awards. In 1998, Rear Adm. Ames joined the U.S. Pacific Command where he served as Current Operations Officer and then as Deputy for Operations. Rear Adm. Ames assumed command of Amphibious Squadron 3 and the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group in 2000. He led the Amphibious Ready Group to a Persian Gulf deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Selected to Flag rank, he reported to the U.S. Transportation Command in April 2002 where he served as the Director of Strategy, Plans, Policy and Programs (J-5) during Operations Enduring/Iraqi Freedom. In this capacity, he supported the command’s global responsibility to provide strategic mobility to all U.S. military forces. In his final assignment, Rear Adm. Ames assumed command of Amphibious Group 3 in June 2004. Rear Adm. Ames’ decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal with gold star, Legion of Merit with gold star, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Joint Service Commendation medal with oak leaf cluster, Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, and other unit and campaign awards.