Admiral Patrick M. Walsh graduated with honors from Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas, Texas, and received both the Distinguished Graduate and Distinguished Alumnus awards. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Walsh began operational flying with the "Golden Dragons" of Attack Squadron 192. He then reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 5 as an operational test director until selection to the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, “Blue Angels.” When he returned to the fleet, Walsh joined the "Golden Warriors" of Strike-Fighter Squadron 87 as the operations officer.
Walsh commanded the “Gunslingers” of Strike-Fighter Squadron 105. He commanded Carrier Air Wing 1 aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), and Carrier Group 7/USS John C. Stennis Strike Group. He also commanded U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet, while commanding the Combined Maritime Forces conducting Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and maritime security operations. Prior to his assignment to U.S. Pacific Fleet, he served as the 35th vice chief of Naval Operations.
Walsh has been a special assistant to the director of the Office of Management and Budget as a White House Fellow. He chaired the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the U.S. Naval Academy, served as the executive assistant to the chief of Naval Personnel, and reported to the Joint Staff for his first flag assignment as the deputy director for Strategy and Policy, (J-5). He also served concurrently as the director, Navy Quadrennial Defense Review and director, Navy Programming Division. He attended graduate studies in the International Relations curriculum at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, as part of the Admiral Arthur S. Moreau Scholarship Program. Walsh graduated first in his class and received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, entered the Doctorate Program with distinction and subsequently received a Ph.D.
His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (2), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (4), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal w/ Combat V, Strike/Flight Medal (5), Navy Commendation Medal (3) w/ Combat V, Navy Achievement Medal, Presidential Service Badge, and various other awards.