Vice Admiral Bird, the son of a career naval officer, lived throughout the United States during his childhood and ultimately settled in Pensacola, Fla., where he graduated from Pensacola Catholic High School. In 1977, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America and has completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI in Foreign Affairs, International Relations and National Security.
As a career submarine officer, Bird has served on both fast attack and ballistic missile submarines in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. His assignments included, USS Seahorse (SSN 669), USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN 641), USS Sea Devil (SSN 664), USS Tunny (SSN 682), and USS Scranton (SSN 756) where he served as the commanding officer and was awarded the Naval Submarine League’s Jack Darby Award for Inspirational Leadership and Excellence in Command, and earned the Submarine Squadron (CSS) 6 Battle Efficiency "E" for two consecutive years in 1994 and 1995. He commanded CSS-8 which included eight fast attack submarines in Norfolk, Va., from August 1999 to April 2001.
Ashore, Bird served as special assistant (Legislative Affairs) to the chief of naval personnel; principal assistant in the Office of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Undersea Warfare (Readiness and Tactics); division chief for Central, South and Southeast Asia (J5); the assistant deputy director for Political-Military Affairs Asia, J5, on the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the J3/J4 - director for Operations and Plans, Logistics and Engineering, United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), Norfolk, Va., Following a two year assignment as the 39th commander of Submarine Group 7, commander, Task Force 74, and commander Task Force 54 in Yokosuka, Japan, Bird assumed duties as the deputy commander and chief of staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In July 2008, he became the 46th commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet.
Vice Admiral Bird assumed his current duties on September 30, 2010.