Rear Admiral Thomas, a native of Norfolk, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1981 and is a distinguished graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Assignments at sea included USS Shreveport (LPD 12) as main propulsion assistant and navigator; engineer officer in USS Estocin (FFG 15) and USS Willamette (AO 180); flag lieutenant to commander, 2nd Fleet; executive officer in USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55); command of USS Ross (DDG 71); and command of Destroyer Squadron 26.
Ashore, Thomas served in the Surface Warfare Junior Officer Assignment Branch of the Bureau of Naval Personnel; in the Personnel Plans and Policy Division of the Joint Staff; as flag secretary to commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; on the staff of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as executive officer to the director of the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review and executive assistant to the director of Operations, Plans, and Policy (N3/N5); and as chief of staff to commander, 2nd Fleet.
Upon selection for flag officer, Thomas has served as the deputy chief of staff for Global Force Management and Joint Operations on the staff of commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command; and commander, Joint Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; commander, Carrier Strike Group Two; and his current assignment as commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic.
He has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, and the Bronze Star Medal as well as various other personal and unit decorations.