Rear Adm. Venlet is a former enlisted Marine. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1982 receiving a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He also attended the U.S. Naval War College earning a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College. Venlet served at sea in USS Clifton Sprague (FFG 16), USS Stark (FFG 31) and USS Fox (CG 33). He was executive officer aboard USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and commanded USS Wadsworth (FFG 9) and USS Chosin (CG 65). Both ships under his command were awarded a total of three Battle Efficiency awards, and Chosin was awarded the Spokane Trophy for warfighting excellence.
Ashore, he served at the Naval Communication Station Rota, Spain; as an instructor of Combat Systems at Surface Warfare Division Officer School; as speechwriter and executive assistant to commander, Naval Surface Force Pacific Fleet; as the Asia/Pacific regional manager at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization; as an executive assistant to the director of the Navy staff; as deputy executive secretary of the National Security Council in the Executive Office of the President; as a fellow with the Chief of Naval Operations’ Strategic Studies Group; and as the branch head for Strategic Concepts, Strategy and Policy Division (N5SP), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
Venlet most recently served as Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to Russia.
He currently serves as director, International Engagement (N52) and is Navy’s senior foreign area officer.
Venlet’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and various other personal and unit awards.