Rear Adm. Kraft was raised the son of a Navy captain. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981 and was designated a naval flight officer in 1982. He was a federal executive fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government 1999-2000. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Auburn University at Montgomery and is a graduate of the Navy Nuclear Power Program and MIT Seminar XXI.
His sea duty tours include Attack Squadron (VA) 55 embarked in USS Coral Sea (CV 43), VA-115 embarked in USS Midway (CV 41), and VA-95 embarked in USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). He also served as executive officer in USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). During those tours, he participated in Operations Eldorado Canyon, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Kraft commanded Electronic Attack Squadron 131, amphibious transport dock USS Shreveport (LPD 12), the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group 12. He participated in both OIF and OEF during all four tours. He assumed command of Navy Warfare Development Command in October 2011.
Shore tours for Kraft have included duty in VA-128, Air Command and Staff College, Current Operations Directorate (J31), U.S. Pacific Command, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, Mass. After flag selection, he reported to the Pentagon, chief of naval operations staff, first in N88 as head of Maritime Aviation, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Aviation Training Plans and Programs, then in N2/N6 as director, Intelligence, Surveillence and Reconaissance Capabilities.
Kraft has over 3,700 hours and 1,000 carrier-arrested landings in the A-6E, EA-6B and F/A-18F aircraft. He is authorized to wear the Legion of Merit with three gold stars, Distinguished Flying Cross (with combat V), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, and multiple individual and strike-flight air medals.