Born in New York City in 1961, Rear Adm. Paul Becker is a graduate of Long Island’s Deer Park High School and was commissioned an intelligence officer upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2001), and diplomas from the Defense Language Institute (1991), the Naval Command and Staff College (1993), and Armed Forces Staff College (1996).
Significant afloat assignments include intelligence officer with Attack Squadron (VA) 35 (A6E/Intruder) aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68); temporary assignment aboard battleship, USS Iowa (BB 61); intelligence operations officer for the United States 6th Fleet aboard cruiser USS Belknap (CG 26); and N2 with Carrier Strike Group 7 aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Shore assignments include: analyst at the Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence Plot; flag aide to the director of Naval Intelligence; intelligence branch/assignments officer at the Bureau of Personnel; Federal Executive Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; the American Embassy in Paris as the assistant U.S. Naval Attaché; temporary assignment with the American Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia as the assistant Defense Attaché (during Operation Allied Force), and the director of Operations at the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific, Hawaii.
In addition to service in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010, his duty with U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) since 9/11 includes: commanding officer of CENTCOM’s Joint Intelligence Center in Tampa, Florida, from 2007 to 2009; director of Intelligence (N2) for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain from 2005 to 2007; Intelligence Watch officer in the Combined Air Operations Center at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia in 2003 during early Iraqi Freedom operations; and, N2 for the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 50 in the Northern Arabian Sea from 2001 to 2002 during early Enduring Freedom operations.
Becker has been the director for intelligence (J2) on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since September 2013. Previous flag assignments include director for Intelligence with United States Pacific Command in Hawaii, vice director of Intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., and director of Intelligence for the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan.
Becker is the recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, National Military Intelligence Association’s Rufus Taylor Award for Leadership, the U.S. Army’s Knowlton Award for Military Intelligence, the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Edwin Layton Award for Leadership and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He has authored articles that have been published in Proceedings, Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly, Vanguard and Jewish War Veterans magazines.