Navy Biography

Rear Admiral Thomas L. Brown

Commander, Special Operations Command South

Rear Admiral Thomas L. Brown


Rear Admiral Thomas L. Brown II assumed command of Special Operations Command South in September 2010. As commander, he is responsible to the Commander of U.S. Southern Command for the planning, employment, and command of special operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Brown was commissioned from the University of New Mexico Naval Reserves Officer Training Corps (NROTC) in 1983. He completed Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training and Army Airborne school prior to his assignment to SEAL Team 5 in 1984. In 1987, he studied Spanish at the Defense Learning Institute, and then reported to SEAL Team 1 to serve as platoon commander and operations officer.

Brown’s assignments include SEAL Team 8 executive officer where he deployed as Naval Special Warfare Task Unit (NSWTU) commander NSWTU-Wasp under commander Amphibious Task Group 185.2; and, then as commander  NSWTU-America under Commander Task Force 60. He commanded Naval Special Warfare Unit 4, Puerto Rico, under U.S. Southern Command from 1999-2001.

His other assignments include the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict; United States Special Operations Command, and Navy section chief, U.S, Military Advisory Group, El Salvador. In 2002, Brown reported to the Directorate of Operations of the Joint Staff, Deputy Directorate Special Operations, serving as the Global War on Terrorism branch chief until September 2005. He was then assigned as assistant chief of staff for Operations and Plans at Naval Special Warfare Command until June 2007, when he took command of Naval Special Warfare Group 1. He most recently served as the deputy commander of Special Operations Command Europe.

Brown graduated Tau Beta Pi with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering, and is a distinguished graduate of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of John Hopkins University, where he earned a master of arts in international relations with a concentration in Latin American and strategic studies. He also holds a master of science degree in national resource strategy and the DoD Chief Information Officer Certificate from the National Defense University.

His awards include the Defense Superior Service medal; Legion of Merit (second award); Bronze Star medal (with V); Defense Meritorious Service medal (second award); Meritorious Service medal; Joint Service Commendation medal; Navy Commendation medal (second award); Joint Service Achievement medal; Navy Marine Corps Achievement medal; Combat Action ribbon; Joint Meritorious Unit award; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Navy E ribbon; Armed Forces Expeditionary medal;  Southwest Asia Service medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary medal; Humanitarian Service medal, and the NATO medal.


Updated: 3 February 2014