Rear Adm. Buck, the son of a career naval officer and a native of Indianapolis, is a 1983 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics/Oceanography. He was designated a naval flight officer in 1985.
Flying the P-3C Orion, his early at-sea operational tours were in Patrol Squadron Forty (VP 40), a disassociated sea tour in USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as the V-2 catapult and arresting gear division officer, and a department head tour in VP 26. He subsequently commanded VP 26, and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11.
His shore and staff assignments include Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) One; the Bureau of Naval Personnel as the aircraft carrier placement officer; The Joint Staff J3 as an air operations officer in the Reconnaissance Operations division; the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) staff as executive assistant to the Deputy CNO for Warfare Requirements and Programs; the United States Joint Forces Command as the deputy director for Operations in the Strategy and Policy Directorate. Prior to major command, he completed an interim assignment with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) serving as the deputy director of the Naval NRO Coordination Group. It was during this assignment that he earned a spot in the Navy’s Space Cadre. He has commanded twice at the flag level; Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Force 5th/7th Fleet and Fleet Air Forward and as the commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group.
Additionally, his education includes a Master of Arts in International Security Policy from The George Washington University; College of Command and Staff, U.S. Naval War College; Armed Forces Staff College; and, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI "Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest." He also completed a special assignment as a senior fellow on the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group (SSG) in Newport, R.I., an innovation think tank for the Navy. The SSG’s charter and tasking was to author revolutionary warfighting concepts that will operationalize the convergence of sea power and cyber power for the near and far term naval force.
His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (4 awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (5 awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various campaign and unit awards.