A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Rear Admiral Buck is a 1983 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was designated a naval flight officer in 1985.
Buck currently serves as chief of staff, J5, Joint Staff where he assists the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, in executing his duties as principal military adviser to the president and secretary of defense. 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. 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.
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; and most recently on the Navy Staff as the director, Twenty-First Century Sailor Office (N17). Prior to major command, he completed an interim assignment with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). It was during this assignment that he earned a spot in the Navy’s Space Cadre.
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, Rhode Island, an innovation think tank for the Navy.