Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo grew up in upstate New York and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He also holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Catholic University of America.
A career submarine officer, his at-sea assignments include: division officer on USS Flasher (SSN 613); engineer officer on USS Michigan (SSBN 727); and executive officer on USS Montpelier (SSN 765). His at-sea command assignments were as commanding officer, USS Maine (SSBN 741), and commander, Submarine Squadron 3.
Shore assignments include: U.S. Naval Academy (aide to the Superintendent); Chief of Naval Operations staff (N81 Analyst, and N8 deputy executive assistant); the Joint Staff (J7); United States Joint Forces Command (Joint War Fighting Center); Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet (senior member of the Tactical Readiness Evaluation team, and prospective commanding officer instructor). Following major command, Tofalo served as executive assistant to the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and as executive assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
Selected for Rear Adm. in December 2009, his first flag assignment was as assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Global Force Management and Joint Operations (N3B), U.S. Fleet Forces Command. In August 2011 he relieved as Commander, Submarine Group 10, and in December 2013 as Director, Undersea Warfare Division on the Navy Staff in the Pentagon.