Rear Adm. Klunder, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and earned his wings of gold at Meridian, Mississippi, in September 1984. Subsequent flying tours were based in Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar, California, NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, and NAS Lemoore, California, where he was qualified in numerous aircraft including the E-2C Hawkeye and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.
Klunder has served at sea in Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112; VAW-115 as a department head, and as commanding officer; and Carrier Air Wing Two as air wing commander. He has made eight deployments and multiple surge operations to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf.
Klunder’s shore tours include serving as a flight instructor, Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization officer and Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet evaluator at VAW-110; test pilot/project officer at Force Warfare Test Directorate; senior operations officer and Single Integrated Operational Plan officer at the Joint Staff J-3/National Military Command Center; Joint Staff liaison officer and section chief at the U.S. State Department; Combined Air Operations Center deputy director at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar; deputy director for Information, Plans, and Security for OPNAV N3/N5; 83rd commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy; and director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities Division, OPNAV N2/N6F2. Highlights during these tours include receiving the 1988 Hawkeye of the Year award, the 1991 Test Pilot of the Year award, and the 2002 George C. Marshall Statesman award.
In November 2011, he became the 23th Chief of Naval Research, with additional duties as director, Test Evaluation and Technology Requirements.
Klunder received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, a master’s degree in Aerodynamics and Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee, and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the National War College.
He has flown more than 45 different aircraft and accumulated 21 world-flying records. His awards include the Legion of Merit (four Awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two Awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two Awards), Joint Commendation Medal (two Awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four Awards) and various unit and campaign awards.