A native of Edison, New Jersey, Rear Adm. John Neagley graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1982 and received his commission from Officer Candidate School in 1984. He holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management from Duke University, a Master of Science in Financial Management from the Naval Post Graduate School and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval Command and Staff College.
Neagley has served at sea aboard USS Whipple (FF 1062), USS Coral Sea (CV 43), USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) and as executive officer aboard USS Antietam (CG 54), where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf and participated in Operation Desert Fox with the Carl Vinson Battle Group. He subsequently served as chief staff officer, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 and deployed with the Sea Combat Commander to the Arabian Gulf with the John C. Stennis Battle Group. He assumed command of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) in 2001 and led her deployment to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in 2003.
Ashore, Neagley was assigned as Research and Development, Test and Evaluation and Weapons Procurement Appropriations manager, Surface Warfare Directorate Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N86) from 1996 until 1997. He reported to Future Ships Branch (OPNAV N763) in 2003 and served as the lead requirements officer for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program. In 2005, Neagley reported to the LCS Program Office as the principal assistant program manager and director of sustainment. From 2009 to 2011, Neagley served as the program manager of (PMS 408 EOD/CREW), where he fielded Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Systems to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was selected as the executive assistant to Naval Sea Systems Command in June 2011 and reported as the LCS program manager in March 2012. From September 2012 until March 2016, Neagley served as Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command deputy commander, Fleet Readiness.
In May 2016 he assumed the duties as the program executive officer for Littoral Combat Ships later named in March 2018, program executive officer, Unmanned and Small Combatants.