Navy Biography

Rear Admiral Tony L. Cothron

Director of Intelligence

Rear Admiral Tony L. Cothron

Rear Admiral Tony L. Cothron is the Director of Intelligence for the Chief of Naval Operations and the 62nd Director of Naval Intelligence. A native of Greenbrier, Tenn., Cothron graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1977 and was commissioned through Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1978.

His operational tours include positions of increasing responsibility in intelligence aboard the USS America (CV 66), Patron Squadron Special Projects Unit (VPU) 1, Carrier Airwing (CVW) 8 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) for combat operations during Operation Desert Storm and Kurdish relief operations in northern Iraq during Operation Provide Comfort, Command Cruiser Destroyer Group 2 aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73), and as Assistant Chief of Staff of Intelligence for Commander, 6th Fleet in Gaeta, Italy where he participated in Operation Allied Force combat operations against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

His tours ashore have included duty as a submarine analyst and watch stander at Fleet Ocean Surveillance Intelligence Center Detachment (FOSIC Det), Atlantic Fleet; as an instructor at the Fleet Intelligence Training Center Atlantic and member of the Soviet Seapower Education Program; as senior watch analyst, Pacific and Strategic Forces Division Head at the Navy Operational Intelligence Command (NAVOPINTCEN), Chief of the Atlantic Intelligence Command’s Current Intelligence Division and Functional Manager for Imagery and ELINT during Operation Uphold Democracy, the US intervention in Haiti; as the Targeting Requirements branch head on the Navy staff for CNO N2; and as the Director, Fleet Intelligence for Commander, Fleet Forces Command. 

Cothron commanded the U.S. European Command’s Joint Analysis Center at Royal Air Force Molesworth, United Kingdom from August 2001 to July 2003, transforming the command in response to the global war on terrorism and supporting combat operations against Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also commanded the Navy’s national level, operational intelligence and scientific and intelligence analysis center, the Office of Naval Intelligence from September 2004 to January 2006. Upon his promotion to flag rank, Cothron was assigned to the National Security Agency as the Deputy Director of Signals Intelligence for Customer Relationships. 

Cothron has completed Armed Forces Air Intelligence Training, is a graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., with a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies and he is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College. He has also earned the designation of Joint Specialty Officer. Cothron’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (3 awards), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards) and the Navy Commendation Medal (six awards).

Updated: 2 December 2008