Navy Biography

Rear Admiral John Clarke Orzalli

Retired July 1, 2012

Rear Admiral John Clarke Orzalli


Rear Admiral (retired) Orzalli’s final assignment was as Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) vice commander.  He is the son of a retired Navy captain and graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978.

At sea, he served aboard USS Snook (SSN 592) as an engineering division and weapons officer; and as USS Helena’s (SSN 725) engineering officer during new construction. Ashore, Rear Adm (ret) Orzalli served at the U.S. Naval Academy as the 29th Company Officer, and as the Officer in Charge of Submarine Development Group One Detachment Mare island before transfer to the Engineering Duty Officer Community.  He then served in the Ocean Engineering and Production Departments at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and as the Nuclear Production Manager and Engineering and Planning Officer at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Following a tour in the Fleet Readiness Division OPNAV (N431), Rear Adm. (ret) Orzalli relieved as the 45th shipyard commander at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 2002 - 2005. During his command tour, he assumed additional duties in establishing the Northwest Regional Maintenance Center.

Following selection to flag rank, Orzalli was the deputy director, Fleet Readiness Division, OPNAV (N43B); commanding officer, Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, then established commander, Regional Maintenance Centers. Orzalli was then the director of Fleet Maintenance on the staff of commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command prior to becoming the Vice Commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

His service decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with four stars), the Meritorious Service Medal (with two stars), Navy Commendation Medal (with star), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with three stars) and various other unit and operational awards.

Orzalli holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, Naval Engineer and Masters of Materials Science and Engineering degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Systems Management from Golden Gate University.


Updated: 23 August 2013