A native of Billings, Mont., Rear Adm. Vance graduated from the University of Idaho in May 1980. In 1981 he received his naval flight officer wings and reported to Fighter Squadron (VF) 101 for training in the F-14 Tomcat. He has earned graduate degrees in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1988, and National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. in 2001.
Vance’s fleet assignments include deployments from both coasts in VF-84 embarked aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68); VF-154 embarked aboard USS Constellation (CV 64) and USS Independence (CV 62); commanding officer, VF-11 embarked aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and commander, Carrier Air Wing Three embarked aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Vance’s shore assignments include Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Four in Point Mugu, Calif., Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nev., U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., air operations officer for commander, 2nd Fleet and chief of staff for commander, 5th Fleet.
In December 2005, Vance reported as deputy director of Deep Blue. In March 2006, he assumed duties as acting director of Deep Blue. Vance served as associate director, Assessment Division (N81D) from November 2006 through September 2008. He served as commander, Carrier Strike Group Three/commander, John C. Stennis Strike Group from September 2008 to September 2009. From October 2009 through July 2011, he served as director, Programming Division (OPNAV N80).
He assumed his current position as commander, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in October 2011.
Vance’s awards include the Legion of Merit (6), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal (3) with Combat “V”, Strike/Flight Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2) with Combat “V”, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2) and various other campaign and service awards. Vance is the recipient of the Tail Hooker of the Year Award for 2004. He has accumulated more than 4,000 accident-free hours in various Navy jets, including more than 3,500 hours in the F-14 Tomcat.