Vice Admiral Debbink graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering in June 1977. He completed his master's in Business Administration at the University of Chicago in June 1990.
During his initial period of active service, he served aboard USS Fanning (FF 1076) and as flag aide to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan in Yokosuka, Japan.
Debbink transitioned to the Reserve component in 1983. During the next 19 years, he was assigned to numerous selected Reserve billets, supporting Navy and Joint Forces active component commands in the United States and overseas.
Selected for flag rank in 2002, he has served in Reserve component flag billets in the Pacific and Navy Region Midwest, including Reserve deputy commander and chief of staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He was called to active duty as deputy chief of Navy Reserve in October 2007. Additionally, he served on the Secretary of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board from August 2006 to July 2008.
Debbink became the chief of Navy Reserve on the staff of the chief of naval operations in Washington, D.C., July 22, 2008.
As a drilling Navy Reserve Sailor prior to his call to active duty, he was chairman of a regional design/build general contracting firm in Oconomowoc, Wis.