Vice Adm. Van Buskirk, a native of Petaluma, Calif., graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979. He assumed duties as the Navy’s 56th Chief of Naval Personnel on Oct. 11, 2011. Serving concurrently as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education) (N1), he is responsible for the planning and programming of all manpower, personnel, training and education resources for the U.S. Navy. He manages an annual operating budget of $29 billion and leads over 20,000 employees engaged in the recruiting, personnel management, training and development of Navy personnel. His responsibilities include overseeing Navy Recruiting Command, Navy Personnel Command, and Naval Education and Training Command.
Ashore, he received his master’s degree at the Naval Postgraduate School and served tours in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs; Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet; Bureau of Naval Personnel; and, Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
At sea, he served on board USS Seawolf (SSN 575), USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716), USS Tunny (SSN 682), and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) GOLD, and commanded the USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and Submarine Development Squadron 12.
As a flag officer, he has served as commander, Task Force Total Force; deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Effects (MNF-Iraq); commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine; assistant deputy, Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5B); deputy commander and chief of staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet; and, most recently, as the 47th commander of the United States 7th Fleet, forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan.
He is entitled to wear the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (seven awards), and other various personal, unit and service awards.