Rear Adm. James Butler is a native of Southern Maryland and enlisted in the Navy in 1982. He was trained as a Machinist Mate, and attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. He holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He was designated a Cryptologic Warfare Officer in 1989.
At sea, Butler served aboard the USS Mississippi (CGN 40) as signals warfare intelligence officer. His division conducted cryptologic, electronic warfare, command and control warfare, and intelligence operations in the Mediterranean in support of Operation Sharp Guard and in the Caribbean in support of Operation Uphold Democracy.
As a reservist, he was mobilized for one year to Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as the information operations director for both NATO and U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR A) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Butler’s command tours include Navy Reserve Naval Information Operations Command Texas and Navy Reserve Naval Information Operations Command Devens, Massachusetts. Post command he served as regional commander, Naval Information Forces Reserve Southeast leading 32 reserve units across seven states.
Ashore, he served at the National Security Agency in Research and Signals Intelligence roles. As a reservist, he supported engineering and acquisition programs at the Naval Information Warfare Activity (NIWA). His staff assignments include deputy chief information officer for the Naval Network Warfare Command Reserve Staff and cryptologic warfare community lead on the Naval Information Forces Reserve Staff.
Personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and several personal Navy and joint awards. He had the distinct honor of serving with those who earned the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal (ISAF), Navy Unit Commendation, and the Navy Battle ‘E’.