Rear Admiral Christopher Paul graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science. Homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, he served aboard USS Kidd (DDG 993) as fire control/gunnery, electronic warfare, auxiliaries and damage control assistant during deployments to the Mediterranean, Black Sea, North Atlantic and Arabian Gulf, and exercises in the Northern Atlantic and Caribbean.
He then served on the joint staff as an action officer in the Operations Directorate (J-3), with the Secretary of the Navy Senate liaison office, and as special assistant in the Navy Programs Division from 1987 to 1991. During this assignment, he was able to work with members of Congress on the Senate Armed Services Committee, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
He transitioned to the Navy Reserve while working on McCain's Capitol Hill staff, while also serving at the Pentagon Navy Command Center from 1991 to 1996, the OPNAV N86 Surface Warfare Augment Unit from 1997 to 1998, and was executive officer of the N85 Expeditionary Warfare Augment Unit in 1999. As commanding officer of CVNE-0109 in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1999 to 2001, the 150-member aircraft carrier augment unit supported Commander, Naval Air Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet aircraft carriers and was recognized with the 2001 Commander Naval Air Force Reserve Robert I. Barto Award by providing over 1,900 days of integrated operational support.
From 2001 to 2003, Paul was commanding officer of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head, Maryland, Augment Unit, and after rapidly responding to full unit mobilization in support of Operation Noble Eagle, the secretary of the Navy recognized their effective support with the Meritorious Unit Commendation. As commanding officer of the Commander, Navy Region, Mid-Atlantic Augment Unit in Norfolk, from 2003 to 2005, assigned Sailors supported all command capabilities, and he was mobilized in support of Joint Task Force Katrina as the Joint Force Maritime component commander, chief of staff.
He then served as commanding officer of the Commander, U.S. Forces, Japan Augment Unit in Akron, Ohio, and at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from 2005 to 2007. By providing over 2,300 days of direct headquarters, contingency and exercise support that greatly enhanced the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance, the unit received the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. From 2007 to 2008, Paul served as the Naval District Washington deputy Reserve component commander supporting the Navy total force in the National Capital Area. From 2008 to 2011, he served as the deputy commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, with the command receiving the Navy Unit Commendation for its outstanding successes in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most recently, he served as the deputy commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic from 2011 to 2012. Concurrently, he retired from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee in 2012 with nearly 22 years of dedicated service to McCain, receiving the Congressional Staffer of the Year Award, Roll Call’s Top 10 Defense Staffers to Know, among other commendations.
He presently serves as the deputy commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Personal awards include the Defense Superior Service, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service, Joint Service Commendation, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation, Joint Service Achievement, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.