Rear Adm. James Waters is a native of Ellington, Connecticut, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1989 with a degree in systems engineering. He completed graduate studies at Oxford University in 1991.
His sea tours include various division officer assignments on USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730G), engineer officer on USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) and executive officer on USS Alabama (SSBN 731B). He commanded USS Virginia (SSN 774) and Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 4.
His staff assignments include operations officer at SUBRON-2, engineer at SUBRON-3, submarine executive officer detailer, deputy commander of SUBRON-1, battle watch commander and chief of staff for U.S. Strategic Command’s director of global operations (J3), Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group 35, and most recently as deputy executive director for the chief of naval personnel.
He assumed his current duties as director, Maritime Headquarters, U.S. Pacific Fleet in August 2017, where he leads readiness generation efforts supporting fleet operations throughout the Pacific area of responsibility.
His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other individual, unit, campaign and service awards. He is most proud of those awards that reflect the hard work and success of the many teams he has been privileged to serve.