Rear Adm. Christopher C. French was born in Albany, New York and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1990. French was commissioned through the Judge Advocate General's Corps Student Program in 1992, graduating in 1993 from the Villanova University School of Law. He later earned a Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center in 2004.
At sea, French served as the fleet judge advocate to Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet; staff judge advocate to Commander, Carrier Strike Group FIVE; and legal officer, aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
His other assignments include staff judge advocate, U.S. European Command; deputy legal advisor to the National Security Council; special counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations; commanding officer, U.S. Region Legal Service Office, Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia; chief of Operational Law, Multi-National Forces, Iraq; deputy legal counsel, Office of the Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; assistant force judge advocate, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe; and staff judge advocate, Naval Special Warfare Development Group. French began his legal career first as a trial counsel and later as the senior defense counsel at Naval Legal Service Office, Middle Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
French’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (three awards), Legion of Merit (three awards), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal, (two awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards).