Rear Adm. Eric Ruttenberg is a native of Redondo Beach, California. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and was commissioned in 1988. He holds a Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1990 and an information warfare officer (Space Cadre) in 2011.
His initial sea duty assignment was to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eleven (HC 11), where he flew the UH/HH-46 and deployed aboard USS Flint (AE 32) during Desert Storm and aboard USS Kansas City (AOR 5) in support of Operations Southern Watch and Restore Hope. Later he served at Fleet Composite Squadron Six (VC 6) in Patuxent River, Maryland as the safety department head, flying the Pioneer Unmanned Airborne Vehicle on surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Ashore, Ruttenberg served as deputy director, Integrated Overhead SIGINT Architecture, Phase II Program Office, Technology Division at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Virginia. In a subsequent tour, he served as executive officer of Navy Reserve (NR) Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) 0366 in Chantilly, Virginia. He then served as the Space and Network Warfare Program (SNWP) Manpower and Operations director, coordinating the integration of Space, C4ISR, and Network Operations Units with the Naval Security Reserve Group. Additionally, he served as U.S. Special Operations Command deputy J6X, supporting the acquisition of a multi-mission communication architecture supporting both special operations and intelligence organizations.
His command tours include NR SPAWAR 0366 and NR SPAWAR 0866, supporting the SPAWAR Space Field Activity in Chantilly, Virginia; NR SPAWAR 0466, supporting the Program Executive Office for Space and the Navy Communications Satellite Program Office in San Diego, California; Commander, Naval Information Forces Reserve, Region Washington District of Columbia; and commander NR SPAWAR HQ and served concurrently as the director of the SPAWAR Reserve Program in San Diego, California.
His first flag officer assignment was as deputy Program Executive Officer (PEO) Enterprise Information Systems from October 2018 to July 2019. Ruttenberg assumed the duties as the chief engineer of NAVWAR where he leads a workforce to design, develop and deploy advanced communications and information capabilities.
Ruttenberg was the recipient of the 2003 Space and Network Warfare Program Junior Officer of the Year Award. Personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), and various service, expeditionary, unit and campaign awards.