Rear Adm. Craig A. "Clap" Clapperton is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He was commissioned in 1989 and designated a naval flight officer in 1991. In 2008, he earned a Master of Arts in National Strategy and Security Studies from the Naval War College with highest distinction and was a member of the college’s elite Stockdale group. He is a distinguished graduate of the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command and completed nuclear power training in 2010. In June 2018, Clapperton assumed duties as the deputy director for Future Operations, U.S. Cyber Command.
Clapperton completed operational flying tours in both the A-6E Intruder and EA-6B Prowler and has amassed over 2,800 hours in the Intruder, Prowler and EA-18 G Growler. His squadron assignments include tours with the Attack Squadron 34 (VA-34) Blue Blasters, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-139) Cougars, and Wizards of VAQ-133.
Clapperton commanded the Shadowhawks of VAQ-141, the U.S. Sixth Fleet and NATO command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Additionally, he served as executive officer aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). During his command tours, his ships and squadron supported Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, and Inherent Resolve, and operated in the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas and Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
During his tours ashore, Clapperton served as aide to Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; flag lieutenant to Commander, U.S. Second Fleet/Commander Striking Fleet Atlantic; flight instructor, Prowler Fleet Replacement Squadron; and on the staffs of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific.
Clapperton's awards include from each of his commands, the Battle E and Chief of Naval Operations Retention Excellence Awards. In September 2007, Clapperton was awarded the prestigious Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership.