Vice Adm. Sean Buck is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and received his commission in 1983. He was designated a naval flight officer in 1985. He earned a Master of Arts in International Security Policy from George Washington University and has completed studies at the College of Naval Command and Staff, U.S. Naval War College, and the Armed Forces Staff College; a fellowship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI: Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest; and executive certificate programs at both the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Education.
As a flag officer, Buck has served as commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force with U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets, Fleet Air Forward, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group; chief of staff, Strategy, Plans and Policy (J5), the Joint Staff; Director, 21st Century Sailor Office, where his portfolio included the Navy's programs on sexual assault prevention and response, suicide prevention, alcohol abuse, and other destructive behaviors; and most recently he served as commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet.
Flying the P-3C Orion, Buck’s early at-sea operational tours were with the “Fighting Marlins” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 40; a disassociated sea tour aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as the catapult and arresting gear division officer; and a department head tour with the “Tridents” of VP-26. He subsequently commanded VP-26 and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11.
His shore and staff assignments include Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1; Bureau of Naval Personnel; Joint Staff J3; Office of the Chief of Naval Operations staff as executive assistant to the deputy chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for Warfare Requirements and Programs (N6/N7); and as the deputy director for operations in the Strategy and Policy Directorate (J5), U.S. Joint Forces Command. Prior to major command, Buck completed an interim assignment with the National Reconnaissance Office; he is a member of the Navy’s Space Cadre.
He also completed a special assignment as a senior fellow on the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group in Newport, Rhode Island, an innovation think tank for the Navy. Buck became the 63rd superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy on July 26, 2019.
Buck’s personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (five awards) and various other personal, unit and service awards. He is most proud of his various unit awards that reflect credit on the successful teams he has served with and the many skilled professionals he has been privileged to work alongside.