Vice Adm. P. Gardner Howe III is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He was commissioned in 1984 following his graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1995 with a master of arts in national security affairs (special operations/low-intensity conflict) and from the National War College in 2002 with a master of arts in national security.
Howe's operational assignments have included a full range of duties in the Naval Special Warfare and Joint Special Operations communities. He commanded Naval Special Warfare Unit 3 in Bahrain, Naval Special Warfare Group 3 in San Diego, and Special Operations Command, Pacific in Hawaii. His service overseas includes multiple deployments to the western Pacific and Southwest Asia, and participation in Operations Earnest Will, Provide Promise, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
His key joint and staff assignments include President U.S. Naval War College, Special Operations Command, Pacific; chief staff officer, Naval Special Warfare Development Group; assistant chief of staff for Operations, Plans and Policy at Naval Special Warfare Command; director of Legislative Affairs for U.S. Special Operations Command and assistant commanding officer, Joint Special Operations Command.
Howe assumed the position of the associate director of Military Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency Oct. 4, 2016.