Vice Adm. Scott Stearney is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Economics prior to commissioning in the U.S. Navy in October 1982. He subsequently entered flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1984. Stearney graduated from Navy Fighter Weapons School and holds a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University.
Operationally, he served in numerous strike fighter squadrons flying the FA-18 Hornet. His fleet assignments include the Golden Warriors of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-87, the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-136 and strike warfare officer for commander, Carrier Group 4. Stearney commanded the Wildcats of VFA-131 and Carrier Air Wing Seven embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. He served in Kabul, Afghanistan, as chief of staff of Joint Task Force 435 and later Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435.
Ashore, Stearney served as instructor and readiness officer at Navy Fighter Weapons School, aide de camp to the chief of naval operations, deputy director J6 U.S. Joint Forces Command, executive assistant to deputy commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command and chief of staff, Strike Force Training Atlantic.
His flag assignments include commander, U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic, commander, Carrier Strike Group 4 and commander, Navy Warfare Development Command. Most recently he served as director of operations, U.S. Central Command.
Stearney assumed duties as commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces in May 2018.
He is entitled to wear the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, as well as other commendations and awards. He has accumulated more than 4,500 mishap free flight hours and over 1,000 carrier-arrested landings.