Rear Adm. Jeffrey Ruth, a native of Key West, Florida, grew up in San Diego, and graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. He reported to flight school at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola later that year and was designated a naval flight officer in January 1988. He attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, as part of the NPS/TPS Co-op program (June 1992 - December 1994). Upon completion of the course he was awarded a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Colorado State University.
At sea, he served as a division officer with Fighter Squadron (VF) 2 (June 1989–April 1992) where he flew in support of Operation Desert Storm and as a department head with the Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140 (January 1998–August 2000) where he flew in support of Operation Allied Force, Kosovo. During his tour as commanding officer of VAQ-137 (October 2003—March 2004), the “Rooks” were the first EA-6B squadron to deploy to Bagram Air Force Base Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Ruth has flown more than 100 combat missions in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Additionally, he served as navigator aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) (March 2005–June 2006) and executive officer aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) (March 2008–December 2009).
During his tour as commanding officer of the U.S. 6th Fleet’s flagship homeported in Gaeta, Italy (August 2010–September 2011), USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) served as the command and control platform for Operation Odyssey Dawn, Libya. As commanding officer of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) (March 2012—July 2014) he deployed to the Western Pacific, Red Sea and Middle East supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He served as commander, Navy Region Northwest in Silverdale, Washington (August 2014–July 2016).
Ashore his assignments include F-14D project officer at Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, California, (January 1995–March 1997) and operational planner on the staff of the Commander, Allied Forces North Europe in Brunssum, the Netherlands (August 2000–August 2002). Additionally he attended the Navy Nuclear Power School (July 2007–February 2008).
Ruth assumed duties as commandant, Joint Forces Staff College in August 2016.
He has been awarded the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Air Medal (five individual awards with Combat “V” and eight Strike/Flight), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards, one with Combat “V”) and other personal, unit and campaign awards.