Rear Adm. Jeff Hughes is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a 1988 graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He graduated with distinction from the Naval War College in 2008 receiving a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
He was designated a naval aviator in September 1989 and has flown MH-60R and SH-60B Seahawk helicopters throughout his career.
His operational assignments include his initial squadron and detachment officer in charge/department head tours with the Swamp Foxes of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 44 where he deployed on USS Carr (FFG 52), USS Elrod (FFG 55) and USS John Hancock (DD 981), supporting Strike Group deployments with the USS America (CV-66) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). He was named HSL-44 Pilot of the Year and was the co-recipient of the Commanding Officer's Helmsman Award for calendar year (CY) 1993. He served as the flag lieutenant to Commander, Carrier Group 4, where he embarked all six East Coast aircraft carriers in support of six intermediate and advanced phase strike group underway training (C2X/JTFEX) periods. He served as the executive officer then the 14th commanding officer of the Fighting Vipers of HSL-48. He was the Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing (HSM), U.S. Atlantic Fleet recipient of the Navy and Marine Association peer-selected leadership award for CY 2007. Additionally, he served as commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet during a period of significant transition and growth in the HSM community.
His shore staff assignments include: Navy Space Command’s Detachment Alfa officer-in-charge, assistant aviation captain detailer and HSL/HS Placement officer in Navy Personnel Command (PERS 43), division chief for Africa in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J5) of the Joint Staff, and executive assistant to the Director, Air Warfare (OPNAV N98).
As a flag officer, he served as commander, Navy Recruiting Command and commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2. While at ESG 2, he was the commander, Task Force (CTF) 189 where he served as the joint force maritime component commander (forward) leading 4,500 Sailors and Marines conducting disaster relief operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico following hurricanes IRMA and MARIA.
Hughes began serving as the deputy chief of naval personnel/Commander, Navy Personnel Command in March 2018.
His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards) and various other personal, unit, service and campaign awards. He is proud to have served on teams that have received numerous unit commendations and Battle Efficiency awards