Rear Adm. Gary Jones graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1975, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and is an Armed Forces Staff College graduate.
Designated a naval aviator in 1976, early operational assignments include duty in Helicopter Antisubmarine Light Squadron (HSL) 32 and HSL-34. Jones also participated in the Personnel Exchange Program, flying with the British Royal Navy while assigned to 829 Squadron in Portland, England. Returning to HSL-34 as executive officer, he became commanding officer in November 1992. Jones next served as air boss aboard USS Saipan (LHA 2). After Saipan, Jones joined USS Peleliu (LHA 5) as executive officer for a Persian Gulf deployment. In April 1998, he became commanding officer of Peleliu and completed a Western Pacific/Persian Gulf deployment.
Staff and shore assignments include flight instructor duty in HSL-30, serving in the Secretary of Defense’s Office for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict and duty on the chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Staff as head of Operations, Plans and Political-Military Affairs in the Western Hemisphere. He also served as executive assistant to the deputy commander-in-chief/chief-of-staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Prior to flag selection, he was director, Readiness/Warfare Requirements at ComNavAirLant. His initial flag assignment was commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea and naval component commander, United Nations Command in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Jones next assumed command of Amphibious Force, 7th Fleet, Commander Amphibious Group 1/CTF-76 in Okinawa, Japan. He also served as commander, Forward Deployed Naval Forces Expeditionary Strike Group (FDNF ESG).
Jones’s most recent assignment was as commander, Naval Service Training Command and Commander, Navy Region Midwest in Great Lakes, Illinois.