Vice Adm. (ret) James M. Zortman's initial sea duty assignment was Damage Control Assistant aboard USS Gray (FF-1054). Following flight training in the A6 Intruder, subsequent sea duty and squadron assignments included Attack Squadron 95 aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and USS America (CV-66), Attack Squadron 128, Assistant Navigator aboard USS Constellation (CV-64) and Attack Squadron 95 aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65).
Vice Adm. Zortman commanded the Medium Attack Warfare School Pacific, Attack Squadron 52 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), Carrier Air Wing 17 aboard Enterprise, and Carrier Group 7 and the USS John C. Stennis Battle Group participating in combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff billets included Joint Staff Directorate of Operations (J-3), Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group Fellow, Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of Operations and Politico-Military Affairs on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. His final assignment was as Commander, Naval Air Forces in San Diego.
His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various unit awards. Vice Adm. Zortman is a native of Onawa, Iowa. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1973 with a degree in economics.