Vice Adm. Van Buskirk, a native of Petaluma, Calif., graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979. He served as the Navy’s 56th Chief of Naval Personnel from Oct. 11, 2011 to Aug. 2, 2013. He served concurrently as the deputy chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education) (N1), and was responsible for the planning and programming of all manpower, personnel, training and education resources for the U.S. Navy. He managed an annual operating budget of $29 billion and led more than 20,000 employees engaged in the recruiting, personnel management, training and development of Navy personnel. His responsibilities also included overseeing Navy Recruiting Command, Navy Personnel Command, and Naval Education and Training Command.
Ashore he received his master’s degree at the Naval Postgraduate School and served tours in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, Bureau of Naval Personnel, and Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
At sea, he served on board USS Seawolf (SSN 575), USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716), USS Tunny (SSN 682), and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) GOLD, and commanded USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and Submarine Development Squadron 12.
As a flag officer, he has served as commander, Task Force Total Force; deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Effects (MNF-Iraq); commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine; assistant deputy, Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5B); deputy commander and chief of staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet; and the 47th commander of the U. S. 7th Fleet, forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan.
He is entitled to wear the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (seven awards), and other various personal, unit and service awards.