Vice Admiral James R. Fitzgerald is a graduate of the University of Florida and was commissioned at the Naval Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island.
He served at sea on six ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets including command of USS Lockwood (FF 1064). He later served as surface operations officer and assistant operations officer on the staff of Commander 7th Fleet. From June 1986 to June 1988, he commanded the Pacific Fleet Antisubmarine Warfare Squadron, Destroyer Squadron 31. From Dec. 1991 to Aug. 1993, he commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Group 3, and the USS Carl Vinson Battle Group.
Vice Admiral Fitzgerald’s service ashore included study at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, where he earned a Master of Science in Engineering Acoustics, and at the National War College, Fort Leslie J. McNair, Washington, D.C. In addition, he served on the staff of Fleet Sonar School, Key West, Florida; as a systems engineering officer and later the staff of the Commandant of Midshipmen, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; as head of the Anti-Submarine Branch (OP-353), Combat Systems Division in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Surface Warfare; and as special assistant for Anti-Submarine Warfare on the staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. After selection to Rear Admiral, he served as director, Anti-Submarine warfare Division (OP-71), in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Naval Warfare. From July 1990 to Oct. 1991, he served as deputy director for Operations (Current Operations) (J33) in the Operations Directorate (J3) of the Join Staff for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. From Sept. 1993 to July 1995, he served as the deputy and chief of staff, Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Vice Admiral Fitzgerald received his third star on July 28, 1995 and served as the Department of the Navy, Naval Inspector General from Sept. 1, 1995 until his retirement in Sept. 1997.
Vice Admiral Fitzgerald’s personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (with one gold star), the Legion of Merit (with three gold stars), the Meritorious Service Medal (with one gold star), the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal and various unit and campaign awards.