John B. Nathman
John B. Nathman
|Born||April 11, 1948|
San Antonio, Texas
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1970–2007|
|Commands held||United States Fleet Forces Command|
Vice Chief of Naval Operations
Naval Air Forces
Carrier Group Seven
USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
USS La Salle (AGF-3)
|Awards||Navy Distinguished Service Medal (4)|
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (4)
Bronze Star Medal with Combat V
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Nathman graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 1970. In 1972, he qualified as a Naval Aviator, receiving the Naval Air Training Command's Outstanding Pilot Graduate Award while also completing a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Nathman has served in a variety of sea, shore and joint assignments, and flown over 40 different types of aircraft during his career. At sea, he flew the F-4 Phantom II with Fighter Squadron Two Thirteen (VF-213) and the F-14 Tomcat with Fighter Squadron Fifty-One (VF-51). He then transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet, subsequently commanding Strike Fighter Squadron One Thirty-Two (VFA-132) and leading his squadron in the first F/A-18 combat sorties against Libya in 1986. Nathman reported to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in 1987 as executive officer, and subsequently assumed command of USS La Salle (AGF-3), the flagship for Commander, Middle East Force (COMIDEASTFOR), during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Nathman returned to the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) as its commanding officer from 1992 to 1994.
Ashore, Nathman was assigned to the United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, graduating with distinction in 1976. He also served at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) at Naval Air Station Miramar, California, and oversaw the advanced tactical training of the naval aviators and naval flight officers from the Navy and Marine Corps fighter communities attending TOPGUN. From 1982 to 1984, Nathman was on an exchange assignment with the United States Air Force as the senior naval test pilot flying all project aircraft with the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron (4477 TES) at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. During this time, he flew 61 missions in MiG-21s and 52 missions in MiG-23s as "Bandit 29".
Upon his selection to flag rank in 1994, Nathman served on the NATO staff of Commander, Allied Forces Southern Europe (AF SOUTH), and as Director of Logistics for Commander, NATO Implementation Force (IFOR) during its first out-of-area deployment to Bosnia. In 1996, he commanded Carrier Group Seven, NIMITZ Carrier Strike Group and Battle Force FIFTY in the Persian Gulf. Nathman subsequently served as Director, Air Warfare, on the Chief of Naval Operations staff in Washington, D.C. In August 2000, he took command of Naval Air Force, United States Pacific Fleet and was designated Commander, Naval Air Forces in October 2001. In August 2002, Nathman was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs (N6/N7) at the Pentagon.
Awards and decorations
On 2 October 2008, Nathman published a commentary in the Virginian-Pilot praising presidential candidate Barack Obama. In February 2012, he was named a co-chair of the re-election campaign of President Obama. On 6 September 2012, Nathman spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention