John Dickson Stufflebeem
|John Dickson Stufflebeem|
Then-Vice Admiral Stufflebeem, USN
Commander, Sixth Fleet
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1969-2008|
Retired as a Rear Admiral
|Commands held||Director, Navy Staff
Carrier Group Two
Fighter Squadron Eighty-Four
Carrier Air Wing One
|Awards||Legion of Merit (4)
Air Medal (2)
John Dickson "Boomer" Stufflebeem (born 1952), is a retired United States Navy two-star rear admiral and Director, Navy Staff. Stufflebeem served 33 years in the Navy and is well known for his football career  and television briefings from the Pentagon following the attacks of 9/11 and subsequent military operations in Afghanistan. He is the Senior Vice President and founder of the NJS Group, LLC, a company specializing in strategic communications and planning as well as crisis management.
Stufflebeem was born in Japan in 1952 while his father was stationed there in the Navy. Stufflebeem enlisted in the Navy Reserve in 1969 beginning his service as a deck seaman before being accepted into the United States Naval Academy in 1971. He graduated from the academy in 1975 and was designated a Surface Warfare Officer in 1978 and Naval Aviator in 1980. Nicknamed "Boomer" as a punter on the Naval Academy football team, he played three seasons of professional football, punting for the Detroit Lions during his first assignment after graduation.
As a commissioned officer, Stufflebeem served operational tours in a surface combatant, various fighter squadrons and carrier air wing staffs in the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. He commanded Fighter Squadron Eighty-Four and Carrier Air Wing One during combat operations in the Balkans and Persian Gulf and Carrier Group Two/Task Force 60 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Stufflebeem has flown over 4,000 hours in a variety of fighter aircraft and has more than 1,000 aircraft carrier landings.
Additionally, Stufflebeem has served in staff assignments including Military Aide to President George H. W. Bush, Deputy Executive Assistant and later, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations. His first assignment as a flag officer was Deputy Director for Global Operations (J-3) on the Joint Staff during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Stufflebeem’s decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal (two strike/flight awards).
On 20 May 2005 at Naval Support Activity Naples, Stufflebeem was promoted to vice admiral and took command of the 6th Fleet, relieving then-Vice Admiral Harry Ulrich. He held this position until September 2007.
In December 2007, Stufflebeem assumed the duties of Director, Navy Staff, relieving then-Vice Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald. Early in 2008, the Department of Defense began an investigation into an allegation that Stufflebeem had an inappropriate relationship while serving as a presidential military aide in 1990. The Navy announced on March 24, 2008 that Stufflebeem was removed as director of the Navy Staff. His removal was directly due to the false and misleading testimony Stufflebeem gave to investigators and in conversations with his seniors on multiple occasions. Since Stufflebeem no longer held a three-star assignment, he was reverted to his permanent grade of rear admiral (upper half). The rank of vice admiral is temporary and is only given if an officer occupies a three-star position. Rear Admiral Stufflebeem was reassigned to serve on the staff of the CNO pending a review. On April 21, 2008, the US Navy announced that Stufflebeem had received a written reprimand as a result of non-judicial punishment following the investigation. He retired from the Navy shortly thereafter.
Stufflebeem was a standout punter for the Naval Academy during 1972-1974 and is still ranked as number three on the all-time list of Navy records. He earned All East Coast Athletic Conference and Sports Illustrated honors in 1974 when he led the Navy team to a near upset of Notre Dame in Philadelphia. Nicknamed "Boomer" as a punter because of his punting on the Naval Academy football team, he was signed to a professional football contract with the Detroit Lions  after graduation from 1975-1979. In 2000 at its annual awards banquet, the NCAA honored Stufflebeem as one of its Silver Anniversary Award Recipients that recognizes up to six nationally distinguished former student-athletes on their 25th anniversary as college graduates. In recent years Bill Belichick, head coach of the four time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and former coach with the Detroit Lions in the 1970s, has commented on Stufflebeem’s leadership prowess. In 2003 Belichick had Stufflebeem, a former player of his from the Detroit Lions, deliver a message to the New England Patriots before a game. The theme was about sacrifice, commitment and a warrior's mentality and was set in the parallel context of playing professional football and pursuing the enemy in war. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl that season and invited Stufflebeem to join the team at the White House after the championship.
Following the attacks on the U.S. of September 11, 2001, then Rear Admiral Stufflebeem became the face and voice from the Pentagon of U.S. military operations being conducted in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power and rid the country of al Qaeda. For months he provided briefings from The Pentagon to international television and radio media on the prosecution of what was known as Operation Enduring Freedom  as most reporters were not in Afghanistan during this time.
While commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization operational command in Lisbon, Portugal, then Vice Admiral Stufflebeem led the first deployment of NATO Response Force troops out of the European theater to Pakistan. This was a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission in response to the earthquake that hit the Himalayan mountain range in the fall of 2005. Additionally, he supported the African Union Mission in Sudan, the political-military mission to address the problems occurring in Darfur.
Formerly he served as the Commander of the 6th Fleet and Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Operations. He subsequently retired from the Navy at his permanent two-star grade of rear admiral.
- 1952-1969: Grew up in Navy family (father career officer), attended high school at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, VA
- 1969-1971: Enlisted U.S. Navy Reserve
- 1971-1975: Midshipman, U.S. Naval Academy and member of the 1972-1974 Navy football teams
- 1975-1979: Signed with NFL Detroit Lions (concurrent with US Navy)
- 1976-1978: Engineering officer in a warship
- 1978-1980: Naval Aviation training
- 1980-1989: F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot in various squadrons
- 1989-1990: Military Aide to President George H.W. Bush
- 1991-1994: Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron 84 with combat deployments to the Balkans and Persian Gulf
- 1994-1995: Deputy Executive Assistant to Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Boorda
- 1995-1997: Deputy Commander and Commander of Carrier Air Wing 1 with combat deployments to the Persian Gulf
- 1998-2000: Executive Assistant to Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jay Johnson
- 2000-2002: Deputy Director for Global Operations (J-3) on the Joint Staff during Operation Enduring Freedom
- 2002-2003: Commander Carrier Group 2/Commander Task Force 60 leading combat operations from the Mediterranean Sea over northern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom
- 2003-2005: Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Strategy (N3/5)
- 2005-2007: Commander U.S. 6th Fleet/Deputy Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, Joint Command Lisbon (NATO)/Commander, Striking Forces NATO
- 2007-2008: Director, Navy Staff
- September 2008: Retired from the U.S. Navy; founded the NJS Group, a crisis communications and strategic planning consulting company
U.S. Military Awards & Decorations
|Chevalier De La Légion D’Honneur (France)|
|Non Article 5 NATO Medal (Pakistan)|
|Military Merit Medal, First Class (Portugal)|
|NATO Meritorious Service Medal|
Devices & Badges
|Naval Aviator Wings|
|Surface Warfare Officer pin|
|Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge|
|Presidential Service Badge|
- David Brown (2008-03-30). "Vice admiral fired over false testimony". NavyTimes.com. Army Times Publishing Company. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- Jamie McIntyre (2008-05-09). "Admiral's affair included sex at White House". CNN.com. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
He was commander of the 6th Fleet from May 2005 to September 2007.
- Philadelphia Inquirer, April 22, 2008
- US Naval Academy Sport Information Director, Scott Strasemeier
- Sports Illustrated, Nov 11, 1974, Volume 41, No. 20; Street & Smith's College Football 50th Anniversary Issue, Collector's Issue, 1940-1990 All East Team http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1086623/1/index.htm
- NFL League Office records
- http://web1.ncaa.org/conventionArchive/2000/files/ncaa-2000-proceedings-honors-dinner-002.htm http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/ncaa/NCAA/Media%20and%20Events/Awards/Honors%20Program/Silver/2000.html http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=665
- http://www.allthingsbillbelichick.com/archive03.htm http://www.allthingsbillbelichick.com/archive05b.htm
- Providence Journal, 24 Aug 2003, Admiral Offers A Sober Message
- press briefing summaries in media
- http://acositrep.com/2009/08/04/the-nato-response-force-the-way-forward/ http://www.nato.int/shape/news/2005/10/051025a.htm http://www.nato.int/shape/graphics/2005/11/08/051108a.htm
- http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/08/quake.pakistan/index.html http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9626146/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/11/AR2005101101727.html
- http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2007/s070302a.html http://www.jhlb.nato.int/uploads/Documentos/News/Press/News%20Release%200801%20ENG.pdf
- Official US Navy transcript
- This article includes text from the public domain United States Navy Biographies and various press releases.
- Brown, D., Vice admiral fired over false testimony. Navy Times. March 24, 2008