Joseph Prueher

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Joseph W. Prueher
Joseph W. Prueher, ADM USN, 1996.jpg
Official Military Photograph
7th United States Ambassador to China
In office
November 16, 1999 – May 1, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Jim Sasser
Succeeded by Clark T. Randt Jr.
Personal details
Born (1942-11-25) November 25, 1942 (age 75)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Alma mater United States Naval Academy, 1964
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 5 June 1964 - 1 May 1999
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Joseph Wilson Prueher (born November 25, 1942) is a former United States Navy Admiral who served as United States Ambassador to the People's Republic of China from 1999 to 2001. He was succeeded as ambassador by Clark T. Randt, Jr.

Early life[edit]

A native of Tennessee where he was born in 1942,[1][2] Prueher attended Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He also obtained a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University.


Prueher started his career in the United States Navy as Midshipman as the U.S. Naval Academy in 1960. He is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War where he flew as an A-6 Intruder pilot. In the later part of his career, he served as the seventy-third Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Prueher attained the rank of Admiral as Commander Carrier Group One in 1991. He was Vice Chief of Naval Operations from 1995 to 1996, and Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Command from 1996 to 1999.[3]

He was posted as ambassador to China from November 1999 to May 2001. Prueher also negotiated the settlement and delivered the "letter of the two sorries" which defused the Hainan Island incident in 2001.

He then joined Stanford University's Institute of International Studies as Consulting Professor at in 2001.[4]

Prueher is currently the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, as well as Senior Advisor to the Stanford-Harvard Preventive Defense Project, working on dialogue for US-China security matters.[5]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Naval Aviator Badge.jpg
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
Gold star
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg Award numeral 8.pngAward Numeral 3 golden.png"V" device, gold.svg
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg"V" device, gold.svg 1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg"V" device, gold.svg United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
AUS Order of Australia (military) BAR.svg
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon with 60- clasp.svg U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg
Naval Aviator Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit with four gold award stars Distinguished Flying Cross with award star
Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal with two award stars Air Medal with Combat V, gold award numeral 3 and bronze strike/flight numeral 8
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V and two award stars Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat V and two award stars Navy Presidential Unit Citation
Joint Meritorious Unit Award Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze service star Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with service star
Navy E Ribbon with two Battle E's Navy Expeditionary Medal with service star National Defense Service Medal with service star
Vietnam Service Medal with five service stars Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with service star Order of Australia, Honorary Officer (Military Division)
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Vietnam Campaign Medal Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

In December 1998 he was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia, "for distinguished service in the promotion of Australian and United States of America Defence relations".[6]

In 1997, he was honored with the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award and, in 2001, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by George Washington University.[7]

Post-Government Career[edit]

Prueher is a director of Fluor Corporation, Irving, Texas; Emerson Electric Co., St. Louis, Missouri; and AMERIGROUP Corporation, Virginia Beach, Virginia.[8]


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Howard W. Habermeyer Jr.
Commandant of Midshipmen
Succeeded by
Michael D. Haskins
Preceded by
Richard C. Macke
Commander, United States Pacific Command
Succeeded by
Dennis C. Blair
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jim Sasser
US Ambassador to China
Succeeded by
Clark T. Randt, Jr.