Samuel J. Locklear

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Samuel J. Locklear III
Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III 2012.jpg
Locklear in March 2012
Born (1954-10-28) October 28, 1954 (age 63)
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1972–1973
Rank US Navy O10 infobox.svg Admiral
Commands held U.S. Pacific Command
U.S. Naval Forces Europe - U.S. Naval Forces Africa
Allied Joint Force Command Naples
Director, Navy Staff
U.S. Third Fleet
Battles/wars Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya)
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star
Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia (Australia)

Samuel Jones "Sam" Locklear III, (born October 28, 1954) is a retired United States Navy admiral who last served as the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command from March 9, 2012, to May 27, 2015. Prior to that, he served as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe - U.S. Naval Forces Africa and NATO's Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples. Prior to that, he served as Director, Navy Staff from July 2009 to October 2010. He retired from the Navy on July 1, 2015, after 39 years of service.

Early life and education[edit]

Locklear enlisted in the Navy in March 1972 at the age of 17. His basic training and active service was placed on hold when he was accepted into the United States Naval Academy after graduating from James F Byrnes High School in 1972. Locklear graduated from the Naval Academy in 1977, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in operations analysis.


After receiving his commission as an ensign, he served aboard USS William V. Pratt as Main Propulsion Assistant and Missile Fire Control Officer. He was then selected for training and service in the Navy Nuclear Propulsion program, and served as Electrical Principal Assistant in USS Carl Vinson. Graduating with honors from the Surface Warfare Department Head School, he served as Operations Officer and Engineering Officer in USS Callaghan, and as Executive Officer in USS Truxtun. Subsequently, he commanded USS Leftwich and served as Commander, Destroyer Squadron 2 deploying with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Battle Group. In October 2002, he assumed command of Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5 and Nimitz Strike Group deploying to the Persian Gulf in 2003 in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Ashore, Locklear has served as a Company Officer in the Office of the Commandant, United States Naval Academy and later as the 78th Commandant of Midshipmen. In Washington, D.C., he served as Chief of the Regional Engagement and Presence Joint Warfare Capabilities Assessment Branch in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, and as Deputy Director for Requirements in the Assessment Division (N81D). In February 2004, he returned to the OPNAV Staff as Deputy Director for Surface Warfare (N76B), and in October 2004, he became the Director of the Assessment Division (N81). In October 2005 he became the Director of the Programming Division (N80). From May 2007 to July 2009, he served as Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, and from July 2009 as Director, Navy Staff (N09B).

Adm. Locklear is a 1992 graduate of the National Defense Industrial College of the Armed Forces, holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the George Washington University, and attended the Senior Officials in National Security course at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

His personal decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal with gold star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with four gold stars, Bronze Star, Navy Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal with gold star, Navy Achievement Medal with gold star, and numerous unit and campaign awards.

In March 2011, he commanded US Navy forces enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone, with overall command going to General Carter Ham.

Locklear has called climate change (global warming) the biggest worry for the United States.[1][2] On April 9, 2013, Jim Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, asked Locklear to clarify his position of climate change as the principal national security threat. Locklear cited USAID government statistics on recent Indo-Asian natural disasters and the long range planning challenges of our security partners and allies in the region.[3]

In 2015, Leonard Glenn Francis, the contractor at the center of the "Fat Leonard" Navy corruption scandal, told Navy investigators that he paid for "opulent dinners and other favors" for Locklear, including procuring a prostitute. Although the Navy cleared Locklear of wrongdoing, the episode prevented his appointment to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for which he had been shortlisted. Locklear retired from the Navy in June 2015, a month after Joseph Dunford was appointed Chairman instead.[4]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Surface Warfare Officer Insignia.png Surface Warfare Officer badge
United States Pacific Command.png United States Pacific Command badge
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with 1 bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Navy Distinguished Service Medal with 1 gold award star
Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Legion of Merit with four award stars
Bronze Star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Meritorious Service Medal with 3 award stars
Gold star
Navy Commendation Medal with 1 award star
Gold star
Gold star
Navy Achievement Medal with 2 award stars
U.S. Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Navy Unit Commendation
Bronze star
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with 1 bronze service star
Navy "E" Ribbon
Bronze star
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with 2 service stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg Armed Forces Service Medal
Silver star
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 1 silver service star
Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
AUS Order of Australia (military) BAR.svg Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia
NATO Meritorious Service Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) ribbon.svg Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)


  1. ^ Chief of US Pacific forces calls climate biggest worry March 9, 2013, Boston Globe
  2. ^ Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear says the biggest security threat in the Pacific region is climate change. March 12, 2013, Wall Street Journal
  3. ^ "C-SPAN". C-SPAN. April 9, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2016. U.S. Pacific Command Operations Admiral Samuel Locklear testified on U.S. Pacific Command programs and operations. Much of the hearing was focused on mounting tensions between North and South Korea. Admiral Locklear said American defenses could intercept a ballistic missile launched by North Korea and forces were prepared for limited military action by North Korea. Other topics included the U.S. military posture in Asia Pacific, China’s role with North Korea, and the impact of automatic defense cuts known as sequestration.  Span. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  4. ^ Whitlock, Craig (1 April 2018). "How 'Fat Leonard' affected Pentagon's pick to lead Joint Chiefs". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 April 2018. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Gary Roughead
Commandant of United States Naval Academy
Succeeded by
John R. Allen
Preceded by
Robert F. Willard
Commander of United States Pacific Command
Succeeded by
Harry B. Harris Jr.