Ted N. Branch
|Ted N. Branch|
|Born||Long Beach, Mississippi|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1979–2016|
Ted N. "Twig" Branch retired as a Vice Admiral in the United States Navy on October 1, 2016, after serving the last three years of his 37-year career as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for information warfare. In that capacity, he was the resource sponsor for the N2N6 portfolio which includes program investments for assured command and control, battlespace awareness, and integrated fires. He was the Navy’s Chief Information Officer, the Director of Navy Cybersecurity, the leader of the Information Warfare Community, and the Director of Naval Intelligence. Admiral Branch was questioned by the Department of Justice regarding the Glenn Defense Marine Asia investigation in November 2013 and his access to classified information was suspended by the Secretary of the Navy. After a three-year investigation, Branch was cleared of all charges.
- Bachelor of Science, United States Naval Academy, 1979
- Master of international relations, Naval War College
Branch was a career naval aviator, specializing in A-7 Corsairs and F/A-18 Hornets. He has flown combat missions over Grenada, Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Iraq. He has served as the commanding officer of VFA-15 (Strike Fighter Squadron 15), the USS Coronado (AGF-11), the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Carrier Strike Group One (Carl Vinson Strike Group), and Naval Air Force Atlantic. He has also served on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.
In January 2010, as the Commander of CARL VINSON Strike Group, Branch led the initial US Navy response to the Haiti earthquake.
From February 2011 to July 2013 (2 years 6 months), Branch served as the Commander of Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, headquartered in Norfolk, VA. In that role he was responsible for manning, training, and equipping all elements of Naval Air Force, Atlantic — over 1000 aircraft, 40 thousand personnel, and six nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. While there, he also established the Interoperability Coordination Office for the United Kingdom's new aircraft carriers and the introduction of the F35 aircraft.
On 16 May 2013, Branch was nominated by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to become the Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI) and the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (DCNO)for Information Dominance (later renamed Information Warfare). He was confirmed by the United States Senate in July 2013 and automatically promoted to Vice Admiral (O-9).
While serving in the DCNO/DNI roles, he also took on the position of Directory of Navy Cybersecurity, becoming the Navy's leading proponent for cybersecurity. In this role, he stood up a year-long matrixed organization called Task Force Cyber Awakening to develop and implement Navy’s cybersecurity strategy. That group developed the CYBERSAFE program to design and build in cyber resiliency, and inculcate an enhanced culture of cybersecurity throughout the U.S. Navy. When the Task Force completed their efforts, he stood up the Navy Cybersecurity Division within N2N6 so the process of instituting CYBERSAFE and a culture of cybersecurity could continue.
On November 8, 2013, the Navy suspended Branch's access to classified information in connection with a Department of Justice investigation involving Singapore-based defense contractor, Glenn Defense Marine Asia. The investigation as to Branch involves a non-criminal accusation of "inappropriate conduct" associated with his acceptance of gifts from Glenn Marine during his tour as commanding officer of USS Nimitz on a western Pacific/Persian Gulf deployment in 2005. Although Branch remained in his post during the lengthy Justice Department investigation, his access to classified information remained suspended, relegating him to unclassified duties.
In January 2016, the Washington Post reported that Branch was still functioning in his role, yet was "barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013", due to the suspension tied to the investigation.
Also in January 2016, the Daily Mail reported, "Branch is yet to be charged, but he has not been cleared either - leaving the Navy in the bizarre predicament of having an intelligence chief who is unable to read top secret documents."
On April 1, 2016, the Navy Times reported that the Navy had withdrawn Elizabeth Train's nomination to succeed Branch in favor of Vice Admiral Jan E. Tighe, previously commander of the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command and Commander, U.S. Tenth Fleet. Vice Admiral Tighe relieved Branch as Deputy CNO for Information Warfare/Director of Naval Intelligence in July 2016. Branch’s access to classified information remained suspended until he retired.
Both the Navy and the Department of Justice cleared Branch of any wrong doing in September 2017 and declined to prosecute Branch after a three-year investigation that resulted in no charges being brought.
Military Awards and Decorations
|Naval Aviator Wings|
|Information Dominance Warfare Officer Badge|
|Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge|
|Navy Distinguished Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit (with one silver award star)|
|Defense Meritorious Service Medal|
|Meritorious Service Medal (with one gold award star)|
|Air Medal with Strike/Flight numeral 1|
|Navy Commendation Medal (with two gold award stars and Combat V)|
|Navy Achievement Medal|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award|
|Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon (with one bronze service star)|
|Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon|
|Navy "E" Ribbon w/ Wreathed Battle E device (5 awards)|
|Navy Expeditionary Medal (with one bronze service star)|
|National Defense Service Medal (with one bronze service star)|
|Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal|
|Southwest Asia Service Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|Armed Forces Service Medal|
|Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (with silver and bronze service star)|
|Navy Expert Pistol Marksmanship Medal|
- Navy.mil Leadership Biographies
- CARRIER . The Crew | PBS
- Formal Nomination as DCNO for Information Dominance | Naval Intelligence Professionals
- Whitlock, Craig (November 8, 2013). "Two admirals face probe in Navy bribery scheme". Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Perry, Tony (November 8, 2013). "Two admirals under investigation in Navy bribery scandal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Kenny, Steve; Drew, Christopher (November 8, 2013). "Contracting Case Implicates 2 Admirals". New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
- Larter, David (September 27, 2015). "Navy nominates new intel boss after two year stalemate". Military Times. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
- Craig Whitlock, "The admiral in charge of Navy intelligence has not been allowed to see military secrets for years", Washington Post, January 28
- Gillman, Ollie (January 28, 2016). "Admiral in charge of Navy intelligence has been barred from seeing military secrets". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- Former Naval Intelligence Chief cleared in Fat Leonard case, USNI News, Sam LaGrone, September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ted N. Branch.|
Kendall L. Card
|Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence
Jan E. Tighe