Vernon E. Clark
|Born||September 7, 1944|
Sioux City, Iowa, United States
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1968–2005|
|Commands held||Chief of Naval Operations|
United States Atlantic Fleet
United States Second Fleet
Cruiser-Destroyer Group 3
Destroyer Squadron 17
Destroyer Squadron 5
USS Spruance (DD-963)
USS Grand Rapids (PG-98)
|Awards||Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)|
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
|Other work||Raytheon, Board of Directors|
SRI International, Board of Directors
Vernon Eugene Clark (born September 7, 1944) is a retired admiral who served as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) of the United States Navy. He retired on July 22, 2005, making his tenure of five years the second-longest serving CNO behind Arleigh Burke. He currently sits on the board of directors of Raytheon and SRI International. In November 2009, he was selected along with former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo West by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to lead the military investigation into the Fort Hood massacre.
Early life and education
Clark was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and grew up in the states of Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois. Clark graduated from Evangel College and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Arkansas. He attended Officer Candidate School and received his commission in August 1968.
Clark served aboard the destroyers USS John W. Weeks (DD-701) and USS Gearing (DD-710). As a lieutenant, he commanded USS Grand Rapids (PG-98). He subsequently commanded USS McCloy (FF-1038), USS Spruance (DD-963), the Atlantic Fleet's Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, Destroyer Squadron 17, and Destroyer Squadron 5. After being selected for flag rank, Clark commanded Carl Vinson Battle Group/Cruiser-Destroyer Group 3, Second Fleet, and United States Atlantic Fleet.
Ashore, Clark first served as special assistant to the director of the Systems Analysis Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He later completed assignments as the administrative assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Surface Warfare) and as the administrative aide to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. He served as head of the Cruiser-Destroyer Combat Systems Requirements Section and force anti-submarine warfare officer for the commander of Naval Surface Force, Atlantic Fleet, and he directed the Joint Staff's Crisis Action Team for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
Clark's first flag assignment was at the United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), where he was director of plans and policy (J5) and financial management and analysis (J8). While commanding the Carl Vinson Battle Group, he deployed to the Persian Gulf and later served as the Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia. Clark has also served as the Deputy and Chief of Staff, United States Atlantic Fleet; the Director of Operations (J3) and subsequently Director, of the Joint Staff. Clark became the 27th Chief of Naval Operations on July 21, 2000, relieving Jay L. Johnson. Since his retirement, Clark has been honored with the Eisenhower Award from the Business Executives for National Security and the Distinguished Sea Service Award from the Naval Order of the United States.
Clark now serves on the board of directors of Raytheon Company, Rolls-Royce North America, SRI International, Horizon Lines, the Armed Forces YMCA, and is on the world board of governors of the USO. He serves as a senior advisor with Booz Allen Hamilton, the Defense Policy Board, the advisory boards of Fleishman-Hillard, Computer Science Corporation, the Comptroller General's advisory board of the GAO, and the executive committee of Military Ministry. In addition, he is currently a distinguished professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Clark teaches in the Robertson School of Government and the School of Business & Leadership and is a member of the Regent's board of trustees. He is also a member of the Board of Visitors at Air University.
Awards and decorations
|Surface Warfare Officer badge|
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters|
|Navy Distinguished Service Medal with two Gold Award Stars|
|Army Distinguished Service Medal|
|Air Force Distinguished Service Medal|
|Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit with two Gold Award Stars|
|Defense Meritorious Service Medal|
|Meritorious Service Medal with three Gold Award Stars|
|Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award|
|Navy Unit Commendation|
|Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|Navy "E" Ribbon with two Battle E's|
|National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars|
|Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal|
|Vietnam Service Medal with two service stars|
|Southwest Asia Service Medal with one service star|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one silver service star|
|Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon|
|Order of May of Naval Merit (degree unknown)|
- "PN1288 — Navy — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)". U.S. Congress. September 23, 1994. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
- "Admiral Vern Clark, U.S. Navy (Ret.)". Securing America's Future. Retrieved Aug 24, 2019.
- "Admiral Vern Clark Joins SRI International Board of Directors" (Press release). SRI International. 2007-03-26. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "School of Business & Leadership Degrees | Regent University". School of Business & Leadership. Retrieved Aug 24, 2019.
- This article incorporates text in the public domain from the U.S. Department of Defense.
- "Biography — Vern Clark". Department of Defense. March 2, 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
- "Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Vern Clark, USN". United States Navy. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
- Appearances on C-SPAN