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VADM James P. Downey

Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command

Vice Admiral James Downey is a native of New York and a 1986 graduate of the State University of New York, Albany with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Computer Science. He was commissioned in 1987 and is a 1997 graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School with a Master of Science in Computer Science followed by Engineering Duty Officer School where he graduated with distinction and received the Founder’s Award. He assumed his duties as Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command on Jan. 3, 2024.

He qualified as a surface warfare officer aboard USS HAYLER (DD 997). Additional operational assignments include intelligence briefing officer to the Commander in Chief, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea; and multiple deployments afloat in the North Atlantic, Baltic, Arctic Circle, and Pacific.

Engineering duty officer assignments include tours in the Global Positioning System and Navigation Sensor System Interface programs, leading Tomahawk integration; chief engineer for high assurance systems at the Defense Information Systems Agency and National Security Agency; officer in charge of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Facility, Yokosuka, Japan; CVN 21 program chief engineer and warfare systems director; CG(X) major program manager; and major program manager for the DDG 1000 program including delivery of the first ship of the class.

Flag officer assignments include commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center and Naval Sea Systems Command’s deputy commander for surface warfare, program executive officer, Aircraft Carriers and special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

Downey’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), and various other personal, unit, and service awards.