James O. Ellis

Admiral James O. Ellis, Jr. (born July 20, 1947) is a retired 4-star admiral and former Commander, United States Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. He was President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations until May 2012 and serves on the board of directors of Lockheed Martin.[2]

James O. Ellis, Jr.
James o ellis.jpg
Born (1947-07-20) July 20, 1947 (age 73)
Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1969–2004
Commands heldUnited States Strategic Command
United States Naval Forces Europe
Carrier Strike Group Five
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
USS La Salle (AGF-3)
Battles/warsVietnam War
Gulf War
1999 NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia[1]
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (4)
Other workLockheed Martin

Since retiring from the military, Ellis has been the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Ellis, born in Spartanburg, South Carolina,[2] is a 1969 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1971 and held a variety of sea and shore assignments from 1972.

Naval careerEdit

Ellis' sea duty billets as a navy fighter pilot included tours with Fighter Squadron 92 aboard USS Constellation (CV-64) and Fighter Squadron 1 aboard USS Ranger (CV-61). Ellis was the first Commanding Officer of Strike/Fighter Squadron 131, deploying in 1985 with new F/A-18 Hornets aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43). He served as Executive Officer of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and as Commanding Officer of USS La Salle (AGF-3), the Persian Gulf flagship of the Commander, Joint Task Force, Middle East. In 1991 he assumed command of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and participated in Operation Desert Storm while deployed during her maiden voyage in the western Pacific and Persian Gulf. In June 1995, Ellis assumed command of Carrier Group Five/Battle Force Seventh Fleet, breaking his flag aboard USS Independence (CV-62), forward deployed to the Western Pacific and homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. As Carrier Battle Group Commander he led contingency response operations to both the Persian Gulf and Taiwan Straits.

Ellis' shore and staff assignments include tours as an experimental/operational test pilot, service in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, and duty as F/A-18 Program Coordinator, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare). He has also served as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force FIVE, the counter-narcotics force for United States Commander in Chief Pacific. In November 1993 he reported as Inspector General, United States Atlantic Fleet, and subsequently served as Director for Operations, Plans and Policy (N3/N5) on the staff of the Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet. He assumed duties as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans, Policy and Operations) in November 1996. Ellis became Commander in Chief, United States Naval Forces Europe, headquartered in London, England, and Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe headquartered in Naples, Italy, in October 1998.

Ellis served as Commander, United States Strategic Command from 2002 and retired from the navy in 2004.[2]


Ellis holds Master of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and in Aeronautical Systems from the University of West Florida. He is also a 1975 graduate of United States Naval Test Pilot School. He completed United States Navy nuclear power training in 1987 and is a graduate of the Senior Officer Program in National Security Strategy at Harvard University.

Awards and decorationsEdit

Naval Aviator Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Navy Distinguished Service Medal with one gold award star Legion of Merit with three gold award stars Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with award star Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Joint Meritorious Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Navy Unit Commendation Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Navy E Ribbon
Navy Expeditionary Medal National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with service star Southwest Asia Service Medal with service star Kosovo Campaign Medal with service star
Armed Forces Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal with service star Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with silver service star
Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon Special Operations Service Ribbon Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Grand Officer
Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Military Commander's Cross United Nations Medal with service star NATO Medal for the former Yugoslavia with service star
Vietnam Campaign Medal Kuwait Liberation Medal from Kuwait Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Basic Parachutist Badge
Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
United States Strategic Command Badge


  1. ^ http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/battleswars1900s/p/alliedforce.htm
  2. ^ a b c "Biography, James O. Ellis, Jr". Lockheed Martin. Retrieved 2006-11-15. Cite has empty unknown parameters: |month= and |coauthors= (help)[dead link]
  3. ^ "Admiral James O. Ellis Jr". Hoover Institution. Hoover Institution. Retrieved 4 May 2019.

External linksEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "https://web.archive.org/web/20070113055906/http://www.defenselink.mil/bios/ellis_bio.html".

Military offices
Preceded by
Richard W. Mies
Commander, United States Strategic Command
Succeeded by
James E. Cartwright