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First Name: James

Last Name: Ellis

Birthplace: Spartanburg, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: O.

Date of Birth: 20 July 1947

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1969 - 2004
James O. Ellis, Jr.

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1969

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)
•  Gulf War (1990 - 1991)
•  Kosovo War (1998 - 1999)


James O. Ellis, Jr.

Admiral, U.S. Navy

James O. Ellis, Jr. was born on 20 July 1947 in Spartanburg, SC.

Ellis is a 1969 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1971 and has held a variety of sea and shore assignments since 1972.

His 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 home ported 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 U.S. Commander-in-Chief Pacific. In November 1993, he reported as Inspector General, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and subsequently served as Director for Operations, Plans and Policy (N3/N5) on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He assumed duties as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans, Policy and Operations) in November 1996.

He served as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe headquartered in London, England, and Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe headquartered in Naples, Italy, in October 1998. In 1 January 1999, he was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral.

Admiral Ellis was Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Strategic Command (USCINCSTRAT), during 2001-2002; and Commander, U.S. Strategic Command (CDRUSSTRATCOM), from 2002-2004.

Admiral Ellis retired from the Navy in 2004.


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 U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. He completed U.S. Navy nuclear power training in 1987 and is a graduate of the Senior Officer Program in National Security Strategy at Harvard University.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (4 Awards)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (2 Awards)
Navy Commendation Medal


Naval Aviator Insignia

Honoree ID: 506   Created by: MHOH




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