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First Name: William

Last Name: Fallon

Birthplace: East Orange, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Joseph

Date of Birth: 30 December 1944

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1967-2008
Wiliam Joseph Fallon

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)
•  Gulf War (1990 - 1991)
•  Kosovo War (1998 - 1999)
•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


William Joseph Fallon

Admiral, U.S. Navy

William Joseph Fallon was born on 30 December 1944 in East Orange, NJ, and raised in Merchantville, NJ. He earned a diploma from Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, NJ. A 1967 graduate of Villanova University, he received his commission through the Navy ROTC Program and was designated a Naval Flight Officer upon completion of flight training in December 1967.

Military Service

After flight training at NAS Pensacola, FL, and NAS Glynco, GA, Fallon began his operational Naval Aviation career flying in the RA-5C Vigilante at NAS Sanford, FL, and NAS Albany, GA, including a combat deployment to Vietnam. He then transitioned to the A-6E Intruder in 1974 at NAS Oceana, VA. Fallon served in flying assignments for 24 years with Reconnaissance Attack Squadrons (RVAH), Attack Squadrons (VA) and Carrier air wings (CVW), deploying to the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans and Mediterranean Sea, embarked in USS Saratoga (CV-60), USS Ranger (CV-61), USS Nimitz (CVN-68), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). He has logged more than 1,300 carrier arrested landings and over 4,800 flight hours in tactical jet aircraft.

Fallon commanded Attack Squadron 65 (The World Famous Fighting Tigers), embarked in Dwight D. Eisenhower, Medium Attack Wing One at NAS Oceana, VA, and Carrier Air Wing Eight aboard Theodore Roosevelt during a combat deployment to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Assigned as Commander, Carrier Group Eight in 1995, he deployed to the Mediterranean as Commander, Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group and commanded Battle Force Sixth Fleet (CTF 60) during NATOs combat Operation Deliberate Force in Bosnia. Fallon served as Commander, U.S. Second Fleet and Commander, Striking Fleet Atlantic from November 1997 to September 2000.

Shore duties included assignment as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to the Commander, Fleet Air Jacksonville, and to the staffs of Commander, Reconnaissance Attack Wing One; Commander, Operational Test Force, and Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He has served as Deputy Director for Operations, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia (JTF-SWA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and as Deputy Director, Aviation Plans and Requirements on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, DC.

His first flag officer assignment was with NATO as Assistant Chief of Staff, Plans and Policy for Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic. He was then assigned as Deputy and Chief of Staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet followed by assignment as Deputy Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Staff, U.S. Atlantic Command.

On 1 November 2000, Fallon was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and became the 31st Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

In February 2001, while serving as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Fallon was sent to Japan as a Presidential Special Envoy to apologize for the submarine USS Greeneville (SSN-772)'s collision with the Ehime Maru.

In 2002 he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Committee that the military should be exempted from certain environmental laws because the laws impacted the military's ability to conduct operations at its bases.

He was then nominated and confirmed for assignment as the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet from October 2003 to February 2005 during that time he was assigned to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following that, he was Commander, U.S. Pacific Command from February 2005 until March 2007; that assignment was his third four-star assignment, a rarity for military officers.

During his tenure as head of the U.S. Pacific Command, Fallon took a conciliatory approach towards China, a position that drew the ire of hardliners including Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz.

U.S. Central Command

On 4 January 2007, President Bush nominated Fallon for his fourth four-star command to replace John Abizaid, who was retiring from the U.S. Army, as Commander of the U.S. Central Command, (CENTCOM).

The U.S. Senate confirmed Admiral Fallon as the first Navy Admiral to command CENTCOM on 7 February. He relieved General Abizaid on 16 March 2007.

As Combatant Commander of Central Command, Fallon was General David Petraeus' superior officer, who was at that time the Commander of Multinational Force Iraq. Petraeus succeeded Fallon as CENTCOM Commander, relieving the "Acting" CENTCOM Commander, then-Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey on 31 October 2008.

As CENTCOM Commander, Fallon often criticized Iran while also encouraging negotiations. On 28 May 2007, he noted that the U.S. would continue to have a military presence in the Middle East, despite Iran wishing otherwise. However, he also said, "We have to figure out a way to come to an arrangement with them [Iran]." In an Al-Jazeera broadcast on 30 September 2007, he criticized those publicly urging war, stating "This constant drum beat of conflict is what strikes me which is not helpful and not useful. [...] I expect that there will be no war and that is what we ought to be working for." He also stated that Iran was not as strong as it claimed, "Not militarily, economically or politically." and he referred to Iranians as ants, "These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them."

On 11 March 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the resignation of Admiral Fallon as CENTCOM Commander. He stated that Fallon's reason for resigning centered on the controversy regarding a recent article in Esquire magazine which depicted him as openly criticizing the Bush administration with specific regard to American policy towards Iran.

After his widely publicized resignation, interpreted as opposition to military action against Iran, the conservative newspaper, The Washington Times, countered with a report that Fallon's active and retired military critics believed that he was "pushed to resign" by higher officials because "he failed to prevent foreign fighters and munitions from entering Iraq."

After his resignation as CENTCOM Commander, he retired from military service in 2008.

Fallon is a graduate of the Naval War College, Newport, RI, and the National War College in Washington, DC. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Studies from Old Dominion University.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (4 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (3 Awards)
Air Medal (2 Awards) with Combat "Valor" Device and Bronze Strike/Flight Numeral 3
Navy Commendation Medal (2 Awards) with Combat "Valor" Device
Navy Achievement Medal


• Admiral Fallon was awarded the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award in 2001.

• He was granted an honorary Doctor of Military Science degree by his alma mater, Villanova University, on 17 May 2009.

In Retirement

Fallon joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for International Studies as a Robert Wilhelm Fellow for nine months, starting August 2008. He will collaborate with the MIT community in research, seminars, conferences and other intellectual projects.

Fallon was the commencement speaker at the 2009 commencement ceremonies at his alma mater, Villanova University. He also was the 2009 commencement speaker for the University of California, San Diego's Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.

Starting in June 2009, Admiral Fallon served as co-chair of the Center for Strategic & International Studies Commission on Smart Global Health Policy alongside the President and CEO of CARE, Helene D. Gayle where he discussed his experiences with the security dimensions of global health. Admiral Fallon contributed in multiple conferences and policy discussions and attended a summer tour of Kenya that included the Kibera slums. At a global health event in the North Carolina Research Triangle, Admiral Fallon gave the keynote address:

"I spent more than 40 years of my life serving in the U.S. Navy, serving around the world, as well as Commander of both U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command. When I was a student at the U.S. Naval War College, security was defined in very traditional terms. It was the business of competing sovereign state actors with defined borders who pursue hard national interests. Working on the ground in the far corners of the world, however, I came to appreciate that security today is much more about basic day-to-day existence - it's primarily about the security of the individual. Included in this, the way people relate to each other, their families, their jobs and their communities. It is broader and far more personal than traditional notions of security. And at the heart of human security is health."

Admiral Fallon joined Tilwell Petroleum LLC in August, 2009 as a partner and advisor for the company's strategic business development program. "We are excited to have Admiral Fallon join our team at Tilwell," said Tony Cardwell, Managing Member of Tilwell. "Admiral Fallon's extensive experience in the Navy and his work with government and non-governmental agencies is a great addition to Tilwell as we continue to expand our customer base and support for both military and commercial applications."

Admiral Fallon was named Chief Executive Officer of NeuralIQ Government Services, Inc. in March 2010.

Honoree ID: 508   Created by: MHOH




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