Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: William

Last Name: Owens

Birthplace: ND, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: A.

Date of Birth: 08 May 1940

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1962-1996
William A. Owens

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1962

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


William A. Owens

Admiral, U.S. Navy

William A. Owens was born on 8 May 1940 in North Dakota. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962 with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a commission as an Ensign in the Navy. He later earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, and a Master's degree in Management from George Washington University.

Owens began his career as a nuclear submariner. He served on four strategic nuclear-powered submarines and three nuclear attack submarines, including tours as Commanding Officer aboard the USS Sam Houston and USS City of Corpus Christi. Owens spent a total of 4,000 days (almost 11 years) aboard submarines, including duty in Vietnam.

He served as Commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet from 1990-92, which included Operation Desert Storm, and as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements and Assessments, from 1991-93. Owens was also a Senior Military Assistant to Secretaries of Defense Frank Carlucci and Dick Cheney, and Director of the Office of Program Appraisal for the Secretary of the Navy.

On 1 March 1994, Owens was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and was appointed Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second-highest ranking U.S. military office.

Admiral Owens retired from the Navy in 1996.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit


Submarine Warfare Officer Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

In Retirement

After leaving the military, Owens served as president, Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman of Science Applications International Corporation ("SAIC").

In August 1999, Owens served as Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Teledesic LLC, a satellite communications company. In June 2003, he became the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

In April 2000, Owens co-authored Lifting the Fog of War with Edward Offley.

On 28 April 2004, Owens became the Chief Executive Officer of Nortel, where he had previously served on the board of directors since February 2002. Owens stepped in to replace Frank Dunn, who was fired following an investigation into financial reporting. Owens served until 15 November 2005, when he was succeeded by Mike Zafirovski.

On 1 April 2006, Owens became the Chairman and CEO of AEA Holdings Asia overseeing all Private Equity, and Real Estate investments in Asia. Admiral Owens is also a chairman of privately held Intelius, an information commerce company based in Bellevue, WA.

Since 1 July 2006 he has been a Director in the Indian outsourcing company, Wipro.

Honoree ID: 617   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image