Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: James

Last Name: Stavridis

Birthplace: West Palm Beach, FL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: G.

Date of Birth: 15 February 1955

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1976 - 2013
James G. Stavridis

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1976


James G. Stavridis
Admiral, U.S. Navy

James G. Stavridis was born on 15 February 1955 in West Palm Beach, FL.

Stavridis is a 1976 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a native of South Florida. He is a career surface warfare officer and served at sea in carriers, cruisers, and destroyers. After serving with distinction as Operations Officer on the newly-commissioned USS Valley Forge, Stavridis commanded destroyer USS Barry from 1993-95, completing deployments to Haiti, Bosnia, and the Persian Gulf. Barry won the Battenberg Cup as the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet under his command. In 1998, he commanded Destroyer Squadron 21 and deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1998, winning the Navy League's John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership. From 2002-04, Stavridis commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both the successful Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Afterwards, VADM Stavridis served as Senior Military Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Ashore, he served as a strategic and long range planner on the staffs of the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the start of the "Global War on Terror," he was selected as the Director of the Navy Operations Group, Deep Blue. He has also served as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and the Senior Military Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

On 18 October 2006, he was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and became the first Navy Commander of U.S. Southern Command in Miami, FL. From 2009 to present, he has served as Commander, U.S. European Command (CDRUSEUCOM) and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

Stavridis earned a PhD and MALD (Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy) from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in International Relations in 1984, where he won the Gullion Prize as outstanding student. He is also a 1992 distinguished graduate of the U.S. National War College.

In 2003, He was honored with the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award. He frequently publishes his thoughts, opinions and analyses in myriad publications, including the Western Hemisphere policy publication Americas Quarterly and the U.S. Naval Institute's blog.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Gold Stars
Navy Commendation Medal with 3 Gold Stars
Navy Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with 2 Bronze Stars
Navy "E" Ribbon with Wreathed Battle E Device
Naval Reserve Special Commendation Ribbon
Navy Expeditionary Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with Silver and 2 Bronze Stars
NATO Medal (Yugoslavia) (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Surface Warfare Officer Badge

In Retirement

On 1 July 2013, Stavridis was appointed Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he once won the Gullion Prize as outstanding student. As Dean, Stavridis has initiated a strategic planning process, invited several high level speakers to the campus, and is focusing thematically on the Arctic, the role of women in international relations, synthetic biology and its impact on foreign affairs, cyber, and the role of online media and social networks in public diplomacy.


Stavridis is married to Laura Hall, author of Navy Spouses Guide, and has two daughters, Christina and Julia. His grandfather was an ethnic Greek born and raised in what is now Turkey, who emigrated to the U.S.

Complaint Proved Erroneous

Based on an anonymous complaint, in early 2011 the Department of Defense Inspector General began investigating allegations that ADM Stavridis “engaged in misconduct relating to official and unofficial travel and other matters.” He was subsequently the subject of a 3 May 2012, report by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense and was later absolved of wrongdoing by the Secretary of the Navy on 11 September 2012. In a Memorandum for the Record, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabuswrote that Stavridis: "has consistently demonstrated himself to be a model naval officer and a devoted public servant whose motivation is to do that which is necessary and appropriate to advance the interests of the United States." Mabus concluded that "I have determined that ADM Stavridis never attempted to use his public office for private gain nor did he commit personal misconduct."

Origin of Nickname/Handle:
As a man of Greek descent, the well-known name 'Zorba' was a natural.

Honoree ID: 656   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image