Admiral John Richardson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in physics. He received master’s degrees in electrical engineering from MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and in National Security Strategy from the National War College.
At sea, Richardson served on USS Parche (SSN 683), USS George C. Marshall (SSBN 654), and USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716). He commanded USS Honolulu (SSN 718) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Richardson also served as commodore of Submarine Development Squadron (DEVRON) 12; commander, Submarine Group 8; commander, Submarine Allied Naval Forces South; deputy commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; chief of staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa; commander, Naval Submarine Forces, and director of Naval Reactors.
His staff assignments include duty in the attack submarine division on the Chief of Naval Operations staff; naval aide to the President; prospective commanding officer instructor for Commander, Submarine Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet; assistant deputy director for Regional Operations on the Joint Staff; and director of Strategy and Policy at U.S. Joint Forces Command.
Richardson served on teams that have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation, and the Navy “E” Ribbon. He was awarded the Vice Admiral Stockdale Award for his time in command of USS Honolulu.
Richardson began serving as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations September 18, 2015.