Admiral James Stavridis
is a 1976 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a native of South Florida. A Surface Warfare
Officer, Adm. Stavridis commanded the Destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) from 1993-1995, 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, winning the Navy League’s John Paul Jones
Award for Inspirational Leadership.
From 2002-2004, Admiral James Stavridis commanded
Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom
and Operation Enduring Freedom. Ashore,. Admiral James Stavridis has served as a strategic and long-range
planner on the staffs of the 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 Secretary of Defense.
Admiral James Stavridis earned a doctorate and a master’s degree 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 distinguished graduate of both the National and Naval War Colleges. Admiral James Stavridis assumed command
of the United States Southern Command on October 19, 2006.
Admiral James Stavridis holds various
decorations and awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal and five awards
of the Legion of Merit. He is author of Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command. He
is also the co-author of Command at Sea; Watch Officer's Guide: A Handbook for All Deck Watch Officers; and,
Division Officer's Guide.
According to the book description of
Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command, “This memoir of James Stavridis' two years in command
of the destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) reveals the human side of what it is like to be in charge of a warship for the first time
and in the midst of international crisis. From Haiti to the Balkans to the Arabian Gulf, the Barry was involved in operations
throughout the world during his 1993-1995 tour. Drawing on daily journals he kept for the entire period, the author reveals
the complex nature of those deployments in a 'real time' context and describes life on board the Barry and liberty
ashore for sailors and officers alike.
With all the joy, doubt, self-examination, hope, and fear of a first command, he offers an honest
examination of his experience from the bridge to help readers grasp the true nature of command at sea. The window he provides
into the personal lives of the crew illuminates not only their hard work in a ship that spent more than 70 percent of its
time underway, but also the sacrifices of their families ashore. Stavridis credits his able crew for the many awards the Barry
won while he was captain, including the Battenberg Cup for top ship in the Atlantic Fleet. Naval aficionados who like seagoing
fiction will be attracted to the book, as will those fascinated by life at sea. Officers from all the services, especially
surface warfare naval officers aspiring to command, will find these lessons of a first command by one of the Navy's most
respected admirals both entertaining and instructive.”