Rear Adm. James Pitts, a native of Milton, Florida, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Following his first sea tour, he attended the Naval Postgraduate School where he earned a master’s degree in national security affairs.
At sea, his first submarine assignment was USS Grayling (SSN 646). Additionally, he was temporarily assigned to USS Plunger (SSN 595) for a Western Pacific deployment, where he qualified in submarines. Follow-on assignments include: navigator on USS Hammerhead (SSN 663); combat systems officer on USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709); and executive officer of USS Tucson (SSN 770). His at-sea command assignments were as commanding officer of USS Tucson (SSN 770) and commander, Submarine Squadron 7.
His shore and staff assignments include: Virginia requirements officer for the Submarine Warfare Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N87); prospective executive officer instructor at Naval Submarine School; deputy commander for Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 3; Program and Budget Branch chief on the Joint Staff; and as a chief of naval operations fellow; Strategic Studies Group. Most recently, Pitts was assigned to the OPNAV Staff as the Planning, Programming & Development Branch head and executive assistant to the deputy chief of naval operations, warfare systems (N9).
Pitts’ personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (five awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards).