Vice Admiral Lee Gunn is President of the American Security Project, a national security think tank in Washington, DC. Gunn served in the U.S. Navy for thirty-five years prior to his retirement in 2000. His last active duty assignment was Inspector General of the Department of the Navy where, together with his Marine Deputy, he was responsible for the Department’s overall inspection program and its assessments of readiness, training, and quality of service.
Serving in the Surface Navy in a variety of theaters, Admiral Gunn rose through the cruiser/destroyer force to command the Frigate USS Barbey, then command of the Navy’s antisubmarine warfare tactical and technical evaluation Destroyer squadron, DESRON 31. He later commanded Amphibious Group Three, comprising 19 ships, 12 other, separate commands, and 16,000 Sailors and Marines. As Commander of PHIBGRU THREE he served (in addition to many other duties) as the Combined Naval Forces Commander, and Deputy Task Force Commander of Combined Task Force United Shield. Task Force United Shield conducted the final withdrawal of United Nations peacekeeping forces from Somalia in February and March of 1995. United Shield was, and still is, the only amphibious withdrawal operation under fire conducted since the Korean War.
Admiral Gunn’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, six Legions of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal (with Combat Distinguishing Device), the Navy Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and numerous theater and service awards.
Immediately after concluding his active duty career, Admiral Gunn was asked by the Chief of Naval Operations to lead the Executive Review of Navy Training. The nine-month Review was conducted by a senior team of experts in a variety of disciplines from the uniformed Navy, the corps of Department of the Navy Civilians, and the business and education communities. The recommendations of the Review continue to be implemented by the Navy, bringing about a revolution in training and learning for Navy men and women.
Admiral Gunn has extensive experience with and substantial accomplishments in the areas of manpower, personnel and training. He served in eight assignments in those areas during his career. During his last manpower assignment (as Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel, and Commander, Navy Personnel Command) he played a key role in redesigning the Navy’s manpower and personnel establishment and orchestrated the transfer of the Navy’s Personnel Command from Arlington, Virginia to Millington, Tennessee. Relations he developed with the Congressional delegations and the business and academic communities were key to the success of this BRAC–directed move.
Gunn also serves as: President of the Institute for Public Research at CNA in Alexandria, VA. (he joined CNA in 2001); Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA; an Advisor to the Global Perspectives Initiative at the University of Central Florida; and a member and Executive Board member of the Surface Navy Association, the professional association of more than 7000 surface warriors and supporters. He served as President of the Surface Navy Association from 2001-2006.
Admiral Gunn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Experimental and Physiological Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.