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Vice Admiral John J. Donnelly

Vice Admiral John J. Donnelly

U.S. Navy (Ret.)

John Donnelly headshot
Naval Postgraduate School - MS


Vice Admiral Jay Donnelly retired from active duty on 31 December 2010 after 35 years in the Navy.  A second-generation submarine officer, he was born in Groton, Connecticut.  He was a physics major and distinguished graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1975.  He received a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Acoustics from the Naval Postgraduate School.

His final active duty assignment was as Commander, Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) and Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (COMSUBLANT).  As COMSUBFOR he led the Navy’s Undersea Enterprise and was responsible for establishing force wide strategies on core submarine issues such as force structure, budgetary requirements, and manpower.  As COMSUBLANT he had command responsibility for all Atlantic based U.S. submarines, their crews, and supporting shore activities. 

As a career submarine officer, he served as division officer on USS Tautog (SSN 639), Engineer Officer on USS Memphis (SSN 691), and Executive Officer on USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN 641).  His afloat command assignments were aboard USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) and USS McKee (AS 41).

His early shore assignments include duty as a physics instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy; Assistant for Undersea Warfare and Strategic Issues for the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel staff (OP-00K); Head of the Submarine Acquisition Branch (N872C) and Assistant for Plans and Liaison (N87C) for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Submarine Warfare Requirements.

Following major command, he served as Chief of Staff for Commander, Seventh Fleet where he was selected for flag rank.  Subsequently, he served as Director of Combat Plans (J5A) and Deputy Director for Operations and Logistics (J3/4A) at U.S. Strategic Command; as Commander, Submarine Group Seven; and as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Following retirement from the Navy, he became a vice president at Oceaneering International Advanced Technologies for two years before moving to Huntington Ingalls Industries where he was a Corporate Vice President for Program Integration and Assessment for six years before becoming Vice President for Advanced Technologies. He retired from Huntington Ingalls Industries in July 2020.

Jay and his wife, Mimi, have been married for over four decades and are the proud parents of three married children, each one a naval officer, and six grandchildren.