Admiral Mullen was sworn in as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2007. Until his retirement, he served as the principal military advisor to the president, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. A native of Los Angeles, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968.
He commanded three ships: the gasoline tanker USS Noxubee (AOG 56), the guided missile destroyer USS Goldsborough (DDG 20) and the guided missile cruiser USS Yorktown (CG 48). As a flag officer, Mullen commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Group 2, the George Washington Battle Group and the U.S. 2nd Fleet/NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic.
Ashore he served in leadership positions at the Naval Academy, in the Navy's Bureau of Personnel, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Navy Staff. He was the 32nd Vice Chief of Naval Operations from August 2003 to October 2004. His last operational assignment was as commander, NATO Joint Force Command Naples/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe.
Mullen is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and earned a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Prior to becoming chairman, Mullen served as the 28th Chief of Naval Operations.