Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, 5th Fleet Commander and Commander Naval Forces SOCOM, was found dead in his quarters in Bahrain. The message was related by Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, on his Twitter account as follows:
“Team, it’s my sad duty to inform you that today the Secretary of the Navy and I were informed that Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, our commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and commander of U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, was found deceased in his residence in Bahrain today.”
According to his Navy biography, Admiral Stearney was a native of Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of Notre Dame, with Bachelors in Economics, he was commissioned in October 1982. Stearney entered flight training and became a Naval Aviator in April 1984. Stearney went on to graduate from Navy Fighter Weapons School and completed a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy at the National Defense University.
In the fleet, Stearney flew the FA-18 Hornet in several strike squadrons — the Golden Warriors of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-87, the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-136 — and rose to strike warfare officer for commander, Carrier Group 4. Stearney went on to command the Wildcats of VFA-131 and then Carrier Air Wing Seven aboard the carrier, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. His tours of duty included Kabul, Afghanistan, as chief of staff of Joint Task Force 435, and later Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435. In his flying career, Admiral Stearney amassed over 4,500 hours of mishap-free flying and made over 1,000 carrier-arrested landings.
His shore duty assignments included instructor and readiness officer at Navy Fighter Weapons School, as an aide-de-camp to the Chief of Naval Operations, as the deputy director J6, U.S. Joint Forces Command, as executive assistant to deputy commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command and chief of staff, Strike Force Training Atlantic.
As a flag officer, Stearney was the commander of the U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, commander of the Strike Force Training Atlantic, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 4, and Navy Warfare Development Command, and director of operations for U.S. Central Command.
His most recent assignment as commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, ran from May 2018 until December 1, 2018.
At the time of this reporting, while the cause of death is unknown, foul play is not suspected. It is of note that according to his Navy Biography page his tour as 5th Flt Commander ended today. Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, the deputy commander of 5th Fleet has taken over Admiral Stearney’s duties.