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Trident Scholar Program
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Rear Admiral Samuel J. Cox, USN (Ret.)

Director, National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office Commander, Office of Naval Intelligence


Sam always seems to be on the move, and using Chicago as home base he has been to nearly every corner of the globe. One summer foray saw him “down under” on New Zealand FOREX, and his only complaints wer of rough seas, winter cold, and length of absence from Ocean City. A Trident History Scholar, he was quickly tagged as the “day student” because research took him to Naval Archives, Library of Congress, and serious consultation with a Georgetown grad student. Unequalled by any of his colleagues over in the History Department, our resident Naval expert also left no doubt who was tops on PCE’s. Rarely in the Hall on weekends, his habit of hard work during the week nonetheless carried him to academic excellence, and his winning attitude propelled cross country teams and YP crews alike to Brigade honors. A quiet individualist whose irreproachable integrity and keen analytical skills earned him everyone's respect, Sam is headed for Pensacola, fighter wings, and much success.

Sam’s Trident Scholar research was titled, “U.S. Foreign Policy and Naval Strategy in China, 1945-1950.”

...& Now

Rear Admiral Samuel Cox assumed command of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in November 2012, and in December became dual-hatted as Director, National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office, which supports the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. RADM Cox previously served as Director of Intelligence (J2), U.S. Cyber Command. His previous flag assignments include Director of National Maritime Intelligence Center; head of the Multi-national Intelligence Task Force investigating the sinking of South Korea’s warship Cheonan, senior member of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program, director of Plans and Policy (N5) and Fleet Intelligence for Naval Network Warfare Command. Prior to his selection as Rear Admiral in 2007, he commanded the U.S. Central Command Joint Intelligence Center for three years.

RADM Cox graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1980, winning the Trident Scholar and History Department Awards. He holds a master’s degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

His sea duty and operational assignments include E-2C Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 intelligence officer, and then Carrier Air Wing 7 intelligence officer embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower during contingency operations off Libya and Lebanon from 1981 to 1984. From 1990 to 1992, RADM Cox served as current intelligence officer for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), embarked on USS Blue Ridge, deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and then as fleet collections manager for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet for Western Pacific Operations.

From 1998 to 1999, RADM Cox served as intelligence officer (N2) for Commander, Carrier Group 8, embarked on USS Theodore Roosevelt for combat Operations Allied Force (Kosovo) and Southern Watch (Iraq). He also served as N2 for NAVCENT and 5th Fleet in Bahrain for Operation Southern Watch, Iraqi Maritime Interception Operations, and initial combat operations during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks. 

RADM Cox’s shore assignments include Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence Plot (CNO-IP) watch officer and CNO briefer from 1984 to 1987; deputy director, international programs and assistant operations officer for Commander, Naval Intelligence Command/Task Force 168 from 1987 to 1990. From 1993 to 1995, he served as officer-in-charge, U.S. Atlantic Command, Joint Intelligence Center during Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti). RADM Cox then served as flag secretary for Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic/Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command from 1995 to 1998. In 2002, he joined the OPNAV Staff at the Pentagon as Future Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting branch head. In 2003, he became the first intelligence officer to serve as a senior fellow on the CNO Strategic Studies Group.

RADM Cox’s awards include the Bronze Star, Director of National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal, and the 2001 Navy League of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Foundation Award for excellence in operational intelligence support to the Fleet.

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