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Trident Scholar Program
Picture Name

Vice Admiral Dirk J. Debbink, USN (Ret.)

Chief of the United States Navy Reserve


As a rule, when one is told that one doesn’t belong at USNA, it usually means one cannot cope with the system. With Dirk it was just the opposite. Evidently it wasn’t challenging enough for him, as shown by his perfect academic record, six stripes, Trident Scholarship, and varsity letter. And he’s still a nice guy! Even if he is tone deaf! He always said he could do better, but how could he? This simple Wisconsin boy can only be described in superlatives, even his taste in women. As a line officer, he will no doubt amaze his superiors with his abilities and will be the youngest CNO in history if he stays in the Navy. We wish him, simply happiness, and the best of luck as a true friend.

Dirk’s Trident Scholar research was titled, “A Study to Determine an Optimal Control Strategy for a Marine Vehicle Subjected to Random Disturbances.”

...& Now

Vice Adm. Debbink graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering in June 1977. He completed his master's in Business Administration at the University of Chicago in June 1990.

During his initial period of active service, he served aboard USS Fanning (FF 1076) and as flag aide to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan in Yokosuka, Japan.

Debbink transitioned to the Reserve component in 1983. During the next 19 years, he was assigned to numerous selected Reserve billets, supporting Navy and Joint Forces active component commands in the United States and overseas.

Selected for flag rank in 2002, he has served in Reserve component flag billets in the Pacific and Navy Region Midwest, including Reserve deputy commander and chief of staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He was called to active duty to serve as deputy chief of Navy Reserve in October 2007. Additionally, he served on the Secretary of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board from August 2006 to July 2008.

In his final assignment, Debbink became the chief of Navy Reserve on the staff of the chief of naval operations in Washington, D.C., July 22, 2008.

As a drilling Navy Reserve Sailor prior to his call to active duty, he was chairman of a regional design/build general contracting firm in Oconomowoc, Wis.

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