Rear Adm. Samuel J. Cox, U.S. Navy (Retired) serves as the director of the Naval History and Heritage Command and Curator of the Navy. He is responsible for the Navy's museums, art and artifact collections, the research library, 150 million pages of archives, and for collecting and interpreting U.S. Naval history throughout the world.
Entering the Navy from Hoffman Estates, Illinois, he graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1980, winning the Trident Scholar Prize for his independent research project "U.S. Foreign Policy and Naval Strategy in China, 1945-1950," as well as the prize for the history major with the highest standing. He also holds a master's degree in Military Art and Sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, earning U.S. Army designation as a Military Historian.
In his 37 year naval career, Cox served as an intelligence officer, retiring in November 2013, as the senior naval intelligence community leader and from both command of the Office of Naval Intelligence and as director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office. He also previously served as director of Intelligence (J2), U.S. Cyber Command. His major command tour was as commander of the U.S. Central Command Joint Intelligence Center. He was also the first intelligence officer to serve as a senior fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group.
He held significant operational intelligence leadership positions throughout his career: Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1990-1991), Mount Pinatubo eruption, Philippines (1991), Cuban Refugee Crises (1993-1995), Haiti intervention (1994-1995), Kosovo conflict (1999), Iraq Southern No-Fly Zone enforcement (1999-2001), Iraqi Maritime Interception Operations (1999-2001), USS Cole attack (2000), Afghanistan (2001, 2004-2007), Iraq (2004-2007), South Korean warship CHEONAN sinking (2010), and Cyber Operations (2011-2012.)
Cox became the 14th director and Curator of the Navy on Dec. 29, 2014. The office was established in 1944 and after a series of mergers and name changes, became the Naval History and Heritage Command in 2008.
Cox's awards include the Bronze Star, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal for leading the CHEONAN sinking multinational investigation, the 2001 Navy League of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Foundation Award for excellence in operational intelligence support to the Fleet, as well as numerous other military unit, campaign and individual medals.
Visit the Director's Corner to access Director Cox's blog posts. Also in this section, Director Cox shares highlights of Navy imagery, artifacts, and archival documents.