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Adapted from "Rear Admiral Thomas E. Zelibor, United States Navy, Commander, Carrier Group Three"
[biography, dated 12 April 2002, CHINFO URL http://chindo.navy.mil/navpalib/people/flags/biographies/zeliborte.html] in Biographies, 20th century collection,
Navy Department Library.

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Thomas E. Zelibor

1954 -

Image of Rear Admiral Thomas E. Zelibor.

Rear Admiral Thomas E. Zelibor, is a native of Chicago, Ill.  In June 1976, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in oceanography and was commissioned an Ensign.

Rear Admiral Zelibor entered Naval Flight Officer training in July 1977 and earned his wings in April 1978.  He first reported to the “Fighting Aardvarks” of VF-114 in USS AMERICA (CV 66) in January 1979.  In January 1982, he was ordered to Naval Military Personnel Command where he served as the VF sea-duty detailer until July 1983.

Rear Adm. Zelibor next reported toe USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) as the assistant navigator until November 1985.  In May 1986, he began his squadron department head tour with the “Red Rippers” of VF-11 in USS FORRESTAL (CV 59) where he served as both the administrative and maintenance officer until June 1988.

In July 1988, Rear Zelibor reported to CINCLANTFLT staff at Norfolk, Va., for duty as deputy director for program planning, and detached in June 1990.  In August 1990, he was assigned to the “Swordsmen” of VF-32 in USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67), and became executive officer in December 1990.  He deployed with VF-32 to the Red Sea where he participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, flying 30 combat missions in January 1991 against Iraq.  He served as the Swordsmen’s commanding officer from February 1992 to September 1993.

In February 1994, Rear Adm. Zelibor reported to CINCLANTFLT staff at Norfolk, Va., for duty ad deputy director for program planning, and detached in June 1990.  In August 1990, he was assigned to the “Swordsmen” of VF-32 in USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67), and became executive officer in December 1990.  He deployed with VF-32 to the Red Sea where he participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, flying 30 combat missions in January 1991 against Iraq.  He served as the Swordsmen’s commanding officer from February 1992 to September 1993.

In February 1994, Rear Adm. Zelibor reported to Carrier Air Wing THREE (CVW-3) as deputy air wing commander in USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN69) and assumed command in March 1995 while on station in the Adriatic Sea, and remained in command until April 1996.  In July 1996, he reported to the Operations Directorate (J3) of the Joint Staff as the assistant deputy director for operations (Information Operations), J39.  Rear Adm. Zelibor attained Flag rank and reported to Dahlgren, Va., in October 1998 to assume command of Naval Space Command as the Naval Component Commander for USCINCSPACE.  In July 2000 he reported Bremerton, Wash., and assumed duties as Commander, Carrier Group THREE in USS VINSON (CVN70).  On 11 September 2001, he was assigned responsibilities as CTF50 during Operating Enduring Freedom in Charge of a three-carrier task force in the North Arabian Sea.

During his career, Rear Adm. Zelibor has accumulated over 1,000 carrier landings and 3,400 tactical flight hours.  His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Medals, Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat “V", three Meritorious Service Medals, three Strike/Flight Air Medals (two with Combat “V”) one individual Air Medal with Combat “V”, four Navy Commendation Medals (three with Combat “V”), two Navy Achievement Medals, and various campaign and service medals.

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Published: Mon Jul 27 12:24:53 EDT 2015