On the morning of May 10, 2013, RADM Mark H. Buzby ’75 handed over the helm of the USNS Spearhead to his replacement, RADM T.K. Shannon, he spoke to the hundreds of people in attendance, which included the seamen he had commanded about the dreams he had as a child and the realization of those dreams over the decades of service. At the heart of his talk stood Admiral Farragut Academy.
“I knew at the age of nine years old, I would make a career as a sailor. From the first time I put on the uniform at Admiral Farragut Academy, I knew it was where I was meant to be.”
Buzby relieved Rear Admiral Robert D. Reilly Jr as Commander of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on October 16, 2009 and served the position for about 3.5 years. On May 10, 2013, Admiral Buzby was relieved by Rear Admiral (select) Thomas K. Shannon and retired from 34 years of service.
A 1979 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Buzby earned his Bachelor of Science in Nautical Science and U.S. Coast Guard Third Mate License. He was commissioned in June 1979, is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College and holds master’s degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and Salve Regina University in Strategic Studies and International Relations.
As a surface warfare officer, Buzby made numerous deployments aboard cruisers and destroyers to include: USS Connole (FF 1056), USS Aries (PHM 5), USS Yorktown (CG 48) and USS Shiloh (CG 67). Buzby commanded the destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) which included the ship’s first Mediterranean/Persian Gulf deployment.
Following this tour, Buzby returned to sea as U.S. 6th Fleet assistant operations officer participating in combat operations as part of NATO’s Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. He then assumed command of Destroyer Squadron 31 as the sea combat commander for the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group during two deployments in support of Operations Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively.
Ashore, Buzby has served on the Navy staff as the Point Defense Anti-Air Warfare section head for Surface Warfare Division and as Aegis Combat System development officer. Early joint experience was on the Joint Staff, Joint Operations Division as an operations officer and chairman’s briefer. He was the 16th commanding officer of Surface Warfare Officers School command.
As a flag officer, Buzby has served on the Navy staff as deputy for Surface Ships, deputy for Surface Warfare and deputy for Expeditionary Warfare. He has also served as commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, and most recently as deputy chief of Staff for Global Force Management and Joint Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Buzby served as the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command from October 2009 to March 2013.
Buzby’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (five awards) and various other unit and campaign awards.