United States Navy Rear Admiral (RADM) John Okon was born and raised in “the 315,” having grown up in Camillus, and he has bled orange his whole life. John attended the last game in both Manley Field House and Archibald Stadium, as well as the first game in the Carrier Dome. During high school, he worked for Syracuse University parking cars in the west lots of the Carrier Dome and at Manley Field House. John says while the money was good, it was the free ticket to see his ‘Orange’ that was the most valuable benefit!
After graduating from West Genesee High School in 1987, John went on to attend the State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, earning a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Oceanography, and a third mate’s license in the Merchant Marine.
Following graduation, he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on May 11, 1991, and went on to serve as a Surface Warfare Officer on the Aegis cruiser USS TICONDEROGA. While attending Maritime College, John met his wife, Valerie, originally from Catskill, NY, in 1989 and they married in 1993.
In 1995 RADM Okon was redesignated a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer and has served as a Forecaster and Optimum Track Shiprouter at the Naval Atlantic Meteorology and Oceanography Command; Aide to Commander Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command; at sea as the Meteorologist and Oceanographer on the Aircraft Carrier USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER; Assistant Deputy Director for Regional Operations on the Joint Staff; Oceanography Detailer and Placement Officer, Naval Personnel Command; and as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare. RADM Okon held command of the Naval Oceanography Anti-Submarine Warfare Center in Yokosuka, Japan from 2009-2011, which was during the great Tohoku earthquake off Japan; and Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, California from 2013-2015.
In 2017, John was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, and served from 2017-2021 as the Navigator of the Navy, Hydrographer of the Navy, Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command responsible for 2,500 personnel deployed around the world and global battlespace awareness for the United States Navy, from the bottom of the Ocean to the Stars.
RADM Okon is currently stationed at the Pentagon in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, as Director, Information Warfare Integration, responsible for a $9 billion-dollar annual budget in intelligence, cryptologic warfare, electronic warfare, information technology, cyber defense, meteorology, oceanography, precise time and astrometry.
RADM Okon holds a Master of Science in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California (2003); and a Master of Arts in National Security from Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island (2007).
RADM Okon and Valerie reside in Falls Church, Virginia with their two dogs Genesee Cream Ale and MaxY. His leadership motto is “Choices Create your Character, Your Character Creates your Course” He attributes any success he has had to the values instilled in him by the community of Central NY, and the Sailors and civilians he serves with. He is proud to be from the 315 and will never forget where he came from. He routinely gets back to “CUSE COUNTRY” to visit friends and family, and to cheer his Orange to victory!