Adm. Mike Mullen became the 28th Chief of Naval Operations on July 22, 2005. On Friday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that Mullen is his choice to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A native of Los Angeles, Mullen graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. He has served in Allied, Joint and Navy positions, overseas and in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.

As a junior officer, he served in various leadership positions aboard USS Collett (DD 730), USS Blandy (DD 943), USS Fox (CG 33) and USS Sterrett (CG 31). Mullen commanded three ships: USS Noxubee (AOG 56), USS Goldsborough (DDG 20), and USS Yorktown (CG 48). As a Flag Officer, he commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Group Two and the George Washington Battle Group. Mullen's last command at sea was as Commander, U.S. Second Fleet/Commander, NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic.

Ashore, Mullen served as Company Officer and Executive Assistant to the Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. He also served in the Bureau of Naval Personnel as Director, Surface Officer Distribution and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense on the staff of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation. On the Chief of Naval Operations' staff, Mullen served as Deputy Director and Director of Surface Warfare; Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements, and Assessments (N8); and as the 32nd Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

Mullen graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., with a Master of Science degree in Operations Research. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Mullen's last operational assignment was Commander, Joint Force Command Naples/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe. Based in Naples, Italy, he had operational responsibility for NATO missions in the Balkans, Iraq, and the Mediterranean as well as providing overall command, operational control, and coordination of U.S. naval forces in the European Command area of responsibility.