Rear Admiral Peter Vasely, Special Assistant to the Director of the Navy Staff

Rear Admiral Peter Vasely

Special Assistant to the Director of the Navy Staff

Peter Gerard Vasely was born in 1967 and grew up in Coronado, California. He earned an undergraduate degree in general engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy. On receiving his commission, he volunteered for Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training. His first operational assignment was with the SEAL Team ONE. He worked his way through Navy ranks, deploying to Southeast Asia. 

He volunteered for assignment to Naval Special Warfare Development Group and completed specialized training. He was a part of Joint Special Operations Command and was deployed in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.  

He earned an M.S. degree in joint warfighting and strategic studies from the Joint Advanced Warfighting School. His later assignments and joint tours include Operations Officer, Joint Special Operations Command, and Deputy Commanding Officer of Naval Special Warfare Development Group A. 

Vasely served as the Director of Operations of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years. He was assigned to command U.S. Forces Afghanistan Forward in July 2021. Since November 2021, he is serving as a special assistant to the Director of the Navy Staff. 

He is married to Deanne Maree Clarke and they have two children. 

In the News…

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Army revealed that the withdrawal from Afghanistan could have been much better handled if the president and State Department had not refused to listen to the Pentagon. 

The report said senior White House and State Department officials failed to grasp the Taliban’s steady advance on Afghanistan’s capital and resisted efforts by U.S. military leaders to prepare the evacuation of embassy personnel and Afghan allies weeks before Kabul’s fall, placing American troops ordered to carry out the withdrawal in greater danger, according to sworn testimony from multiple commanders involved in the operation. 

Military personnel would have been “much better prepared to conduct a more orderly” evacuation, Navy Rear Admiral Peter Vasely, the top U.S. commander on the ground during the operation, told Army investigators, “if policymakers had paid attention to the indicators of what was happening on the ground.” He did not identify any administration officials by name but said inattention to the Taliban’s determination to complete a swift and total military takeover undermined commanders’ ability to ready their forces. 


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