Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander, U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas

Commander, U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet

Karl Owen Thomas was born in 1953 in Fairfax, Virginia. He earned an undergraduate degree in management systems from the Rochester Polytechnic Institute and earned a Master of Science in information technology from the Naval Postgraduate School.

He is a naval aviator, having flown carrier-capable AWACs, including during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He served on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS George Washington, U.S. 6th Fleet command ship, USS Mount Whitney, USS Abraham Lincoln, and USS Carl Vinson in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

For a time, he served as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 5 with the USS Ronald Reagan. 

In 2021, Thomas was promoted to vice admiral and became Commander of the United States Seventh Fleet. In March of 2023, he was named Director of Naval Intelligence. 

In the News…

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet said that aggressive behavior by foreign militaries must be challenged and checked after Chinese coast guard ships used a water cannon in early August against a Philippine vessel that was carrying supplies to troops aboard a warship intentionally grounded on a shoal in the South China Sea. 

Admiral Thomas said, “You have to challenge people I would say operating in a grey zone. When they’re taking a little bit more and more and pushing you, you’ve got to push back, you have to sail and operate.”

“There’s really no better example of aggressive behavior than the activity on 5 August on the shoal,” he added. 


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