Rear Admiral Matthew L. Klunder
Chief of Naval Research
Director, Test and Evaluation and Technology Requirements
Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, a native of Alexandria, Va., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and earned his wings of gold at Meridian, Miss., in September 1984. Subsequent flying tours were based in Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar, Calif.; NAS Patuxent River, Md.; Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan; and NAS Lemoore, Calif., where he was qualified in numerous aircraft including the E-2C Hawkeye and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.
Klunder has served at sea in Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, VAW-115 as a department head, VAW-115 as commanding officer, and Carrier Air Wing 2 as air wing commander. He has made eight deployments and multiple surge operations to the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans and to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf.
His shore tours include serving as a flight instructor, Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization officer and Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet evaluator at VAW-110; test pilot/project officer at Force Warfare Test Directorate; senior operations officer and Single Integrated Operational Plan officer at the Joint Staff J-3/National Military Command Center; as Joint Staff liaison officer and section chief at the U.S. State Department; as Combined Air Operations Center deputy director at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar; and deputy director for Information, Plans, and Security for OPNAV N3/N5. Highlights during these tours include receiving the 1988 Hawkeye of the Year award, the 1991 Test Pilot of the Year award, and the 2002 George C. Marshall Statesman award.
In July 2010, Klunder reported as director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities Division, OPNAV N2/N6F2 following his assignment as the 83rd commandant of midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.
He received his bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and his master’s degrees in Aerodynamics and Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee and strategic studies from the National War College.
He has flown over 45 different aircraft and accumulated 21 world flying records. His awards include the Legion of Merit (3 awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Joint Commendation Medal (2 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards), and various unit and campaign awards.
In November 2011, he became the 24th chief of naval research, with additional duties as director, Test and Evaluation and Technology Requirements.