Mr. Samuel Kirby
Acting Assistant Vice Chief of Naval Research
Mr. Samuel Kirby graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Upon completion of The Basic School, he reported to Flight School in Pensacola, Florida where he trained for designation as a Naval Flight Officer. He transferred to VA-128, NAS Whidbey Island, where he completed training as an A-6E Intruder Bombardier Navigator. He was assigned to Marine All Weather Attack Squadron (VMA(AW) - 332) where he completed a variety of squadron deployments and assignments worldwide and attended the last A-6E Weapons and Tactics Instructor course at MAWTS-1.
He attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and graduated in 1995 with a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science. He then reported to the Marine Corps Tactical System Support Activity (MCTSSA), Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as the Deputy for Fleet Support, providing Marines with technical support of C4I systems worldwide and SIPRNET construction and support across the Marine Corps. This included technical support for MEF level exercises worldwide, MEU support, and the establishment of a 24-hour technical helpdesk at MCTSSA that remains in operation to this day.
In 1999, he completed F/A-18 transition training at VMFAT-101, MCAS Miramar, and reported to Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 (VMFA(AW)-242) where he served in a variety of squadron assignments and made several deployments, including deployments in Japan and the Western Pacific.
In June 2002, he reported to Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12), MCAS Iwakuni Japan, where he served as the Operations Officer and Executive Officer until December 2005. During his assignment to Marine Aircraft Group 12 he served as Officer in Charge for numerous multi squadron exercises in the Western Pacific to include exercises in Thailand, Korea, Japan and Australia. He reported to MAG-31 in 2006 and took command of VMFA(AW)-332. He served as Commanding Officer until April of 2007 when the squadron was put into a cadre status.
He graduated from the Naval War College with an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies in 2008. Upon graduation, he served as a Chief of Naval Operations Fellow at the Strategic Studies Group in Newport. The Group's task was to recommend innovative warfighting concepts for the operational and tactical employment of unmanned vehicles in the Naval Force.
From 2009 until 2010, he served as the Marine Liaison to the Combined Forces Air Component Commander at Al Udeid airbase in Qatar where he supported Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan from the Combined Air Operations Center in Qatar.
He has been working at ONR since 2010. He was initially assigned as the military deputy in ONR-30, the Naval Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare Department, where he retired from active duty in 2013. Upon retirement, he worked with the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS) where he developed the Standard Operating Procedures for the newly formed Futures Directorate, Combat Development and Integration, Quantico, Virginia.
In February 2014 he was assigned back to ONR 30, where he served as the Director of Strategy and Plans. In October 2017 he moved to serve as the Integration and Experimentation Program Manager. In January 2019, ONR assigned him as the Future Naval Capability (FNC) and Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) Portfolio Manager. The FNC and INP portfolios are two of ONR's largest portfolios that develop technologies for Programs of Record and technologies that create high risk/high payoff disruptive effects. In July 2021, ONR assigned Mr. Kirby to his current position of Acting AVCNR.