Rear Admiral Sean Filipowski is a native of New Jersey. The Navy legacy of the “Filipowski’s” goes back generations, with a history of enlisted Navy service.
His grandfather was a Water Tender and served on the Battleship CONNECTICUT during WWI. His father was an Aviation Machinist Mate. One uncle was an Aviation Ordnanceman and Aerial Gunner during WWII and is listed as MIA presumed lost on 27 May 1945. Another uncle was a part of the V12 program (early N.R.O.T.C) during WWII, and yet another was a Communications Technician Collections direct support Morse Intercept Operator. Finally, one last uncle was a Yeoman from 1959-1979. Admiral Filipowski graduated and was commissioned in 1982 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the first Naval Officer in his family. He subsequently graduated from the Naval War College in 1994.
The Admiral began his Navy career as a non-nuclear propulsion trained submariner. He was selected into the Submarine Strategic Weapons Systems Officer program and served two tours as a submariner. His initial assignment was on board USS NATHANAEL GREENE (SSBN 636) (Blue), followed by duty at Commander, Submarine Squadron 18 embarked on USS HOLLAND (AS 32). In 1986, he was selected as a Special Duty Officer (Cryptology).
The Admiral’s first assignment as a cryptologist was U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Misawa, Japan from 1987 to 1990. He served as a Submarine Cryptologic Direct Support Officer on USS BUFFALO (SSN 715), USS HAWKBILL (SSN 666), USS LOS ANGELES (SSN 688), and USS HADDO (SSN 604) during four Western Pacific Deployments; as the Direct Support Division Officer; Readiness and Training Officer; and Assistant Department Head for Collection. On his second Cryptologic tour, while assigned to CINCPACFLT staff, he deployed with COMGRUDESGRU-3 embarked on board the USS NIMITZ (CVN 73) during Operation DESERT STORM.
RADM Filipowski assignments have also included COMCARGRU-7 on the NIMITZ (CVN 68); the Joint Special Operations Command where he deployed to Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina and Aviano Italy in support Operation Joint Guard; Executive Officer of NSGA Misawa; and COMSEVENFHFLT staff, embarked on board the USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19), which deployed throughout the Western Pacific.
He was selected for flag rank in June 2009 and promoted in May 2010. As a flag officer, he has served as the director of Electronic and Cyber Warfare for Information Dominance; the deputy director of Operations at U.S. Cyber Command; the director of Intelligence at U.S. Cyber Command and the director of Warfare Integration on the OPNAV Information Dominance staff; Senior Military Advisor for Cyber Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He received his second star in 2015 and is currently serving as the NSA’s Deputy Director of Operations.
He will tell you that his leadership tours, as the Commanding Officer for both U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka, Japan and U.S. Navy Information Operations Command Georgia were among his favorite. However, operationally, his favorite tours were with the Joint Special Operations Command and COMSEVENTHFLT embarked on the USS BLUE RIDGE.
The Admiral gives credit to his family and the many Bluejackets, Chief Petty Officers and Officers he has served with over the years. Their support and mentorship were instrumental to his selection to Flag Rank. He remains humbled and grateful for the opportunity that has been given him.
Source: NCVA CRYPTOLOG 38-1 (Winter 2017)