Rear Admiral (Lower Half), USN
Deborah Loewer


Surface Warfare Officer


OSC '84, Kiel, Germany

RDML Deborah Loewer graduated in 1976 from Wright State University with degrees in Theoretical Mathematics and Computer Science. Later that year, she graduated from Officer Candidate School, was commissioned an Ensign and served until 1979 as the Pay and Allowance Functional Manager for the Military Pay Navy Appropriation, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, DC.

In 1979, she was selected as one of the first women assigned to shipboard duty, attended Surface Warfare Officer School and graduated first in her class. Her first sea duty assignment took her to Mayport, FL where she served onboard USS YOSEMITE (AD-19) as Operations Officer, Navigator, Electrical Officer, Intelligence Officer, Repair Administration Officer and Management Information Center Department Head.

“The Olmsted Scholar Program works because of those who deservedly are chosen to participate in it — those military officers who thrive on the challenge of working & succeeding in culturally diverse, international environments.”

After a follow-on assignment serving as a Project Officer, at Navy Personnel Command, Washington, DC, she was selected by the Olmsted Foundation Board of Directors as an Olmsted Scholar. Completing language training at the Defense Language Institute (West), she began her Olmsted Scholar Program (OSP) experience in 1982 at the University of Kiel in Germany and concentrated her studies in the field of International Law. Following her OSP experience, she returned to the United States and the Surface Warfare Community, attended Surface Warfare Officer Department Head School and again graduated first in her class.

Over the next decade and a half, she served as Engineer Officer, USS YELLOWSTONE (AD-41); Executive Officer, USS MONONGAHELA (AO-178); Strategic Analyst, United Nations Action Officer, Chief of Naval Operations, Pentagon; Commanding Officer, USS MOUNT BAKER (AE-34); the Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense the Honorable John P. White, Pentagon; Commanding Officer, USS CAMDEN (AOE-2); and, the Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense the Honorable William S. Cohen, Pentagon.

In 2001, Rear Admiral Loewer was competitively selected to serve at the White House as a direct report to the National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice. From 2001-2003, she served as Director, The White House Situation Room, and Director, Systems & Technical Planning Staff, National Security Council/Executive Office of the President, The White House. Before retiring in 2007, she would serve two more assignments -- as Vice Commander, Military Sealift Command and Commander, Mine Warfare Command – supporting international operations in Northern and Eastern Europe and multi-national operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf and the Asia Pacific region.

Her awards include Presidential 9/11 Distinguished Service Award, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (3), Meritorious Service Medal (2), NATO Medal and the Presidential Service Badge. Upon her retirement from active duty, she was the highest ranking warfare qualified woman officer in the US Navy.

“The Olmsted Scholar Program delivers what it promises for the Scholar. You enter knowing that this is going to be a unique challenge and experience.”


Major General Jack Briggs

Director of Operation, U.S. Northern Command

OSC ’95, Budapest, Hungary