Captain John Spencer was born and raised in Fairborn, Ohio. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in Systems Engineering. He earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and completed a National Security Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Captain Spencer has served on five submarines. He was a division officer on USS MARYLAND, a department head on USS BILLFISH and USS JEFFERSON CITY and the executive officer on the USS SAN JUAN. During these tours, he completed five strategic deterrent patrols and deployments to the Northern Atlantic, Arctic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf.
Captain Spencer was the thirteenth commanding officer of the USS PHILADELPHIA in Groton, Connecticut. During this tour, his ship completed a deployment to the Northern Atlantic, Indian Ocean the Arabian Gulf.
Ashore, he has served as an instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power School, as operations officer at Submarine Squadron Eleven and as deputy commander of Submarine Squadron Eight. Most recently, he served as the military assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.