Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., and raised in the small town of Imperial nearby, Rear Admiral JJ Quinn graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He received his wings and was designated a Naval Flight Officer at NAS Pensacola in September 1975.
Rear Admiral Quinn's initial sea assignments had him flying the F-4J Phantomand F-14A Tomcaton both coasts aboard the carriers Forrestal, Kitty Hawk, and Rangerwhile attached to the VF-11 "Red Rippers" and VF-2 "Bounty hunters." He also served as aide and flag lieutenant to Commander, Carrier Group TWO/Battle Force Sixth Fleet home ported in Naples, Italy. He subsequently returned to VF-2 as Executive Officer, and assumed command in February 1991 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61) in the Arabian Gulf where he flew 51 combat missions in support of Operation Desert Storm. While under his command, the VF-2 “Bounty Hunters” set many flight hour records and received numerous awards that included the 1991 Admiral Joseph C. Clifton Award as the best fighter squadron in the Navy.
Ashore, Rear Admiral Quinn was first assigned to the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TopGun) in February 1979, as an instructor in Aircraft Combat Maneuvers (ACM) and Maritime Air Superiority (MAS) fighter tactics. In April 1987, he was selected for duty in the White House as the Naval Aide to the President where he served two Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
In June 1992, Rear Admiral Quinn was selected to participate in the Navy's Nuclear Power Program. Upon completion, he was assigned as Executive Officer of USS Nimitz(CVN 68), and in June 1996, assumed command of USS Juneau(LPD 10). In February 1998, he assumed command of the USS Abraham Lincoln(CVN 72). He was selected to flag rank in FY 1999, and assumed command of the Naval Space Command in June 2000. In February 2001, he was selected to serve as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. In June 2001, he was assigned as Commander, Carrier Group TWO/Harry S. Truman Battle Group. While in command, he was assigned additional duties and deployed to the CENTCOM AOR as the Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia and as Director, Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) operating at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM. In August 2002, he assumed the position as the Director of Operations/ Plans/Policy/Training for the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Rear Admiral Quinn retired on January 1st, 2004.
Over his 30 year Navy career, Rear Admiral Quinn has had a total of 5 commands and accumulated over 2,800 flight hours and over 550 carrier landings in a number of fighter aircraft. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, five Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, four Air Medals (2 Individual with Combat "V"/2 Strike-Flight), and four Navy Commendation Medals (2 with Combat "V").
Rear Admiral Quinn now resides in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and is married to the former Kim Olson of Pontiac, Michigan. They have two children, Olivia, a LTJG in the US Navy, and Shannon, a sophomore at Texas Christian University.