Rear Adm. Brian Fort is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, and a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Following commissioning through Officer Candidate School, he completed nuclear power training at Orlando, Florida, and Ballston Spa, New York. He earned a master’s degree from the Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies and is also a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College.
Fort’s initial sea tour was aboard the Norfolk-based USS Bainbridge (CGN 25) as the Machinery Two Division officer and reactor training assistant. As a department head he served as operations officer in the Pearl Harbor-based USS Ingersoll (DD 990) and USS Lake Erie (CG 70). Returning to the East Coast, he served in USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as main propulsion assistant and then immediately returned back to Hawaii in the wake of 9/11 to serve as executive officer in USS Port Royal (CG 73). Fort commanded the Norfolk based USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), deploying as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2. He then commanded Destroyer Squadron 26, serving as the sea combat commander for the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.
Ashore, Fort served as the U.S. Naval and Exchange officer to the Royal Navy at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England. Following his tour onboard Port Royal, he served as executive officer of the Navy Nuclear Power Training Unit, Charleston, South Carolina, as the Navy Federal Executive Fellow at the George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs and on the Joint Staff, J-7, as the Adaptive Planning Branch chief in the Joint Operational War Plans Division. He also commanded the Navy Nuclear Power Training Unit, Ballston Spa and served on the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic as the director of the Commander’s Action Group. Fort previously served as Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.
Fort assumed the duties as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan/Commander, Navy Region Japan in June 2019.
His personal awards include the Legion of Merit (four awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various unit and campaign medals.