Joseph Mobley was born in 1941 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and grew up in Manhatten Beach, California. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy on June 27, 1962, and was commissioned in the U.S. Navy on June 8, 1966. After training at Pensacola, Florida, he was designated a Naval Flight Officer in March 1967. After completing training in the A-6 Intruder, Mobley served with Attack Squadron THIRTY-FIVE off the USS Enterprise (CVN 65). He was forced to eject over North Vietnam on June 24, 1968, and was immediately captured and taken as a Prisoner of War. After spending 1,724 days in captivity, Mobley was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. After hospitalization, LT Mobley attended Naval Postgraduate School and then served with Attack Squadron 128 from April 1975 to February 1976. In February 1976, LCDR Mobley was assigned to Attack Squadron 52, where he served as Administrative Officer, Operations Officer, and Maintenance Officer until June 1978. He next served as the Assistant Readiness Officer of Medium Attack Wing Pacific from June 1978 to July 1979. He served as Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron 75 from January 1980 to March 1982, and then went through Naval Amphibious School from March to May 1982. Next he was Ship Navigator aboard USS America (CV-66) from May 1982 to June 1984. Following Navigator duty, he became Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Program Planning with the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, where he served from June 1984 to March 1986. After completing Surface Warfare Officers School from March to May 1986, Mobley became Executive Officer on board USS America from May 1986 to November 1987. He completed Surface Warfare Officers School in April 1988, and then served as Commanding Officer of USS Kalamazoo (AOR 6) from April 1988 to January 1990. He next served as Commanding Officer of USS Saratoga (CV 60) from January 1990 to April 1991, during which time he directed his aircraft carrier's operations in Operation Desert Storm. After the Persian Gulf War, Admiral Mobley served as Chief of Staff of U.S. Sixth Fleet from May 1991 to August 1992. He then served as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements, and Assessment from August 1992 to July 1993. He was Director of Aviation Manpower and Training Branch in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations from November 1993 to August 1994, and then became Commander of Carrier Group TWO and Commander of the Naval Safety Center from September 1994 to October 1995. Admiral Mobley was Director of the Navy Staff in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations from November 1995 to September 1996, and was Director for Operations of U.S. Pacific Command from September 1996 to November 1998. His final command was as Commander of the Naval Air Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, where he served from November 1998 until his retirement from the Navy on June 1, 2001. Admiral Mobley is married to the former Mary Turk of Manhattan Beach, California, and they have one son, Joseph.
His 1st (of 6) Legion of Merit with Valor Citation reads:
For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from June 1968 to March 1973. Under the most adverse of conditions, he resisted all attempts by the North Vietnamese to use him in causes detrimental to the United States, never wavering in his devotion and loyalty to the United States and his fellow prisoners. Despite the adversities of confinement, he performed such duties and responsibilities as assigned by superiors and required of the Code of Conduct in an exemplary and highly professional manner. Displaying extraordinary courage, resourcefulness, and dedication throughout this period of imprisonment, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized