T.L. McCreary, Rear Admiral, USN, Retired

Rear Admiral T.L. McCreary was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He traveled from 1968 to 1971 with the International cast of Up with People and received his high school diploma while touring in 1970. He graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a B.A. in history in 1978.

He was commissioned in 1979 after attending Officer Candidate School. He then served as a surface warfare officer in the Pacific Fleet, as an electrical officer and main propulsion assistant aboard the destroyer USS O'Brien (DD 975). During his sea tour in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean (from 1979 to 1981), he applied for and received re-designation as a public affairs officer (PAO). He attended DINFOS in 1982 and 1986. McCreary spent the first two years of his PAO tour in the Navy Office of Information. He served as the assistant public affairs officer for the commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.

After completing a master's of science degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations at San Diego State University in 1986, McCreary headed to Washington, D.C., as the news director for Navy News This Week. He served as the public affairs officer (PAO) aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63), during Operation Desert Storm, and in Submarine Group Five in San Diego. His next move took him to Bahrain, where he served as the public affairs officer for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet.  McCreary then became the public affairs officer for the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington D.C.

McCreary was the director of public affairs for the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, headquartered in Pearl Harbor, until he was selected as a Special Assistant to the 14th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh Shelton at the Pentagon when it was attacked on September 11. He remained in that position for the first two years of General Richard B. Myers' tenure as Chairman. During that time, Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom were conducted, and he routinely worked with senior Pentagon officials and national news media. He was part of the public affairs team that pushed to embed journalists in military units, insisting that the face of war should be the troops and that the reality of the danger would lead to more accurate media coverage.

McCreary became the U.S. Navy's Chief of Information in July 2003. As CHINFO, McCreary was responsible for the largest transformation of the Navy's public and internal communications since its inception. He was responsible for creating the Mass Communication Specialist (MC) rating for Navy personnel, combining the skills sets of photographers, journalists, lithographers and draftsmen.

After 27 years of service, McCreary retired as a rear admiral in July 2006. He then served as the Director of Communication for the National Counterterrorism Center and U.S. Special Operations Command before becoming as the president of Military.com (Military Advantage) in December 2008. He was a Vice President of Monster Worldwide during that same time.