THE MAN IN CHARGE OF THE U.S. NAVY’S SUPPLY CHAIN
With his understated demeanor and down- to-earth manner, it’s a bit hard to believe Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos ‘88 (BBA) is in charge of the U.S. Navy’s entire supply chain. But as commander of the Naval Supply Sys- tems Command (NAVSUP), Stamatopoulos runs a $35 billion business. He oversees more than 22,000 personnel, both military and civilian, and commands 11 subordinate organizations around the globe. In addition, he serves as the Navy’s 49th Chief of the Supply Corps, responsible for the leadership de velopment and career path of more than 2,000 Navy supply corps officers and some 20,000 enlisted sailors.
“In simple terms, NAV- SUP is responsible for ensuring that the sailors on board our aircraft, ships, submarines and expeditionary forces, whether they’re at home or at sea, get what they need,” he says. “They need parts, they need food, fuel equipment and services to meet Navy missions and to assure their units are ready to respond when needed.”
But that’s not all. Stamatopoulos also oversees the Na- vy Exchange system, which provides lodging and retail operations for all active duty, reserve forces and retirees and their family members. “Shop- ping, dining, hotels, barber- shops, hair salons and other retail services,” he adds. “So it’s quite a large organization, focused specifically on sailor and family care.”
A third generation San Diegan, he didn’t come from a career military family, though his father served in the Navy Supply Corps during the Korean War and his uncles served in World War ll. “I always knew I wanted to be a naval officer,” he says. “I wanted to be of service to the country. But I was only thinking of doing it for maybe three or four years. I never contemplated making it a lifelong career.”
More than three decades later, Stamatopoulos is USD’s highest-ranking military alumnus.
During his long and illustrious career, he has deployed around the globe aboard submarines, amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers. Just prior to his appointment as NAVSUP com- mander, he served as director of logistics for the U.S. European Command, serving both U.S. and NATO forces.
“It’s been very exciting,” he says. “Every experience has built on prior experiences. I’ve worked with the defense industrial base, commercial providers and vendors, joint and allied partners.”
Among the many recognitions he has received over the years, Stamatopoulos says he is most proud of one — the 2006 Adm. Stan Arthur Logistics Team of the Year award. “We were called to do a noncombatant evacuation of American citizens out of Lebanon,” he recalls. “And we evacuated safely — without any injury to anybody — about 15,000 U.S. citizens to safe havens in Cyprus and other European countries.”
Stamatopoulos remains very connected to San Diego and to USD. He and his brother co- own the Turf Supper Club in Golden Hill, an old-time neighborhood steakhouse established in 1950 that remains a beloved landmark from a bygone era.
His son, George ’21 (BA), is a political science major who’s following in his father’s footsteps in the Navy ROTC.
Although it’s been decades since he graduated, Stamatopoulos still credits the university with shaping his character and enriching his world view, and the business school in particular with giving him the grounding and the tools that led to a level of success he couldn’t have begun to imagine.
“I really value my time at USD, and I can’t believe I graduated more than 30 years ago,” he says. “The faculty and students exposed me to a diversity of thought, theory and perspectives. Those interactions and experiences definitely helped to shape me to be the leader in the Navy that I am today.” — Karen Gross