Commander Daniel Vardiman is the 2021-22 senior US Navy fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.
Afloat, for his commander milestone tour, he was the intelligence lead for Expeditionary Strike Group Two from August 2019 through July 2021. In this role, he also served as the acting information warfare commander; supported staff certification, contingency operations, and integration with the Marines; participated in exercises in Europe and off the East Coast of the United States; and assisted with defense support to civil authorities. For his lieutenant commander milestone tour, he was the intelligence lead for Amphibious Squadron Six from June 2014 through June 2016, and on the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and Wasp Amphibious Ready Group deploying to the US Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of responsibility. Vardiman completed his division officer tour aboard USS Essex from April 2002 through April 2004 as the assistant ships intelligence officer forward deployed out of Sasebo, Japan.
On shore, he was recently at US Fleet Forces Command from June 2016 through August 2019, where he was the lead intelligence planner, exercise lead for intelligence, special intelligence officer, and theater security cooperation lead. From April 2011 through May 2014, he was part of the Levant team at US Central Command, where he spent three years monitoring the Syrian civil war and assisting with planning US operations against chemical weapons in Syria. Assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency from July 2006 through August 2009, he served on the Iraq intelligence cell, where he was the Northern Iraq team chief responsible for strategic analysis on Northern Iraq. While there, he deployed to Baghdad in 2007 as part of the surge effort. As an intelligence watch officer at US Naval Forces Europe-Command Sixth Fleet from May 2004 through June 2006, Vardiman deployed to Kosovo in 2005 as the NATO imagery chief helping to hunt down and bring to justice thirteen war criminals.
A native of Fort Collins, Colorado, Vardiman attended Christian Heritage College in El Cajon, California, from 1993 to 1998, earning a bachelor of arts degree in history with an emphasis in ancient biblical history and a certificate in theology.. He also holds a master’s of philosophy in security studies from the US Naval Postgraduate School. Vardiman’s personal awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, and multiple unit and service awards.