Commander Fredrick “Skip” Vincenzo is a visiting senior US naval special warfare fellow with the Forward Defense practice at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. After a twenty-eight-year career as a US Navy SEAL, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience gained over numerous overseas deployments in support of peacetime and contingency operations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Although he has served at locations around the world, Vincenzo specialized in Korean security affairs and has served more than twelve years on the Korean Peninsula across four strategically focused tours of duty. Vincenzo will soon retire from the Navy as US Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) de facto bench of Korea expertise.
More recently, he served for nearly three years as the director of the NATO Special Operations School in Chievres, Belgium, overseeing the annual conduct of more than one hundred courses, seminars, and events to more than two thousand special operations forces from across NATO. Of particular note, the countering hybrid warfare seminars he oversaw were highlighted numerous times for the impact they had in helping NATO member nations recognize and begin addressing strategic grey-zone risks. His most recent assignment was as an interagency embed for USSOCOM on issues related to the Korean Peninsula—a position that provided unique insights into the interaction of US government Korea-related policy planning and execution.
Vincenzo graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor’s of Science in Oceanography, and he was commissioned in May 1993 and went on to successfully complete the arduous Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL School in 1994.
Vincenzo’s professional writing has appeared in numerous online security publications, and his largest collaborative piece, An Information Based Strategy to Reduce North Korea’s Increasing Threat, was cited by both the Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affairs Magazine as one of the few underexplored options for dealing with an increasingly dangerous North Korea.