Rear Admiral (RADM) Ed Winters was born June 26, 1956 in Hanover, N.H. In June 1960, his family moved to Largo, Florida. He graduated from the University of West Florida in Pensacola in 1979 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree.
In 1980 he received his commission in the US Navy through Officer Candidate School, Newport, R.I. From there, he reported to Basic Underwater Demolition/Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) training in Coronado, California and graduated with Class 112 in 1981.
Ensign Winters began his career as a SEAL Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) 22 in Virginia Beach, Va. As a platoon commander, LT(jg) Winters deployed to Lebanon (1982-83). LT Winters transferred to Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG) in Dam Neck, Va in December 1983 where he was assigned as Assistant Squadron Commander, Command Operations Officer and Squadron Commander.
In 1989 LT Winters was assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in Tampa, Florida, as the Joint Special Operations Command’s (JSOC’s) first liaison and action officer to USSOCOM. Following his assignment to USSOCOM, in August 1991 LCDR Winters was assigned as Executive Officer SEAL Team Four in Virginia Beach.
LCDR Winters attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA (1993-4) earning a master’s in National Security Affairs – Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict.
CDR Winters returned to NSWDG in early 1995 as the current operations officer and then the operations officer into 1998 when he assumed command of SEAL Team 4. During this assignment he deployed throughout Latin America and then to Bosnia-Herzegovina as the deputy commander of a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. Departing SEAL Team 4 in 2000, CDR Winters returned to Bosnia-Herzegovina for a one-year deployment as commander of a classified joint task force.
In 2001 Captain Winters reported to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg, N.C., serving as the deputy operations officer and operations officer forward. During his tour he deployed four times with a classified Joint Task Forces (JTF) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), including one deployment as the JTF commander. In 2003 he returned to NSWDG and took command. During this tour he made another four deployments with the JTF in support of OEF. Following his command tour, he was assigned in 2006 to USSOCOM as Director, Interagency Task Force at the Center for Special Operations. Also, while assigned to USSOCOM, he deployed to Iraq for over 15 months (2007-8) as commander, Iraqi National Counterterrorism Force Transition Team. He was frocked to Rear Admiral in April 2007 prior to this deployment.
Shortly after his return from Iraq, RDML Winters took Command of Naval Special Warfare Command (2008-11). In 2011 RADM Winters deployed to Iraq one last time for a one year tour initially as part of the Operation Iraqi Freedom forces but remained in Iraq after the draw down as Deputy Director of the Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq (OSC-I). Upon Return from Iraq, RADM Winters returned to USSOCOM and was assigned as the Director Of Operations for a year until he retired from active duty on 31 Aug 2013.
Winters’ decorations include the Special Warfare breast insignia, Naval Parachutist breast insignia, two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, three Defense Superior Service Medals, Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals, five Defense Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various unit and personal citations.