John Stein was born in Baltimore, Maryland, where he lived until graduation from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (high school) in 1961. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout (Bronze Palm) and was an active member of the Aisquith Presbyterian Church.
He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1965 with the degree Bachelor of Science and his commission as Ensign, United States Navy. He entered the submarine service via the Navy's Nuclear Power training pipeline. His Navy career, which spanned thirty years, is summarized as follows:
May 1967 to March 1971 - USS WHALE, a fast attack nuclear submarine. Lieutenant (junior grade) John Stein served as a junior officer in various billets as Communication and Electronics Material Officer, Electrical Officer, Interior Communications Division Officer, Auxiliary Division Officer and Damage Control Assistant, and Assistant Engineer and Operations Officers. The ship was commissioned in 1968, then made three major deployments, including becoming the first single propeller submarine to surface at the North Pole, on Easter Sunday 1969, and a Mediterranean deployment during the Mid-East crisis of 1970. Also during this tour, Lieutenant John Stein qualified in submarines and as engineer officer of a naval nuclear propulsion plant.
April 1971 to July 1975 - USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, a fleet ballistic missile nuclear submarine. Lieutenant Commander John Stein served as Engineer Officer and made two POLARIS missile strategic deterrent patrols, one in the Atlantic in the Blue Crew prior to an extended refueling overhaul in Charleston, SC, and one in the Pacific as a member of the Gold Crew after the overhaul.
August 1975 to August 1977 - NROTC Unit, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL - served as Assistant Professor of Naval Science, then Associate Professor of Naval Science and unit Executive Officer. He was Freshman Instructor for the entire tour. John also received the degree Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Florida in August 1977.
November 1977 to April 1981 - USS TUNNY, a fast attack nuclear submarine. After a short preparation school, John served as Executive Officer through a deployment in the Atlantic, an overhaul in Pearl Harbor, HI, and a deployment to the Western Pacific. During this tour, Commander John Stein qualified for command of nuclear submarines.
September 1981 to July 1984 - USS SEADRAGON. Following prospective commanding officer schooling in Washington, DC, and Pearl Harbor, John commanded this aging fast attack nuclear submarine, making two deployments to the Western Pacific, then decommissioning the ship in Pearl and acting as the Officer in Charge of its tow to Bremerton, WA, for storage. During his second deployment, SEADRAGON became the first nuclear submarine to visit Hobart, Tasmania
July 1984 to August 1986 - Staff of the Chief of Naval Education and Training, Pensacola, FL - served as Nuclear Power Programs Coordinator in the Naval ROTC Program. In his off-duty hours during this tour, John learned to fly, achieving certification as a commercial pilot and flight instructor in single engine and instrument airplanes.
December 1986 to July 1989 - USS ALABAMA. Following a short training course in new submarine and missile systems, Captain John Stein took command of the Gold Crew of this new TRIDENT fleet ballistic missile submarine, making five strategic deterrent patrols in the Pacific, more consecutive patrols in command than any other TRIDENT commanding officer to date.
July 1989 to July 1991 - Staff of the Commander Carrier Group SEVEN - served as Chief of Staff and made two deployments, one in USS MIDWAY (aircraft carrier) in the Indian Ocean, and one in USS RANGER (aircraft carrier) in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Arabian Gulf during Desert Storm. Carrier Group SEVEN served as the Anti-Surface Warfare Commander for Battle Force ZULU in the Gulf War, directing the defeat of the Iraqi Navy during that conflict.
July 1991 to May 1992 - Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, NE - served as deputy to an Air Force General Officer until the JSTPS was disbanded to become the US Strategic Command.
June 1992 to June 1993 - United States Strategic Command, Omaha, NE - served as Inspector General of this new joint command. During his off-duty hours, John taught flying and achieved certification as a multi-engine airplane flight instructor.
July 1993 to June 1995 - NROTC Unit, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. John's final tour on active duty was as Professor of Naval Science and unit Commanding Officer at this prestigious Mid-Western university. During this tour, John served the university as chair of the Military Programs Committee and served on the search committee for a new Vice President for Student Services. He also became active in the Lafayette chapter of Rotary International.
Upon retirement on 01 July 1995, as a Captain, John was authorized to wear, in addition to unit, service, and campaign awards, the Legion of Merit (3 awards), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), and the Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards).
After retirement, John completed a second masters degree with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Aviation Safety and Operations. Now residing in the Pensacola, Florida area, John teaches flying at the Pensacola Navy Flying Club, is the Treasurer of the Pensacola First Church of the Nazarene, is also Treasurer of the Pensacola Suburban West Rotary Club, and teaches course for Pensacola Junior College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
John is married to Dr. Carla Jill Stein, EdD, a senior Navy civilian in the NROTC Program who originally is from Olathe, KS. He has two sons: John III, an ex-Navy Lieutenant now attending seminary in Illinois; and James, a computer specialist with the Justice Department in Tallahassee, FL. The Steins have three granddaughters.