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Kelechi Ndukwe Becomes First Nigerian-American Captain Of U.S. Navy Ship

Nigerian-American, Kelechi Ndukwe has been appointed as the new commander of the United States Navy Guided Missile Destroyer.

Ndukwe, an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame and the U.S. Naval War College, becomes the first Nigerian-American captain of a U.S. Navy ship.

Commander Kelechi is a U.S. Navy Officer serving on the Joint Staff in the Force Structure, Resource, and Assessment Directorate. As a Surface Warfare Officer, Commander Kelechi has served on multiple warships which include destroyers, cruisers and mine countermeasures, with extensive deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, Horn of Africa, Arabian Gulf, Western Pacific Ocean, and South America.

Kelechi Ndukwe Becomes First Nigerian-American Captain Of U.S. Navy Ship

At sea, Commander Kelechi qualified as Surface Warfare Officer aboard USS THORN (DD-988), where he served as Auxiliaries Mechanical Engineering Officer; USS NORMANDY (CG-60) as Fire-Missile Control Officer; Forward Deployed to Yokosuka, Japan aboard USS FITZGERALD (DDG-62) as Weapons Launching and Combat Systems Officer; Executive and Commanding Officer of USS DEVASTATOR (MCM-6), a minesweeper based in Bahrain; and most recently as the Executive Officer, USS HALSEY (DGG-97) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Ashore, Commander Kelechi served in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, representing the Navy on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Liaison Officer.

He also served as Surface Strike Requirement Officer-OPNAV 96 at the Pentagon, Washington DC; Deputy Executive Assistant to the Director for Surface Warfare on the Navy Staff, Washington DC; and Surface Warfare Branch Chief, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff.

Commander Kelechi has been recognized with various personal, unit-level, and campaign awards including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

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