Diaspora

Commander Kelechi Ndukwe Makes History as the First Nigerian to Take Command of a U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer, USS HALSEY (DDG-97)

Commander Kelechi holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Notre Dame and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategy from the U.S. Naval War College.

A Nigerian-American has been appointed by President Joe Biden and the US military hierarchy as the Command of U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer, USS HALSEY (DDG-97) on Friday, April 2, 2021.

Navy Commander Ndukwe is the recipient of numerous meritorious Naval Awards including the

Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

In a tribute to the young Nigerian- American, Refined NG report stated that Commander Kelechi Ndukwe has made history as the First Nigerian to Take Command of a U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer, USS HALSEY (DDG-97)

According to the online, this new feat in our history will sharpen the expectations of younger and future generations of Nigerian descent in the diaspora. It will also open Nigerians within and out of the country to several opportunities and successes that could be achieved in the Navy, ranging from Naval Aviator, Submarine Warfare, Integrated Weapons Systems, Scientists, Medicine, Pharmacist, Nursing, engineering, Nuclear Propulsion and more.

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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.

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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.

*Navy Guided Missile Destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97)

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.

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Commander Kelechi holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Notre Dame and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategy from the U.S. Naval War College.

Kelechi Ndukwe 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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