Military Bios

Rear Admiral James D. Kelly:

Military Branch:United States Navy
Position: Commander, Carrier Group Five
Following completion of A-6 training with VA-128 at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., his initial fleet assignment was with VA-165 on board USS Constellation (CV 64) from January 1975 through December 1977. He returned to VA-128 in January 1978 where he served as a flight instructor until May 1980. He then served with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Palestine as a military observer from June 1980 through July 1981.
From August 1981 to December 1983, Rear Adm. Kelly was the NFO Training Officer on the staff of Commander, Training Wing Six in Pensacola, Fla., before joining VA-145 on board USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS Ranger (CV 61) from May 1984 through July 1986. Assignment as Aide to the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare (OP-05) in Washington, D.C., followed until August 1988. He then reported to the National War College where he graduated in June 1989.
Rear Adm. Kelly reported to VA-115 as Executive Officer in November 1989 and was in command from July 1991 until September 1992. During this period, VA-115 led strikes in the Persian Gulf War from USS Midway (CV 41), helped transition USS Independence (CV 62) to forward-deployed duty in Japan, and was the first attack squadron flying sorties enforcing the United Nations no-fly zone in southern Iraq (Operation Southern Watch) in August 1992.
Rear Adm. Kelly returned to Washington, D.C., in October 1992 as the Director of the Strike Projection Evaluation and Anti-Air Warfare Research (SPEAR) Branch of the Office of Naval Intelligence. In September 1995 he assumed command of USS Sacramento (AOE 1) while returning from a western Pacific deployment to her homeport of Bremerton, Wash. In February 1997, he was named Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe/Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command at SHAPE in Mons, Belgium. He served in that position through April 1999. He then became the 29th Commanding Officer of USS Constellation (CV 64) in September 1999, and held command through May 2001. He then served as the Director, for Operations, Plans, Policy and Training, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CLF N3/N5/N7) from September 2001 through August 2002. Rear Adm. Kelly most recently served as the Director for Warfare Programs and Readiness, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He assumed command of Carrier Group Five in July 2003.
His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Award, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the individual Air Medal with Combat V, and various unit and campaign awards. He has flown more than 4,000 flight hours, primarily in the A-6, including 60 combat missions flown during Operations Desert Storm and Southern Watch.
Updated: 11 February 2004


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