Master Chief James Kesner is a native of Romney, West Virginia and joined the Navy in June 1989. After graduating from IS "A" and Operational Intelligence (OPINTEL) School in Dam Neck, Virginia his first duty assignment was aboard the USS AMERICA (CV-66) where he completed a NORTHSTAR deployment to the Artic Circle and a 1991 deployment in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.
In August of 1993 he was assigned to the Atlantic Intelligence Command (AIC), and produced national-level imagery products used in briefings to the President of the United States during the Cuban migration crisis. Reporting aboard USS ROOSEVELT (CVN-71), Master Chief Kesner completed two deployments in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and provided imagery mensuration data for coalition combat airstrikes during Operation NOBLE ANVIL. In January 1999, he reported for instructor duty at the Navy Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center and assisted in the development of the first fleet intelligence team trainer. Aboard USS NASSAU (LHA-4), he was responsible for providing intelligence and cryptologic information ised by Navy and Marine elements ashore in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.
In 2005, Master Chief Kesner reported to Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group TWO (CNSWG2), where he deployed to Iraq with SEAL TEAM TWO and managed intelligence assets in four areas of operations. After serving as the Intelligence Specialist Technical Advisor for Training on the OPNAV staff, he was assigned to the Navy Marine Intelligence Training Center in June 2009.
Master Chief Kesner is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, in Newport, Rhode Island. His personal awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal (four awards), and various unit and campaign awards.