Captain J. Kelly McDowell
Chief of Staff
Captain McDowell is a native of Vineland, New Jersey. He received his commission through the NROTC program at the University of New Mexico in December 1984, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.
Following nuclear power and basic submarine training, Captain McDowell reported to USS JACKSONVILLE (SSN 699) in 1986. During his tour, he served in a variety of division officer assignments, as Combat Systems Officer, and as Officer of the Deck during full ship shock testing. This tour included deployments to both the Mediterranean and North Atlantic. In 1989 he reported to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. In 1991, he graduated with distinction while earning a Master of Science in Computer Science.
After completion of the Submarine Officers Advanced Course in Groton, Connecticut, Captain McDowell reported as Engineer Officer on the USS HAWKBILL (SSN 666) where he completed a deployment to the Western Pacific. He next served as a member of the Pacific Fleet Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board from 1995 until 1997. He then served as Executive Officer on USS LOS ANGELES (SSN 688) from 1997 through 1999 completing a Western Pacific deployment for which the ship received a Navy Unit Commendation. His next assignment was in the Pentagon where he worked as an acquisition analyst for the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. In 2002, Captain McDowell received a Master of Science in National Resource Management from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University. Additionally, he completed the National Defense University, Information Resources Management College Chief Information Officer certification program.
In June of 2003, Captain McDowell assumed Command of USS LOUISIANA (SSBN 743B) serving as Commanding Officer until February 2006 having completed four strategic deterrent patrols. During his last patrol the ship conducted a change of homeport from Kings Bay, Georgia to Bangor, Washington. Following her first full year of service in the pacific, LOUISIANA was awarded the 2006 Omaha trophy by the U.S. Strategic Command.
Captain McDowell next served on the Chief of Naval Operations staff as the Director of the Information Management Division and Chief Information Officer for the Chief of Naval Personnel where he developed and implemented a strategy for modernizing Navy's legacy pay, personnel, and training information systems.
In June 2010, Captain McDowell is assumed command of USS GEORGIA SSGN 729 (B) and most recently relieved as Chief of Staff, Submarine Group 10 in January 2012.
Captain McDowell is authorized to where the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (one gold star), Navy Commendation Medal (three gold stars), and the Navy Achievement Medal (two gold stars). He is married to the former Naida Hodgson, of Puerto Cabazas Nicaragua. They have two sons, Jonathan and Brandon, and a daughter Kathleen.