CDR James R. Kenny was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his commission after graduating from the United States Naval Academy in May, 1996.
CDR Kenny’s first ship was the USS HAWES (FFG-53) out of Norfolk, Virginia. During his tour onboard HAWES, he was the Anti-submarine Warfare Officer (ASWO) and then fleeted up to be the Ordnance Officer (ORDO). He qualified SWO, OOD, EOOW, and CDO and made a total of two deployments.
Ready for new challenges, he bypassed shore duty and went directly to Department Head School in Newport, Rhode Island. After completing Department Head School and the subsequent AEGIS pipeline, he reported to USS MITSCHER (DDG-57) in August, 2001 as the Weapons Officer and quickly attained his TAO qualification. In March, 2003 he fleeted up to be MITSCHER’s Combat Systems Officer. During his tour, MITSCHER participated in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and was one of the Tomahawk firing platforms at the outbreak of hostilities.
After his tour in MITSCHER, CDR Kenny attended Old Dominion University (ODU), where he obtained a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Education and Training Management Subspecialty (ETMS). Next, he served as the Force Protection Planner at the United States Joint Forces Command, Standing Joint Force Headquarters (SJFHQ) Core Element A. While at SJFHQ, CDR Kenny made deployments to Afghanistan and Bahrain and earned designation as a Joint Qualified Officer. In July, 2008, CDR Kenny reported to United States Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) for duty as the Ballistic Missile Defense Officer. While at USFFC, CDR Kenny screened for O-5 Command Afloat (CO/XO Fleet-Up) and was slated to USS DONALD COOK (DDG-75) where he served for 18 months as Executive Officer and and 18 months as Commanding Officer. During his command tour, DONALD COOK completed a seven month ScanEagle deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Gulf and Horn of Africa and earned the Battle “E,” all five Command Excellence Awards, the Unit Tactics Award, the CNO Afloat Safety Award, the Health and Wellness Unit Award and the Retention Excellence Award. In June 2013, CDR Kenny assumed duties as Commanding Officer of Afloat Training Group Norfolk.
CDR Kenny’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, four Navy Battle “E” Ribbons, two National Defense Service Medals, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the NATO Medal, and the Expert Pistol Shot Medal.