Commanding Officer, Engineering Assessments Atlantic
Commander J. Lee Bennett enlisted in the Navy immediately following high school in 1987 at the age of 17 and checked aboard his first ship, USS BIDDLE (CG 34) as an undesignated Deck Seaman.
Eight years later, following tours in USS AMERICA (CV 66) and the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, QM1 (SW/AW) J. Lee Bennett was selected as the Navy's first Seaman-to-Admiral officer. Upon graduating from Officer Candidate School and Surface Warfare Officers School, Lee served as the Electrical / Auxiliaries Officer in USS ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG 51) and Weapons / Executive Officer in USS THUNDERBOLT (PC 12).
In the three years between his Division Officer and Department Head tours, Lee graduated summa cum laude from Old Dominion University with a BS in Political Science, was selected as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholar, and earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Lee served a double-length Department Head tour in the Forward-Deployed Naval Forces as Chief Engineer in USS COWPENS (CG 63), during which time he was chosen to receive the 2006 Commander, Naval Surface Forces Leadership Award and was presented with the Navy and Marine Association's Woodbury Trophy. Following this sea tour, Lee earned a second Masters Degree in Military Operation Art and Science from the Air Force's Command and Staff College where he won the Dean's Research Award for U.S. and International Security Studies.
Lee's other major achievements include Junior Officer Shiphandler of the Year (four awards), author of the December 1993 ALL HANDS Magazine cover story on how to properly study for enlisted advancement exams, and co-author of a research paper on Colombia's FARC published in the 2004 Kennedy School Review. He recently completed his assignment as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses' Joint Advanced Warfighting Division in Alexandria, Virginia prior to being selected as the Surface Navy's first XO/CO Fleet-up officer.
Recently completing his tour as Commanding Officer of USS DONALD COOK (DDG 75) he assumed command of Engineering Assessments, Atlantic.