|CDR George A. Kessler, Jr
Commanding Officer (May 2012 - December 2013)
Commander Kessler, a native of Albany, Missouri, graduated from Albany RIII High School and entered the United States Naval Academy in 1991. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science and commissioned an Ensign in June of 1995.
After his commissioning, Commander Kessler served as the Main Propulsion Officer and Replenishment at Sea Officer in USS SUPPLY (AOE 6). He then reported for duty as the Navigator and Damage Control Assistant in USS CAPE ST GEORGE (CG 71) completing a Mediterranean & Arabian Gulf deployment in support of Desert Shield and Desert Fox. As a Department Head he served as the commissioning Weapons Officer in USS MUSTIN (DDG 89) and then as the Combat Systems Officer leading MUSTIN through her maiden deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Following his Department Head tours, Commander Kessler was assigned to the Navy Staff in the Pentagon as the Executive Assistant to Director Strategy and Policy Division, OPNAV N5. He then transferred to the Joint Staff as part of the Joint Integrated Air & Missile Defense Organization (JIAMDO). While assigned to JIAMDO, he served temporary duty as the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle Program Officer in the Protection Assessment Division of the Joint Staff Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate, J8. Commander Kessler was also assigned as the Theater Missile Warning and Command, Control and Communications Branch Chief.
Commander Kessler reported to Pre-Commissioning Unit SPRUANCE (DDG 111) as the Executive Officer in January 2010. He led the ship through the new construction process, Commissioning, Combat Systems Sea Trials and Qualification (CCSQT), and Final Contract Trials. He was relieved as Executive Officer in April 2012 in preparation for the Command.
Commander Kessler holds a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He was Destroyer Squadron TWO THREE's Junior Officer Tactician of the Year for 2004. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Navy Commendation Medals, three Navy Achievement Medals, , and various unit and campaign ribbons