, ,

Kelechi Ndukwe: Three Years at the Helm of USS Halsey


Three years ago, on a memorable Thursday, Kelechi Ndukwe, a Nigerian-American, assumed command of USS Halsey (DDG-97), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. This momentous occasion marked the culmination of his 18-year career in the US Navy, which began in 2003 after earning a master’s degree in national security and strategy studies from the US Naval War College.

As the first Nigerian-American to take the helm of USS Halsey, Ndukwe’s appointment is a testament to his hard work and dedication. Born in the US to Nigerian parents, he expressed gratitude for their sacrifices and the opportunities America offers, stating,

During the change of command ceremony, Ndukwe paid tribute to his predecessor, DeVere J. Crooks, and thanked his wife for her unwavering support. Addressing the ship’s crew, he expressed his honor and excitement to serve as their commanding officer, emphasizing pride, professionalism, and excellence in every mission.

Ndukwe’s naval career is highlighted by his command of USS Devastator (MCM 6) in Bahrain from 2013 to 2015 and service on various warships worldwide, including the Mediterranean Sea, Horn of Africa, Arabian Gulf, and Western Pacific Ocean.

Beyond his military achievements, Ndukwe’s commitment to family shines through. Despite the challenges of deployment, he ensured he was present, albeit virtually, for the birth of his third child, underscoring his dedication to both duty and family.

Kelechi Ndukwe’s story adds to the legacy of Nigerian-Americans excelling in the US military, showcasing the talent and resilience of individuals with Nigerian heritage. His journey serves as an inspiration to all, demonstrating that with hard work and determination, one can achieve great heights.


Leave a Reply