Rear Adm. Joseph F. Kilkenny was raised in Philadelphia. A 1977 graduate of The Citadel, he received his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program and was designated a naval flight officer in December 1978.
Kilkenny has flown the A-6 Intruder, EA-6B Prowler, F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Super Hornet. At sea, he served in squadrons, ship's company and afloat staff assignments with attack squadrons, carriers, carrier air wings and carrier battle groups. Sailing in seas and oceans around the world, he deployed aboard USS Independence (CV 62), USS Coral Sea (CV 43), USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and USS George Washington (CVN 73). He commanded Attack Squadron 196 and Carrier Air Wing 3, and has logged more than 800 carrier-arrested landings and 3,500 flight hours in tactical jets.
Shore duties included assignment as an aviation officer candidate class officer, a fleet replacement squadron (FRS) instructor with Attack Squadron 42, readiness officer at Medium Attack Wing 1, deputy operations officer at U.S. Atlantic Command, head of the strike warfare directorate at Tactical Training Group Atlantic and head of aviation officer distribution (PERS 43) at the Bureau of Personnel.
His flag officer assignments include director, Aviation Plans and Requirements (N780) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, and special assistant for Naval Aviation's Human Capital Strategy on the staff of Commander Naval Air Forces. He has commanded Carrier Strike Group 10 and Navy Recruiting Command.
Kilkenny's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and various campaign, service and unit awards.