Rear Adm. (ret) Terence E. McKnight, a native of Norfolk, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in May 1978. He completed his master's degree in International Relations at Salve Regina University in May 1998. Additionally, he graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 1994 and attended the National Security Seminar at Syracuse University in 2001.
McKnight's early sea duty assignments included USS El Paso (LKA 117), USS John L. Hall (FFG 32), USS Shreveport (LPD 12) and executive officer in USS Cayuga (LST 1186). He commanded USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) from January 1995 until November 1996 and USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) from July 2002 until December 2003.
Duties ashore included the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) as assistant lieutenant commander detailer, aide and administrative assistant to the Chief of Naval Personnel, Surface Warfare Officers School, Command Training Department as head Expeditionary Warfare instructor, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Navy (Manpower & Reserve Affairs), the Office of Chief of Naval Operations N6/N7, and executive assistant to the Under Secretary of the Navy.
McKnight served as the 85th commandant of Naval District Washington, the oldest continuously operated Navy installation in the nation and the deputy commander, Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region.
McKnight assumed duties as Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, in September 2007, his final assignment.
McKnight's personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, as well as various other unit awards and decorations.