Chief of Naval Operations - Biography

Chief of Naval Operations
July 1, 1990 Apr. 23, 1994

Admiral Frank B. Kelso II, a native of Fayetteville, Ten., attended public school and the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952. Following graduation in 1956, he served in the cargo ship USS Oglethorp (AKA 100) before attending Submarine School in 1958.

On completion of training, he was assigned to the submarine USS Sabalo (SS 302) before returning to Submarine School for nuclear power training in January 1960. He then served one year in the Nuclear Power Department at the school. Subsequent tours included the precommissioning crew of USS Pollack (SSN 603), Engineering Officer aboard USS Daniel Webster (SSBN 626) and Executive Officer of USS Sculpin (SSN 590).

From January 1969 to August 1971, he served as Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School in Bainbridge, Md. Following tours included Commanding Officer, USS Finback (SSN 670); Staff of Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and Commanding Officer, USS Bluefish (SSN 675). Admiral Kelso was then assigned as Executive Assistant to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic from September 1975 to July 1977.

He served as Commander, Submarine Squadron SEVEN until reporting as Division Director, Submarine Distribution Division in the Naval Military Personnel Command, and Section Head of the Submarine Programs Section in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel and Training) in September 1978. He was selected for promotion to the rank of rear admiral in February 1980.

Upon selection for flag rank, Admiral Kelso served as Director, Strategic Submarine Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and then was assigned as Director, Office of Program Appraisal, Office of the Secretary of the Navy. On February 8, 1985, Admiral Kelso became Commander Sixth Fleet and NATO Commander Naval Striking Force and Support Forces Southern Europe. On June 30, 1986, Admiral Kelso was promoted to admiral and assumed the duties of Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Admiral Kelso became Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic and Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command on November 22, 1988. He became the Navy's 24th Chief of Naval Operations on June 29, 1990.

Admiral Kelso has been awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (three awards), Legion of Merit (four awards), Meritorious Service, Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement Medals.

Reviewed: 3 August 2009