Rear Adm. Matthew P. O'Keefe is a native of the Washington, D.C., area. He graduated from Jacksonville University in 1988 and received his commission through the Navy ROTC program. He was designated a naval aviator in July 1989.
His career as an active duty SH-60B helicopter pilot includes assignments at Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42 and HSL-40. He served in Operation Desert Storm and was selected as HSL-40's Pilot of the Year in 1995.
Transitioning to the Reserve Force, O'Keefe was assigned to Naval Station Mayport 0174 and was chosen as the Naval Air Reserve (NAR) Jacksonville Junior Officer of the Year for 1996. In April 2001, he received orders to HSL-60 and his tour culminated when he took command of the "World Famous Jaguars" in April 2005. While serving as commanding officer, he was awarded the Air Medal for his service in the rescue efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
O'Keefe has also served as commanding officer of NR U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F), U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Det. 130, and NR Navy Warfare Development Command Det. 101. Notable active duty includes serving as the COMUSNAVSO/C4F liaison officer to U.S. Southern Command for the Haitian earthquake relief efforts and his role as current operations (N33) director for Operation Unified Protector in support of Libyan combat operations. He was selected for Aviation Major Command and served as commanding officer of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa, from December 2014 until October 2015.
Prior to being selected for flag, he served as the Navy emergency preparedness liaison officer for South Florida, serving as the U.S. Navy's liaison to support civilian authorities during periods of domestic crisis. His first flag assignment was reserve deputy Commander, Navy Installations Command.
His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal and other personal and unit awards.
O'Keefe graduated from the University of Florida College Of Law in 1998 and currently serves as an assistant state attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Jacksonville, Florida.