Joseph D. Kernan

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Joseph D. Kernan
Joseph D. Kernan.jpg
5th Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
Assumed office
December 1, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Marcel Lettre
Deputy Commander of United States Southern Command
In office
May 23, 2011 – September 2013
President Barack Obama
Personal details
Born Joseph Deveraux Kernan
(1955-02-04) February 4, 1955 (age 63)
Travis Air Force Base, California, U.S.
Education United States Naval Academy (BS)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1977–2013
Rank US Navy O10 infobox.svg Vice Admiral

Joseph Devereux Kernan[1] (born February 4, 1955) is a retired United States Navy vice admiral and the current Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. His last military assignment was as the Military Deputy Commander of U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), Miami, Florida from May 23, 2011[2] to September 2013. He was the second-in-command of one of nine unified commands under the Department of Defense.

Kernan formerly served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from August 2009 to May 2011. Prior to that, he served as Commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command from July 1, 2008 to June 12, 2009 and as Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command from June 2007 to June 30, 2008. He assumed his final assignment on May 23, 2011.

Kernan was nominated as the fifth USD(I) on July 17, 2017.[3] His nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 16, 2017.[4]

Education and U.S. Navy service[edit]

Kernan, the son of a career Air Force pilot and Air Force nurse, was born at Travis Air Force Base, California on February 4, 1955. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1977, attended Surface Warfare Officer School, and reported to USS Horne (CG-30) based in San Diego, California.

During this tour, he served as an Engineering Officer, completed deployments to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions and was designated a Surface Warfare Officer.

Upon completion of his initial tour with the Surface Warfare community, Kernan transferred to Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and subsequently completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training class 117 in 1982. Following SEAL Tactical Training (STT) and completion of six month probationary period, he received the 1130 designator as a Naval Special Warfare Officer, entitled to wear the SEAL insignia. He commanded Platoons at Underwater Demolition Team 12, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, and SEAL Team FIVE. Additionally while assigned to SEAL Team 5, he served as Detachment Officer-in-Charge of four deployed SEAL platoons and Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare Task Force, Middle East Force. He served his executive officer tour at Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 in Naval Station Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines.

Kernan has served as the Naval Special Warfare Officer Detailer and Community Manager, Deputy/Chief Staff Officer, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Chief of Staff and Deputy, Naval Special Warfare Command and Director, Naval Special Warfare Branch on the Navy Staff.

He commanded SEAL Team 2 from 1994 to 1996 and the Naval Special Warfare Development Group from 1999 to Aug 2003. His joint assignments include Deputy Director and Director of Operations, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Director of Operations, Center for Special Operations, United States Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Tampa, Florida.

He assumed duties as Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command in June 2007.[5]

On April 24, 2008, Admiral Gary Roughead, the Chief of Naval Operations, announced that the United States Fourth Fleet would be re-established, effective July 1, with responsibility for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean Sea, as well as throughout Central and South America, with Admiral Kernan as the fleet commander, as well as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, the naval component of the United States Southern Command. Kernan became the first Navy SEAL to serve as a numbered fleet commander.[6]

On May 19, 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that President Barack Obama had selected Kernan for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense.[7] He assumed the assignment in June 2009. In May 2011, he was assigned as deputy commander United States Southern Command till his retirement in September 2013.

Later career[edit]

After his military retirement, Kernan currently served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for SAP National Security Services.[8]

On July 17, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Kernan to the position of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.[3] His nomination was confirmed by the Senate on November 16, 2017.[4]

Business activities and board memberships[edit]

Kernan also serves as the chairman of NS2 Serves, a "veteran training and employment program," as well as on the board of directors for both the National Navy SEAL Museum and The Mission Continues, a nonprofit founded by Missouri governor and former SEAL, Eric Greitens.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Kernan and his wife, Janet, have two children, Sean and Shannon.[citation needed]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Navy Distinguished Service Medal with 5⁄16 Gold Star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Gold star
Legion of Merit with 5⁄16 Gold Star
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze Star Medal with w/ Combat "V" and two 5⁄16 Gold Star
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Gold star
Gold star
Meritorious Service Medal with two gold award stars
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold award stars
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Gold star
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one gold award star
Combat Action Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Navy Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with three bronze service stars
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
NATO Medal Yugoslavia ribbon bar.svg NATO Medal for Yugoslavia
U.S. Navy Expert Rifleman Ribbon.svg Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal

Image gallery[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "U.S. Navy Biography".

  1. ^ "PN307 — Navy". U.S. Congress. May 15, 1991. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-06-15.  Kernan becomes military deputy commander of SOUTHCOM; Keen heads to Pakistan - U.S. Southern Command News Archives - May 23, 2011
  3. ^ a b "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". The White House. July 17, 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "PN781 — Joseph Kernan — Department of Defense". U.S. Congress. November 16, 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  5. ^ Bogan, Aquala (September 18, 2013). "SAP NS2 Welcomes Retired Vice Admiral Joe Kernan as Vice President of Business Development". Washington Exec. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "Navy Re-Establishes U.S. Fourth Fleet". U.S. Department of Defense. April 24, 2008. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "Flag Officer Announcement". U.S. Department of Defense. May 19, 2009. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  8. ^ Baratko, Trevor (July 18, 2017). "White House taps Loudoun resident, a former Navy SEAL, for top security post". Loudon Times-Mirror. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "White House picks former Navy SEAL Admiral Joe Kernan to be Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence". SOFREP. July 18, 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 

External links[edit]