Kirkland H. Donald

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Kirkland H. Donald
ADM Kirkland H Donald.jpg
Admiral Kirkland H. Donald
Born (1953-09-15) September 15, 1953 (age 63)
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1975-2012
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion
Deputy Administrator, NNSA's Naval Reactors
Awards Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (5)

Kirkland Hogue Donald (born September 15, 1953)[1] was a United States Navy Admiral who served as the Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion and Deputy Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration's Naval Reactors. He previously served as Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and Commander, Submarine Allied Command, Atlantic. He retired from his assignment as Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion, on November 2, 2012.


Originally from Norlina, North Carolina, Donald graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering. He also holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and is a graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program.

Navy career[edit]

After completing his initial nuclear power and submarine training, he served on the USS Batfish (SSN-681), USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN-658), and USS Seahorse (SSN-669).

Donald was Commanding Officer of the USS Key West (SSN-722), from October 1990 to February 1993. He served as Commander, Submarine Development Squadron Twelve from August 1995 to July 1997. From June 2002 to July 2003, he was assigned as Commander, Submarine Group Eight; Commander, Submarine Force Sixth Fleet (CTF 69); Commander, Submarines Allied Naval Forces South; and Commander, Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine Force (CTF 164) in Naples, Italy. Most recently, he served as Commander, Naval Submarine Forces; Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Commander, Allied Submarine Command, Atlantic; and Commander, Task Forces 84 and 144 in Norfolk, Virginia.

His shore assignments include the Pacific Fleet Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board and the staff of the Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion. He also served at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, on the Joint Staff, and as Deputy Chief of Staff for C4I, Resources, Requirements and Assessments, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Admiral Donald assumed his previous duties as Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, on 5 November 2004 -- a uniquely eight-year posting which was originally created and served in by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. The appointment as Director is both a military and civilian position as it is the head of both Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (Department of the Navy) and Naval Reactors (Department of Energy).[2] See Naval Reactors for more information. Admiral Donald was relieved as Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion by Admiral John M. Richardson, on 3 November, 2012.[3]

Current responsibilities[edit]

As reported on March 25, 2008, Donald was assigned by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to investigate nuclear missile fuses that were mistakenly sent to the island of Taiwan.[4] Gates, when accepting the resignations of both Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Chief of Staff of the Air Force General T. Michael Moseley on June 5, 2008, cited the report's findings of a "decline in the Air Force's nuclear mission focus and performance" and a "lack of a critical self-assessment culture" in the Air Force.[5] However, details of Admiral Donald's specific report remain classified.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Donald's awards include:

Submarine Officer badge.jpg Submarine Warfare insignia
Silver Deterrent Patrol badge.jpgAward star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png Silver SSBN Deterrent Patrol insignia with two gold stars
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Gold star
Navy Distinguished Service Medal with 1 gold star
US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Legion of Merit with four gold stars
Gold star
Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars
Gold star
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one gold star
Joint Meritorious Unit Award-3d.svg Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze stars
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with two bronze stars
Battle Effectiveness Award ribbon, 2nd award.svg Battle "E" with 2 "E"s
Navy Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg Navy Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with two bronze stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Medal
Silver star
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with silver service star
Arctic Service Ribbon.svg Navy Arctic Service Ribbon
United States Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with expert device.svg Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
United States Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with expert device.svg Navy Expert Pistol Medal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "National Nuclear Security Administration". National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy 2009. Department of Energy Archived from the original on June 5, 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Baldor, Lolita C (2008-03-27). "Gates Orders Inventory of US Nukes". SFGate San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 9, 2009. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  5. ^ Burns, Robert (2008-06-05). "Gates accepts Air Force resignations in shake up". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Kirkland H. Donald at Wikimedia Commons