United States Navy Rear Admiral Roy Kelley is being honored as the recipient of the Alumni Citizenship Award during the 2018 Newark High School Commencement Ceremony on May 26. Kelley is a 1980 graduate of Newark High School.
Kelley was promoted in October 2017 to commander of the Naval Air Force Atlantic.
Following his high school career, Kelley received a Bachelor of Science in Business from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma. He holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Kelley was designated a naval aviator at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville in August 1986. His early flying assignments in the F-14 community included Fighter Squadron (VF) 102 aboard USS America (CV-66), VF-101 instructor/demonstration pilot, VF-143 aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) training and quality assurance officer, and VF-32 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) maintenance officer.
Kelley’s shore tours included F-14 placement officer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Joint Staff J-3 Joint Operations Division Central Command planning and briefing deployment orders to the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Navy Staff Air Warfare Division (N-88) as a F/A-18 requirements officer and the chief of staff for Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific (CNAF).
Kelley’s first command tour was Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 Diamondbacks aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in 2001, a record-setting deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Diamondbacks were awarded the Battle Efficiency award, Rear Adm. Clarence Wade McClusky award, Golden Wrench award and Navy Unit Commendation under his leadership. Kelley’s second command tour was Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 in 2009 where he made two deployments aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. CVW-7 and Eisenhower won the Ramage Award for the best CVW/CVN team in 2009 and 2010.
As a flag officer, Kelley served as the chief of Naval Air Training in 2013, deployed around the world as commander of Carrier Strike Group 12 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in 2015, served as the director of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Fleet Integration Office from September 2016 to September 2017, and is currently serving as commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic.
His awards include the Legion of Merit (six awards), Bronze Star (two awards), Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (seven Strike Flight Awards, Combat V), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five Awards, Combat V), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various campaign, unit and service awards. He has accumulated over 4,000 flight hours and over 940 carrier arrested landings.