Kelechi Ndukwe, a Nigerian-American, has been appointed as the Commander of USA Hadley (DDG-97), a United States (US) Navy Ship, making him the first Nigerian-American to reach the height.
Following his appointment, the US Embassy in Nigeria, on Thursday, congratulated Ndukwe, the first Nigerian-American to command a US Navy Guided Missile Destroyer.
Ndukwe’s appointment had been announced on April 2, as he took over the USS Halsey (DDG-97), an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, from his predecessor, DeVere J. Crooks, who was appointed as the commander of the ship in November 2019.
Prior to his appointment, he served as the second-in-command of the USS Halsey (DDG-97).
Reacting, the U.S Mission in Nigeria, who took to its official Twitter handle, congratulated the University of Notre Dame and the U.S Naval War College Alumnus on his latest height.
Kudos to Kelechi Ndukwe on his new role as commander of a U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer. The University of Notre Dame and the U.S. Naval War College alumnus becomes the first Nigerian-American captain of a U.S. Navy ship. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/SCoaIVBlWd
— U.S. Mission Nigeria (@USinNigeria) April 8, 2021
The tweet reads, “Kudos to Kelechi Ndukwe on his new role as commander of a U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer. The university of Notre Dame and the U.S. Naval War College alumnus becomes the first Nigerian-American captain of a U.S. Navy Ship. Congratulations!”
Ndukwe graduated from the department of Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, US, in 2002.
He also holds a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategy Studies from the US Naval War College.
He joined the US Navy in 2003, as an auxiliary officer.
He had also commanded the USS Devastator (MCM 6), a minesweeper based in Bahrain, and had served on several warships in various parts of the world, among which are, Mediterranean Sea, Horn of Africa, Arabian Gulf, and Western Pacific Ocean.
He had also served as a fire control officer of the USS Normandie, Norfolk, from 2004 to 2006, while he was an auxiliaries officer of the USS Thorn, Norfolk, from 2003 to 2004.
He is also a recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Award; the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Award; and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Ndukwe’s parents migrated to the US as students in 1977.
Ndukwe has now joined the long list of Nigerians who have been honored in the US Navy. In July, 2020, Victor Agunbiade, a Navy Reserve Supply Officer, was honoured with the award of “100 percent accountability”.
Similarly, Beauty McGowan, a graduate of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technical (LAUTECH), received a “high-performing sailor”, while serving on the USS Iwo Jima, a US Navy Assault Ship.