Commander Kelechi Ndukwe has assumed a new role as the Commander of a United States Navy ship. That makes him the first Nigerian-American to attain that position.
Ndukwe hails from Okoko-Item in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State.
Commander Ndukwe was appointed and charged to take command of the US Navy-guided missile destroyer USS HALSEY (DDG-97) on April 2 2021 via a decision made by the United States Navy with the approval of President Joe Biden.
While congratulating Kelechi on this achievement, United States Embassy in Nigeria tweeted: “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!”
In the same vein, the Executive Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu took to Twitter to congratulate him. The Governor tweeted: “I join millions of Nigerians worldwide in celebrating Abia-born Nigerian-American Commander Kelechi Ndukwe who today assumed command of a US Navy Guided Missile Destroyer, USS Halsey (DDG-97) becoming the first Abian, Nigerian & Nigerian-American to attain such a height in the history of US Navy
“Commander Ndukwe who hails from Okoko-Item in Bende LGA of our great State joins thousands of other Abians who by their exploits & achievements are making us proud globally.
“Congratulations Commander Kelechi Ndukwe.”
Ndukwe graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame and later acquired a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategy Studies from the US Naval War College.
According to the Foundation for Defense Democracies (FDD), Ndukwe commanded the USS Devastator (MCM 6), a minesweeper based in Bahrain between 2013 and 2015, and had worked with many warships in different parts of the world including the Mediterranean Sea, Horn of Africa, Arabian Gulf, and Western Pacific Ocean.
Ndukwe’s parents relocated to the US as students in 1977.