CDR T. Michael Kunkel
Commander Mike Kunkel was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1988. He earned his Surface Warfare Officer’s designation in 1990.
Commander Kunkel served in USS LEFTWICH (DD 984) as Communications Officer and then as Auxiliaries Officer during Operation DESERT STORM. He returned to sea and commissioned USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG 53) as plank owner Combat Information Center Officer. After graduation from Surface Warfare Officer School’s Department Head Course, he served as Operations Officer in USS FLETCHER (DD 992) and subsequently as Operations Officer in USS SHILOH (CG 67). During his Executive Officer tour, he served in USS COWPENS (CG 63). Commander Kunkel returned to sea again as Chief Staff Officer, Destroyer Squadron TWO THREE with NIMITZ Carrier Strike Group during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Ashore, Commander Kunkel served as Logistics Operations Branch Head in J-4 Logistics Division and then as Executive Officer in J-7 Exercises, Training, and Evaluation Division at Allied Joint Forces Command Naples, Italy. Subsequently, he was assigned as Chief Staff Officer of Commander, Naval Expeditionary Task Force Europe and Africa/Commander, Task Force 68 (CTF 68). He currently serves as Executive Officer and Associate Professor of Naval Science for the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit, University of Virginia.
Commander Kunkel earned a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in 2000. Commander Kunkel’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), and the Navy Achievement Medal along with other unit and service awards.