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Captain Keithley enlisted in the Navy in July of 1981.  Upon completion of basic training, he attended Hull Maintenance Technician (HT) "A" School at Treasure Island, CA and Philadelphia, PA.

As a designated HT, he was assigned to the USS McKee (AS-41) stationed at Naval Submarine Base, Point Loma, CA.  In 1983, he was assigned to the USS Fletcher (DD-992) deployed to the Western Pacific.  During this tour, Captain Keithley was accepted to the Navy’s Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) Program.

He reported to BOOST in June 1984 and upon graduation, attended the University of San Diego under the NROTC Program.  Captain Keithley received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and was commissioned in May 1989.

Captain Keithley reported for flight training in Pensacola, FL in September 1989 and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in May of 1991.  He reported to VF-124, the west coast F-14 Fleet Replacement Squadron located at Miramar, CA and designated as an F-14 Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) in September, 1992.

His first fleet tour was with the VF-111 “Sundowners” where he served as the Legal Officer, AV/ARM Division Officer, and RIO Training Officer.  During his tour, Captain Keithley deployed aboard USS Kitty Hawk in support of Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia, as well as Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Iraq.  He completed a second deployment to the Western Pacific conducting flight operations off the coast of Korea.

In May 1995, he attended the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) Course at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) in Miramar, CA.  Upon graduation, he was assigned as a weapons school instructor at Tomcat Strike in Miramar and later at Strike Weapons and Tactics School, Atlantic (SWATSLANT) in Oceana, VA.

In December 1997, Captain Keithley reported to the “Black Knights” of VF-154 located in Atsugi, Japan where he served as the squadron SFTI and Training Officer.  He remained with VF-154 to complete his Department Head tour where he served as the Operations Officer.  While assigned to VF-154, he completed two deployments aboard USS Independence and USS Kitty Hawk to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.

Captain Keithley reported to the “Flying Eagles” of VFA-122 in December 2000 where he completed his F/A-18F transition and was the Operations Officer as part of the Navy’s first Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron., CDR Dell D. Bull

In July 2002, Captain Keithley reported to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island where he received a master’s degree.  While at the War College, he was selected to concurrently attend the Naval Operational Planners Course and was designated a Navy Operational Planner in September 2003.

Captain Keithley’s next assignment was lead planner for NATO’s Maritime Component Command located in Northwood, England.  While assigned with NATO, he deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in support of NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF).

In January 2006, Captain Keithley reported to the VFA-41 “Black Aces” as the Executive Officer and then as Commanding Officer until July 2008.  During this tour, he deployed twice onboard USS Nimitz and led his squadron during combat operations in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.

He reported to THIRD Fleet in August 2008 and served as Chief of Plans, N5 Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy, and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for the N5/N7 Directorate until August 2011.

In March 2012, CAPT Keithley reported to the Strike Fighter Wing Pacific as Deputy Commodore of the largest Type Wing in the U. S. Navy.  He took command as Commodore in April 2013.

He is entitled to wear the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with gold numeral 3, Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, the Navy Achievement Medal with three gold stars and various other campaign and unit awards

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