COMMANDER John “Junker” Kerr
UNITED STATES NAVY
Commander Kerr is a native of Waldorf, Maryland and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Logistics. He received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Penn State and was designated Naval Flight Officer in 2003.
Commander Kerr began his flight training in 2001 at NAS Pensacola, Florida. He then continued his training at the joint navigator course at Randolph AFB, Texas followed by his final training at the “Pro’s Nest” at VP-30 in NAS Jacksonville, Florida where he qualified as a Navigator in the P-3C Orion. His first operational assignment was with the “Rangers” of VQ-2 at NS Rota, Spain from February 2003 to June 2006. In June of 2005, VQ-2 was relocated to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. Kerr moved with the squadron and remained in Whidbey Island until June 2006. During his time at VQ-2, he served as the Avionics Branch Officer and NFO Training Officer.
Additionally, Kerr qualified as an EP-3E Mission Commander, Senior Evaluator (SEVAL), Instructor NAVCOM/SEVAL, and squadron NFO NATOPS Evaluator “Blue Card”.
His next assignment was back to the “Pro’s Nest” at VP-30 from June 2006 to May 2009. There he served as a Fleet Instructor for all inbound P-3C/EP-E3 NFOs. He culminated his instructor tour as the EP-3E Fleet-NFO NATOPS Evaluator. Also, while stationed at VP-30, he received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida.
From May 2009 to June 2011, Kerr served on board USS DWIGHT D EISENHOWER as a Flight Deck Shooter, Special Projects Officer, V-2 Division Officer, and V-0 Division Officer where he was the “Top Cat”. While on the IKE, he achieved the qualifications of Tower “Micro Boss” and Command Duty Officer (underway).
Kerr joined Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group from June 2011 to March 2012 where he served as the VQ Training Officer. From March 2012 to December 2014, Kerr returned to Whidbey Island and joined the “World Watchers” of VQ-1 as a Department Head. He served as Assistant Operations Officer, Training Officer, and Operations Officer.
Commander Kerr accomplished his joint tour with the team at U S. Strategic Command in Offutt AFB, Nebraska from December 2014 to January 2018. There he began in the J5 Plans and Police Directorate as an Action Officer, volunteered and was selected to be the J5 Director’s Executive Assistant, and ended his tour working in the front office as the Command Secretariat of the Joint Staff. While there, Kerr completed his JPME Phase I training through the Air Command and Staff College.
In January 2018, Kerr stayed in the area but moved over to the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) also stationed at Offutt AFB. After qualifying as an Ops Team Strike Advisor on the E-4B, he was moved to the NAOC Staff where he served as the Operations Officer. As OPSO, he completed multiple CONUS and OCONUS assignments to include international assurance missions that supported POTUS, SecDef, and CJCS.
Commander Kerr met and married his wife, Kelly, at Penn State in 2000 where they were both undergrads. They have two boys; Will age 15, and Aidan age 12.
Commander Kerr is authorized to wear the Meritorious Service Medal (bronze oakleaf), Air Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (three gold stars), numerous Joint Service and Navy Achievement Medals, and other organization and personal awards.
The Executive Officer is also the instructor for NAVSC 201 – Sea Power & Maritime Affairs
CDR Kerr can be reached at NROTC-XO@psu.edu