Kelechi Ndukwe, a Nigerian-American, has been selected the commander of a U.S. Navy ship, USS Halsey (DDG-97), described as an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.
He is the first Nigerian-American to reach the height.
The U.S. Mission in Nigeria Thursday congratulated Mr Ndukwe, an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame and the U.S. Naval War College. He was appointed last Thursday.
The graduate of chemical engineering replaced DeVere Crooks who had commanded the ship since November 2019, and whom he deputised.
The appointment shoots Mr Ndukwe to the pinnacle of his 18-year career in the US Navy where he started as an auxiliaries officer of the USS Thorn, a year after he bagged a master’s degree in national security and strategy studies from the US Naval War College.
Mr Ndukwe, who graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2002, has also worked in the office of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff (CJCS), America’s highest-ranking military officer.
In the handing over ceremony hosted live on Facebook, Mr Ndukwe recalled how his parents migrated to the U.S. from Nigeria in 1977 as “poor college students with hopes and dreams.”