Keith E. Patton

Associate Professor College of Maritime Operational Warfare
Cmdr., U.S. Navy, Retired
Keith E. Patton faculty photo


Professor Keith Patton served for 25 years in the U.S. Navy, culminating with 6 years at the U.S. Naval War College as the deputy chairman of the Strategic and Operational Research Department. His prior assignments included two carrier tours in charge of ships defense and four tours conducting nuclear weapon’s command and control. Following his military retirement in December 2020, he worked for FEMA for three months as task force operations leader for COVID vaccination sites in Rhode Island. He is currently assigned to the College of Maritime Operational Warfare to work on curriculum development of new courses.

Areas of Expertise

  • A2/AD
  • Air Defense
  • Air Warfare
  • Command and Control
  • Deterrence
  • JPME
  • Military Planning
  • Nuclear
  • Wargaming
  • WWII

Professional Highlights


Task Force Operations Leader, FEMA

Supporting all aspects of COVID vaccine distribution at FEMA mass vaccination site supplying over 3000 vaccines a day. From traffic management, customer flow, personal protective equipment, HIPA and customer service, dedicated to ensuring a positive experience for every individual being vaccinated.

Deputy Chairman, Strategic and Operational Research Dept, US Naval War College

Deputy chairman for 31 civilian faculty, 60 military student researchers, six military officers, and five contractors. Responsible for $5.5 million annual research and operations budget. Managed and oversaw all travel, including international, for the department, with an average of 300 trips a year

Combat Direction Center Officer, USS NIMITZ

Led and mentored nine officers and 80 enlisted personnel in a 24/7 shipboard command center. Responsible for all aspects of the ship’s defense including authorization to employ deadly force with ship’s weapons while deployed in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.


M.A., U.S. Naval War College, 2018, National Security and Strategic Studies

Advanced Qualification Designator, U.S. Naval War College, 2018, Pacific Area Operations

Advanced Qualification Designator, U.S. Naval War College, 2018, Strategic Deterrence and Escalation Control

M.A., U.S. Naval War College, 2017, Defense and Strategic Studies

Advanced Qualification Designator, U.S. Naval War College, 2017, Information Operations

B.A., Tufts University, 1995, History (Middle East specialty)

Certificate, Tufts University, 1995, Peace and Justice Studies

Research Contributions and Publications

Awards and Decorations

1st Place, J. William Middendorf II Award For Student Research

2nd Place, Matthew C. Perry Award For International Research

Diane M. Disney Writing Award

National AFCEA Copernicus Award For Sustained Superior Performance In Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence

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