Kirk Lippold – Inspirational Leader & Commander of the USS Cole

Kirk Lippold - Inspirational Leader & Commander of the USS Cole

Nov 8, 2012
7:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Carmel Country Club
4735 Carmel Rd
Charlotte, NC 28226

(Special Thursday Morning Breakfast)

Kirk Lippold

Inspirational Leader and Commander of the USS Cole

Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.) was the Commanding Officer of the USS Cole when it came under a suicide terrorist attack by al Qaeda in the port of Aden, Yemen. During his command, he and his crew distinguished themselves by saving the American war ship from sinking. This event is widely recognized as one of the most brazen acts of terrorism by al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001. With this unique and invaluable experience, Commander Lippold has briefed over 4,000 military officers and given over 200 presentations on this seminal event in the war on terrorism.

Commander Kirk Lippold’s assignments prior to the USS Cole included Executive Officer of USS SHILOH, an Aegis-class guided missile cruiser. His department head tour was unique in his assignment to the crew that commissioned USS Arleigh Burke, the Navy’s first Aegis guided missile destroyer. He served as the Operations Officer responsible for the training and operation of a next generation $1 billion warship with a crew of over 300 Sailors. He had two division officer assignments, which included a tour on USS Yorktown, an Aegis class guided missile cruiser. There, he completed a lengthy seven and a half month deployment to the Mediterranean, where he participated in the Achille Lauro aircraft seizure, Black Sea Freedom of Navigation operations against the Soviet Union, and Attain III combat operations in the Gulf of Sidra off Libya that followed several Libyan sponsored terrorist attacks in Europe.

His initial division officer tour was in USS Fairfax County, a tank landing ship, where he completed a deployment to Beirut, Lebanon, in support of the US Marine Corps and the Multinational Peacekeeping Force when terrorists attacked the American Embassy and severely damaged it.

Commander Kirk Lippold is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and received his commission in the Navy in 1981. He attended the Navy Postgraduate School from 1987 to 1989 where he received a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering (Joint Command, Control and Communications). He is a 1994 graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and is also a 2001 graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College. He has also served as the Administrative Aide to the Secretary of the Navy. He recently served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), where he was instrumental in crafting detainee policy for the war on terrorism during its initial stages following the 9/11 attacks. His last assignment was in the International Strategy Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (N5IS). Following retirement, Commander Lippold served as the Senior Military Fellow for Military Families United, the nation’s premier military family advocacy group.

Commander Kirk Lippold’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), in addition to various campaign and service ribbons.

Currently, Commander Lippold is the president of Base to Peak, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in long-range strategic planning, training programs, and crisis management. His forthcoming book, Front Burner: The Attack on the USS Cole, recounts the story of al Qaeda’s bombing of his ship on October 12, 2000, and the continuing ramifications for the war on terror.