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University of North Carolina
Naval ROTC Alumni Association

Patrick P. Connelly

Patrick P. ConnellyIn May 1985, Colonel Patrick P. Connelly graduated from the Naval ROTC program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and reported to the Basic School. Following completion of the Basic School where he was an honor graduate, he completed the Infantry Officer's Course.

In February 1986, Second Lieutenant Connelly was ordered to Camp Lejeune, NC and assigned to 2d Battalion, 2d Marines, 2d Marine Division. He served as a Rifle Platoon Commander, Anti-Armor Platoon Commander and Battalion Legal Officer. Second Lieutenant Connelly deployed as a member of BLT 2/2, 24th MAU from May to November 1986 and as a First Lieutenant during 2/2's UDP deployment to Okinawa, Japan from January to July 1988.

Upon return from deployment, First Lieutenant Connelly executed orders to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC where he joined 3d Recruit Training Battalion as a Series Officer. In March 1990, he was promoted to Captain and assumed command of Company L, 3d Recruit Training Battalion.

In November 1989, Captain Connelly was selected for Naval Aviator Training through the Field Accession Program. In September 1990, he executed orders to the Marine Aviation Training Support Group, Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL to train as a Naval Aviator. Captain Connelly was selected for jet transition training and continued his training at NAS Chase Field, Beeville, TX. He received his Naval Aviator Wings in July 1992.

Selected for AV-8B Harrier transition training, Captain Connelly reported for duty with VMAT-203, at MCAS Cherry Point, NC. In July 1993, following completion of training, he was transferred to VMA-231 where he served as a Schedule Writer, Ground Training and NBC Officer, Aviation Safety Officer and Director of Standardization and Safety. Captain Connelly deployed as a member of HMM-263, 24 MEU from March to September 1995. During this deployment, HMM-263 participated in Operation Deny Flight and the rescue of Capt Scott O'Grady, USAF. He was promoted to Major in March 1996.

In August 1996, Major Connelly was transferred to MAG-13, MCAS Yuma, AZ where he was assigned as the Operations Officer of VMA-513. He served in that billet until June 1998 when he was transferred to VMA-311 to serve as the Operations Officer until deploying to join the 31st MEU, HMM-265, Harrier Detachment in Okinawa, Japan in October of the same year. During this deployment, the 31st MEU deployed to the Persian Gulf to support Operation Southern Watch. During December 1998, the MEU participated in Operation Desert Fox.

In June 1999, Major Connelly transitioned to the Marine Corps Reserve and relocated to Winston-Salem, NC. In December 1999, he accepted a flying position with American Airlines where he continues to serve as a pilot today.

In November 1999, Major Connelly began his Selected Marine Corps Reserve career by joining 4th FSSG Forward (East). He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in July 2001. In July 2002, 4th FSSG Forward (East) was mobilized in support of the Global War on Terror and assigned to 2d FSSG at Camp Lejeune, NC. Lieutenant Colonel Connelly was posted as the Future Operations Officer and subsequently the Operations Officer. 2d FSSG deployed to Kuwait in February 2003 to serve as the Marine Logistics Command, MARCENT‘s agent for Operational Logistics during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lieutenant Colonel Connelly served as the MLC's Operations Officer. Upon redeployment to Camp Lejeune in June 2003, he was demobilized along with his reserve unit and returned to his flying position at American Airlines. In his reserve duties, he reassumed the duties as Operations Officer, 4th FSSG Forward (East).

In August 2004, Lieutenant Colonel Connelly transferred to the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing for duty with the 4th MAW Reserve Liaison Detachment (East) alongside 2d MAW at MCAS Cherry Point, NC. From August 2005 to April 2006, with a majority of 2d MAW deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Lieutenant Colonel Connelly accepted active duty orders to serve as the 2d MAW Current Operations Officer. In January 2007, Lieutenant Colonel Connelly was promoted to the rank of Colonel. He served as the Officer-In-Charge of the 4th MAW Reserve Liaison Detachment at 2d MAW until June 2012.

In August, 2012, Colonel Connelly was mobilized in support of US Central Command. Posted as the Exercises Division Chief, Colonel Connelly led the CENTCOM Exercise team in the execution of a portfolio of 77 major, joint and coalition exercises. Colonel Connelly retired in October, 2014 after more than 29 years of service.

His formal schools include: Fire Support Coordination School, Military Justice/Legal Administration Officer's Course, NBC Officer's Course, Aviation Safety Officer's School, Aviation Safety Commander's Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School, and Ground Safety Manager's Course. He is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare Non-Resident Course, Marine Corps Command and Staff Non-Resident Course, the Reserve Officer National Security Decision Making Course and the Reserve Component National Security Course.

His AV-8B qualifications include Division Leader, Weapons Training Officer, Advanced Landing Signal Officer, Landing Site Supervisor, Low Altitude Tactics Instructor, Post Maintenance Check Flight Pilot, Demonstration Pilot and Night Systems Instructor.

Colonel Connelly's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (Gold Star in lieu of second award), Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and NATO Medal as well as additional citations and unit commendations.

Colonel Connelly has logged over 10000 flight hours and holds type ratings on the Boeing 737, 757, and 767 aircraft. He also holds a type rating on the McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 and is a licensed turbojet Flight Engineer. He continues to fly for American Airlines.

Colonel Connelly is married to the former Sheila Ayn Kennedy of Winston Salem, NC. He and his wife live in Clemmons, NC. They have three children, Emily, 23 (UNC '15), Mary Kate, 20, and Jack, 15. Together with his wife, Colonel Connelly is an active volunteer in his local church, school and community athletic programs.


Information:  secretary@uncnrotcaa.org 

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