Donor Spotlight - LtCol Kelly McConnell

LtCol Kelly McConnell, a 1999 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, has served as a signals intelligence officer throughout her Marine Corps career.  Her decision to join the Marine Corps was made in part because of her desire to be challenged but she was also influenced by Marines she had encountered. “I was very impressed by the Marine enlisted and officer leadership I first met; it was mostly their pride in the history and tradition of the Corps that struck me as something unique.  The sense of responsibility that the Marine Corps imbues within its servicemembers to uphold the legacy of past Marines is something that still continues to impress me and makes me proud to be a part of the organization.”

Like most Marines, LtCol McConnell has held a variety of billets throughout her career but one in particular has stood out. “My favorite job when I was on a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as a Radio Battalion Detachment Officer in Charge.  It was fun because I enjoyed working with the Marines I had on the detachment. Our mission constantly had the potential to change so it kept us very busy, and we got to do some pretty interesting things during that deployment.” 

Currently assigned as a team leader for a Cyberspace Mission Team with the Marine Corps Cyber Warfare Group, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, her job continues to be both interesting and challenging.  Determining the best way to support the warfighter with cyberspace-based effects, she has had the opportunity to work with exceptionally talented Marines and has a keen understanding of how the Marine Corps Association & Foundation supports and helps develops Marines like them. “I have seen firsthand what benefits the unit library program and awards bring to the Marine Corps.  I'm an avid reader and constantly push the importance of reading.  Consequently, I see the library program as a very valuable resource available to the commands.” 

LtCol McConnell has been a faithful reader of the Gazette since The Basic School.  She received good advice as a young officer that the Corps’ professional journal was the best way to stay up to date on all things Marine Corps. “I still primarily read the Gazette for that very reason.  I also enjoy the professionalism of the topics and varying perspectives of key issues pertinent to the Marine Corps.”

Semper Fidelis is more than a motto for LtCol McConnell – she lives its spirit every day, and her support to the Marine Corps Association & Foundation is just one way she continues to give back to the Corps which has given her so much. “I have had some great experiences in my time in the Marine Corps.  I've met some great Marines, I have been to some interesting places, and I have had the opportunity to be involved with and partake in some pretty remarkable events.   I take a lot of satisfaction, as silly as it may sound, to simply be a Marine, work with Marines, and continue to serve.” 

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