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A formal ceremony at Dahlgren’s flag pole next Friday, May 23, will mark a change in leadership for the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) and celebrate the retirement of the organization’s current commanding officer, Capt. Don Schmieley.

Schmieley concludes over 30 years of active-duty military service at his retirement and hands over command of CSCS after having led the organization since April 2012.

Relieving Schmieley will be Capt. Bill McKinley, who recently served as Commanding Officer of the USS San Jacinto (CG 56) where he completed a nine month deployment to the Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility where he served as Air Defense Commander for USS Harry S. Truman and Nimitz Strike Groups.

McKinley graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture. Following Nuclear Power School and Surface Warfare Officers School, McKinley began his first sea duty assignment in USS South Carolina (CGN 37) where he served as the Chemistry and Radiological Controls Assistant and later as the Main Propulsion Assistance from May 1989 to October 1992. During his tour, he deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield.

His next sea duty assignment was as the Operations Officer of USS Arthur W. Radford (DD 968) from September 1995 to September 1997 where he completed a Mediterranean and Counter Drug Operations Deployment. Following this tour, he transferred to USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and served as the Reactor Training Assistant from October 1997 to May 1999 and deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Fox. McKinley’s next assignment was as JTFEX Battle Group Project Officer for Commander, Second Fleet from May 1999 to October 2000. He then served as the Executive Officer of the USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) from June 2001 to September 2002 where he completed a Mediterranean deployment.

Following Executive Officer, McKinley was assigned as the Chief Staff Officer for COMDESRON EIGHTEEN from October 2002 to June 2004. During this assignment, Destroyer Squadron Eighteen performed as Sea Combat commander for the Arabian Gulf in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. In March 2006, he assumed command of the USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and during this tour, Mitscher was awarded the Battle Efficiency awards in 2006 and 2007 and completed deployments to England and South America. Following command, McKinley served in USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as the Reactor Officer. During this tour, he successfully completed Refueling Overhaul and a deployment around South America transitioning Carl Vinson back to the operational fleet and her new home port of San Diego.

Ashore, he served as the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Instructor at Old Dominion University, Officer-in-Charge of the Propulsion Mobile Training in Norfolk, Va., and Assistant Chief of Staff of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command in Norfolk, Va.

McKinley holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.

His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit, campaign, and service awards.