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Tow parents now have an admiral in the family

Rear Admiral (lower half) Stephanie Thomas Keck

Rear Admiral (lower half) Stephanie Thomas Keck


WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S. Navy officer with Highland Lakes ties recently earned a big step in her career. The Navy announced the promotion of Stephanie Thomas Keck to rear admiral (lower half).

The rank is the equivalent to a one-star general in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.

Keck is the daughter of Paul and Nancy Wright of Tow and Ken and Linda Thomas of Eldorado.

With the promotion comes a new assignment for the career naval officer. Keck is now the deputy director for operations for the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency (JIDA). In this position, she is responsible for supporting combatant commanders with rapidly fused operational information, intelligence and technology to enable the defeat of threat networks that employ improvised explosive devices as their weapons of choice.

Rear Admiral Keck assumed these duties in early August.

Prior to JIDA, she served as strategic studies group fellow, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Newport, Rhode Island. Previously, she was the commanding officer of Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC), and under her leadership, NCDOC is credited with the development and implementation of the Navy Cyber Defense Core, the Navy’s premier Computer Network Defense decision support system critical to the Navy’s information dominance strategy and primacy in defensive cyberspace operations. Additionally, Keck led the planning and execution of a distributed defensive cyberspace operations strategy that transformed Navy network defense from a centralized construct to a geographically dispersed framework that provides regional commanders tailored proactive operations and improved mission effectiveness.

Keck began her career as an instructor at the Navy Nuclear Power School in Orlando and has served at all echelons of the Navy’s leadership corps and numerous information warfare commands. Her assigments include commanding officer U.S. Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Yokosuka, Japan, Multi-National Force-Iraq information operations chief in Baghdad and cryptologic resource coordinator while assigned to Commander, 7th Fleet embarked aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Keck also served staff tours on the U.S. Pacific Fleet staff and with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV).

Keck’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (three awards), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement.

Keck is a 1988 graduate of Hardin-Simmons University with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and was commissioned in via the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program in the same year. Additionally, she graduated from Air War College in 2006.