MCA Staff - John Keenan

MCA Staff - John Keenan


Colonel Keenan was born in New York City. He graduated from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in November 1972 after completion of the Officer Candidate Course. Upon graduation from The Basic School, he was assigned to 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division as a Rifle Platoon Commander. He was reassigned in August 1974 to the First Marine Brigade, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

While assigned to the Brigade he served as a Company Executive Officer, Rifle Company Commander, Assistant Operations Officer, and Intelligence Officer. In August 1977, he was transferred to the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, where he served as an instructor in accounting and financial management. While assigned to the Naval Academy, he was promoted to Captain and in July 1980 he was ordered to Amphibious Warfare School as a student.

Upon completion of the course of instruction in May 1981, Colonel Keenan was transferred back to 3d Battalion, 4th Marines where he served as the Battalion Logistics Officer and then as the Operations Officer. During this tour he was promoted to Major. In March 1983 he was transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps. He was assigned as an Action Officer in the Training Department and subsequently as the Commandant’s Speechwriter in the Special Projects Directorate. Three years later he returned to Quantico as a student at Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

In July 1987, he was transferred to Marine Corps Security Forces Company, Naples, Italy to serve as the Commanding Officer. While in this assignment, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Upon completion of this tour of duty in July 1990, Colonel Keenan was assigned to the Operations Section of I Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, California and deployed to Southwest Asia to participate in Operations Desert Shield and Storm. Shortly after returning to the United States he was assigned as a student at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He graduated in June 1992 and reported to 7th Marine Regiment, Twentynine Palms, California for duty as the Executive Officer and deployed to Somalia to participate in Operation Restore Hope.

In May 1993, Colonel Keenan assumed command of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines and was reassigned as the Director, Tactical Exercise Evaluation Control Group, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in September 1994 upon his selection to Colonel. Colonel Keenan subsequently served as the Chief of Staff of the Combat Center from November of 1996 to May of 1997.

On 31 May 1997, Colonel Keenan assumed command of the 3d Marine Regiment (Rein), 3d Marine Division (-) (Rein) at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. In July 1999 he was reassigned to MCCDC for duty as the Director, Amphibious Warfare School. He retired from the Marine Corps on 1 July 2003. He worked as a civilian for the Marine Corps after retirement at Marine Corps University and as the Director of Command and Control training and education. He became the editor of the Marine Corps Gazette in July of 2006.

Colonel Keenan holds a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University.

His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit with two gold stars in lieu of second and third award, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with a gold star in lieu of second award, and the Navy Achievement Medal.