FORT BELVOIR, Va. - Navy Rear Adm. Kurt Kunkel, commander, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy, passed away Sept. 28 of brain cancer. He was 51.
Kunkel was a 2001 graduate of the U.S. Naval War College's College of Distance Education.
"I am deeply saddened to inform you that [Rear Admiral] Kurt Kunkel passed away this morning at home," DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Alan Thompson wrote in a message to agency senior leaders. "As you know, Kurt was diagnosed with brain cancer last fall and underwent extensive medical treatment since that time."
Kunkel took command of DLA Energy in January 2010 and was responsible for providing the Department of Defense and other government agencies with comprehensive energy solutions and ensuring continuous worldwide energy support to America's warfighters.
He previously served as DLA chief of staff, following an assignment as deputy director for operational logistics on the Joint Staff.
Kunkel is survived by a wife and two children.
In his message, Thompson recalled Kunkel as "a wonderful husband, father, and a model Naval officer."
"He was admired by all of us and will be deeply, deeply missed. His passing at such a young age is truly tragic," Thompson said. "I know all of us will long remember Kurt Kunkel and the life of great impact that he led."
Thompson also noted that Kunkel had requested burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
"We are assisting with the arrangements and with anything [his family members] need in the days and months ahead."
A native of Warner Robins, Ga., Kunkel graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Md., in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree (with merit) in oceanography. He earned a Master of Science degree in financial management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, Calif., in 1992. He was also a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, in Newport, R.I., and the Joint Forces Staff College, in Norfolk, Va., and completed the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Senior Executive Program.
Kunkel served as a supply officer aboard USS America (CV 66), USS McCandless (FFT 1084), USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
His assignments ashore were: Integrated Logistics Support, F-14 assistant program manager for Logistics, Naval Air Systems Command, Washington, D.C.; Industrial Support Branch section head and executive assistant to the commanding officer, Naval Aviation Supply Office, Philadelphia; staff positions at the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Norfolk, including acting officer in charge, FISC Norfolk Detachment Washington, D.C.; Regionalization and Supply Programs/Policy Branch head, director Fleet Supply/Ordnance, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk; and assistant chief of staff for logistics and engineering for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet, in Manama, Bahrain.
His military decorations included the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4 awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
From Defense Logistics Agency Strategic Communications
Posted by Cmdr. Carla McCarthy