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As a surface warfare officer, he deployed around the world and commanded destroyers, cruisers, and an expeditionary strike group. At sea he served as a division officer aboard USS Dewey (DDG 45); operations and training officer for Special Boat Unit 26, Republic of Panama; combat systems and weapons officer aboard USS San Jacinto (CG 56); executive officer aboard USS Cowpens (CG 63); and operations officer and chief of staff for Commander, Carrier Strike Group 11. He commanded USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) and USS Higgins (DDG 76), during the Navy’s Sea Swap Initiative, and also commanded USS Princeton (CG59) and Expeditionary Strike Group 2.
Ashore, Kitchener served as the Surface Warfare Directorate’s Naval Surface Fire Support program officer on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations; combat systems instructor at Surface Warfare Officers School; ballistic missile defense operations chief at the Cheyenne Mountain directorate at Commander, U.S. Northern Command; and vice commander of Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command. He served as the chief of staff at numerous commands, to include Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet; Commander, Naval Surface Forces; Naval Striking and Support Forces North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); and U.S. deputy military representative to the NATO Military Committee. Most recently, he was commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
Kitchener assumed the duties as commander, Naval Surface Forces/Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet on August 3, 2020.
His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (three awards), Legion of Merit (five awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and various service and campaign awards.