A native of Clinton, Iowa, Captain Keith Knutsen graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1990 and has since served in positions in the Atlantic, Pacific and Middle East.
His first sea duty tour was in USS FLETCHER (DD 992). Following this tour, he served as Chief Engineer of the GL-47 Gas Turbine Propulsion Plant Trainer, Service Schools Command Great Lakes, IL. His Department Head tours were in USS KINKAID (DD 965) and USS PORT ROYAL (CG 73) as Chief Engineer.
Captain Knutsen served on the Staff of The Commander United States Naval Forces, Southern Command prior to assuming command of USS PELICAN (MHC 53) and due to crew swap, also USS CARDINAL (MHC 60), USS OSPREY (MHC 51), and USS ROBIN (MHC 54). Following MHC command, Captain Knutsen served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, N86. He also completed a 13 month Individual Augmentation (IA) tour on the staff of Multi-National Division Southeast (MND-SE) in Iraq.
Upon completion of his IA tour in Iraq, Captain Knutsen assumed command of USS TAYLOR (FFG 50). Following command of TAYLOR he served as the Deputy Director for the Senior Officer Ship Material Readiness Course (SOSMRC). He served as the Deputy Commander for Mine Countermeasures Squadron three, followed by a tour as the Commander for Mine Countermeasures Squadron Three.
Captain Knutsen’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.