CDR Kenneth W. Zilka

Executive Officer, USS New Orleans (LPD 18)

14 July 2020
CDR Zilka
CDR Zilka
CDR Zilka
CDR Zilka
CDR Zilka
Photo By: CNSP
VIRIN: 210318-N-N0831-0009
A  native of Buffalo, Ohio, CDR Zilka enlisted in the United States Navy in July 1992. Following completion of recruit training in Great Lakes, he attended Storekeeper “A” school in Meridian, Miss. His enlisted tours included the USS EMORY S. LAND (AS 39), JTF-160, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Navy Recruiting District, Raleigh, NC, USS JOHN HANCOCK (DD 981) and USS GETTYSBURG (CG 64). In 2004, CDR Zilka commissioned from the Seaman to Admiral (STA-21) Program. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Jacksonville University and an M.A. in Defense and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.

At sea, CDR Zilka’s first assignment was on USS VICKSBURG (CG 69) as Gunnery/Force Protection Officer. He fleeted up as Navigator and deployed twice to the Fifth Fleet AOR in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as Air Defense Commander. Following completion of Department Head School in July 2012, where he earned distinguished graduate honors, he reported to USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG 58) as the Combat Systems Officer and deployed to the Sixth Fleet AOR in support of Operations Active Endeavor and Jukebox Lotus. In 2014, he reported to Destroyer Squadron SEVEN, forward deployed to Singapore, as the N6/N8.

Ashore, CDR Zilka served as the Officer in Charge of the Center for Security Forces Learning Site in Mayport, Fla. In 2016, he reported to the U.S. Naval War College and completed the 13-month Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS). In 2017, CDR Zilka reported to COMUSNAVCENT/COMFIFTHFLT as the Deputy Future Plans Branch Chief. 

CDR Zilka’s personal awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (6 awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal (6 awards). His unit awards include the Battle Efficiency Award (3 awards) and numerous campaign and unit citations.


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