Mitchell Community College will host its annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 11 a.m. on the Circle of Statesville Campus. The guest speaker will be Captain Jane E. Campbell, retired United States Navy Public Affairs Officer (PAO) who spent more than a quarter century in the service of our nation. All veterans, students, faculty, staff and community are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served following the program. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in Shearer Hall which is located in the Main Building at the Statesville Campus.
Captain Campbell was commissioned an Ensign in 1990, and deployed to the Middle East on her first ship in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Following a second shipboard tour as Surface Warfare Officer, she became a Public Affairs Officer and reported to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in September 1994, which deployed one month later, the U.S. Navy’s first deployment with women assigned to combatant vessels. She got her first experience working with the other military services and our international counterparts when she reported to U.S. Southern Command in Miami, Florida in 1997.
During an assignment in Hawaii from 2000-2003 she was responsible for coordinating a number of historic events, including myriad ceremonies held in conjunction with the 60th anniversaries of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway. She served at the Pentagon in the Secretary of Defense’s Press Operations Office and after two years, was selected for a 1-year assignment to the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House. During her tenure at the NSC, she served as the Director for Communications Planning. She left the White House in late 2006 for a tour in Coronado, California. She accepted an assignment as the PAO for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, and led the public affairs efforts for U.S. and international counterpiracy operations—including the rescue of Maersk-Alabama’s Captain Phillips.
Captain Campbell subsequently volunteered for a combat tour in Afghanistan. She helped establish the new 3-star NATO command headquarters staff in Kabul, serving as the Chief PAO for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command (IJC). Her multinational public affairs team was responsible for around-the-clock media operations, handling all queries about operational issues for all NATO forces in Afghanistan. From July 2011-July 2012 she served as the Director of Press Operations on the staff of the Secretary of Defense, leading the largest team of U.S. military public affairs officers in the Defense Department. Prior to her retirement, she spent more than two years as the Director of Public Affairs for United States Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, VA.
Captain Campbell is a 1987 graduate of Davidson College. She earned a Masters Degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.C. in June 2011. Captain Campbell’s military decorations include the Legion of Merit (2 awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal (3 awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards), and a variety of unit awards and commendations. She is authorized to wear the Presidential Service and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badges.
Following her retirement, Captain Campbell and her spouse Heather McKee—a fellow 1987 Davidson graduate—returned to Davidson, NC. She has become actively involved in church, college, and community non-profit organizations and activities, including: Davidson College Presbyterian Church’s Room in The Inn program, Davidson College Board of Visitors (past member), Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Davidson, and St. Alban’s Neighborhood Council of Stewards (HOA).