A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Captain Kevin “Kepper” Pickard Jr graduated in 1996 from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in English (with Merit). Following flight training, he was designated a naval aviator in April 1998. In 2007, he earned a master’s degree in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His assignments at sea include tours in Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 4 in Sigonella, Sicily; Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 11 in San Diego, California; Flag Lieutenant for Carrier Strike Group 2 embarked in USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71); Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 in Guam; Executive Officer for the 2515th Naval Air Ambulance Detachment in Basrah, Iraq; and as Navigator aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
Captain Pickard assumed command of Naval Air Station Sigonella in April 2019. He previously commanded the “Vigilant Eagles” of Helicopter Training Squadron (HT) 18 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida. Additional assignments ashore include tours as Senior Military Advisor in the Office of Counterproliferation Initiatives at the U.S. Department of State where he was awarded the Department of State Superior Honor Award, and as Branch Head and Chief of Naval Air Training Requirements Officer for Director, Air Warfare (OPNAV N98) on the Chief of Naval Operations’ Staff.
Captain Pickard has logged more than 3,800 hours in the C-26D, TH-57, HH-1N, MH-53E, and MH-60S. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal (Strike/Flight 3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards. He is married to the former Ms. Amy Hall of Fairfax, Virginia and they have one son.