Commander Steele is a native of Southwest Wisconsin. He began his Navy career when he enlisted as a Machinist Mate in July 1984 and attended recruit training and “A” school in Great Lakes, IL. He reported to his first of seven ships in 1985, the USS DONALD B. BEARY (FF-1085), home-ported in Norfolk, VA where he supported Libya Contingency Operations in 1986 while deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. Steele then completed a one-year unaccompanied tour on USS LASALLE (AGF-3), forward deployed to the Northern Arabian Sea. There Steele qualified as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and was recognized as Sailor of the Year. Upon transfer, then Petty Officer Steele went on to serve in USS SACRAMENTO (AOE-1) in Bremerton, WA where he deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
In January 1992, Steele transferred to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C. where he served as a Machinist Mate Detailer and was advanced to Chief Petty Officer. In 1994, Steele was approved for a direct rate conversion to Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) and was selected for Senior Chief Petty Officer in 1996.
CDR Steele entered the officer ranks as an Engineering Limited Duty Officer Ensign in April 1997 where his first assignment was as Main Propulsion Assistant in USS CAMDEN (AOE-2), in Bremerton, WA. During this tour Steele would qualify as a Surface Warfare Officer, deploy to the Arabian Gulf twice, and be recognized as the Kitsap County Retired Officer Association’s Junior Officer of the Year. Steele went on to serve as Electrical Officer in USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) in Norfolk, VA and was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea during the September 11th attacks. From 2002 to 2004 Steele served as Regional Support Group, Norfolk Cruiser and Destroyer Type Desk Officer where he also completed an undergraduate degree from Excelsior College and was subsequently approved for lateral conversion to the Surface Warfare Officer community. CDR Steele’s follow-on department head assignments included USS BARRY (DDG-52) in Norfolk, VA as Weapons Officer and USS CARNEY (DDG-64) in Mayport, FL as Combat Systems Officer.
CDR Steele received a master’s degree in Military Operational Art in 2008 after attending the Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, AL. CDR Steele’s follow-on assignment was at USJFCOM in Suffolk, VA in where he served a Joint Planner and Joint Training Team member. While assigned he deployed to Afghanistan and supported continency operations in Japan (earthquake relief), and Germany (Odyssey Dawn- Libya). CDR Steele’s most recent operational assignment was as Executive Officer at Assault Craft Unit FOUR in Little Creek, VA from 2011-2014. CDR Steele received a second master’s degree in 2015 from the National War College in National Security Strategy.
CDR Steele's personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (5), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (4), Navy Good Conduct Medal (3), and 18 other personal, unit, and campaign awards.