Sean D. Kearns
Dates of Service: 7/26/2013 - 8/14/2015
Birth Date: 09/23/1968
Raised in Hampden, Maine, Sean Kearns graduated from Hampden Academy in 1987. Soon afterwards he enlisted in the navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Program as an electronics technician, serving for almost three years before being awarded a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship to Boston University. He first served aboard USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) as communications officer and later as assistant operations officer. Following Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program training, Kearns reported to USS South Carolina (CGN-37) as reactor training assistant and assisted the ship’s final deployment, deactivation, and decommissioning.
Kearns next attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning Master of Science degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Following his graduation from Department Head School in Newport, Rhode Island in May 2002, he reported to USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) as first lieutenant, deploying in support of operations “Iraqi Freedom,” “Enduring Freedom,” and “Sheltering Sky.” In January 2004, he reported to USS George Washington (CVN-73) as reactor electrical assistant, deploying in support of operations “Iraqi Freedom” and “Enduring Freedom.”
In December 2005, Kearns reported to Naval Reactors Headquarters (NRHQ) in Washington, D.C. He served on USS San Antonio (LPD-17) in early 2008 as the ship’s executive officer. In the summer of 2010, Kearns reported to the staff of Commander, U.S. Second Fleet in the Policy, Requirements, and Experimentation branch. In June 2012, he graduated from the Senior Officer Course at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island with a Master of Science degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He later worked at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command as the director of Fleet Enlisted Engineering Training for the navy.
Kearns assumed command of USS Constitution on July 26, 2013. He and his wife, Julia Patterson, were married on board Constitution on August 24, 2014. In 2015, Kearns oversaw Constitution’s entry into dry dock for the ship’s first restoration of the 21st century. Constitution remained in dry dock for 26 months.
After the change of command on August 14, 2015, Kearns was promoted to the rank of captain and served as executive officer on the revolutionary new guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001), under construction at Bath Iron Works in Kearns’s home state of Maine. Following completion of construction and successful acceptance sea trials, Kearns turned over his duties as executive officer and moved on to his current position as commanding officer and professor of naval science at the NROTC unit at Maine Maritime Academy and The University of Maine, not far from his hometown. Kearns retired from the Navy on October 1, 2023 after nearly 36 years of service. He and his wife run their family Christmas tree farm in Winterport, Maine, and are involved in the local community there.
U.S. Navy Photo