The National Security Roundtable

cordially invites its MEMBERS to a Cocktail Reception, Briefing & Discussion with

Commander Kirk S. Lippold
U.S. Navy (ret)

Former Commander of the USS Cole

"Lessons From the USS Cole Bombing"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

The Harmonie Club
4 East 60th Street
New York, NY


Commander Kirk S. Lippold, U.S. Navy (ret) was Commanding Officer of the USS Cole when it came under attack by al Qaeda suicide bombers on October 12, 2000, in the port of Aden, Yemen. During his command, he and his crew distinguished themselves by saving the guided missile destroyer from sinking. The attack on the USS Cole was one of the most brazen acts of terrorism by al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001, and one of the seminal events of the war on terror. 

Prior to assuming command of the USS Cole, Cmdr Lippold served as: Executive Officer of the USS Shiloh, an Aegis-class guided missile cruiser; Operations Officer on the commissioning crew of the USS Arleigh Burke; and Division Officer aboard the USS Yorktown, an Aegis-class guided missile cruiser, where he completed a seven and half month deployment to the Mediterranean, and participated in the Achille Lauro aircraft seizure, Black Sea Freedom of Navigation operations against the Soviet Union, and Attain III combat operations in the Gulf of Sidra off of Libya, which followed several Libyan sponsored terrorist attacks in Europe.

Cmdr Lippold also served as Division Officer aboard the USS Fairfax County, where he completed deployments to Beirut in support of the U.S. Marine and the Multinational Peacekeeping Force. It was during this deployment that the American Embassy was attacked and severely damaged. His second deployment was as part of the UNITAS XXV, which circumnavigated South America and included operations off the west coast of Africa. Cmdr Lippold previously served as Administrative Aide to Secretaries of the Navy John Dalton and Richard Danzig, and as Deputy Division Chief and Politico-Military Planner, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy, where he was instrumental in crafting detainee policy for the War on Terror during its initial stages, following the 9/11 attacks. His most recent assignment, prior to his retirement in May 2007, was as Section Chief for Regional Affairs, International Strategy Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

A graduate of the Naval Academy, Cmdr Lippold received his commission in the Navy in 1981. He attended the Navy Postgraduate School (1987-1989), where he received a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering (Joint Command, Control and Communications) with a subspecialty in International Strategy. He is also a 1994 graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College, and 2001 graduate of the Joint Force Staff College. He is the recipient of numerous military awards and medals, and is currently the President of the consulting firm, Base to Peak.