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Originally from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, CDR Howell attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, from 2002 to 2004, receiving an associate of arts degree. In 2004, he was selected for a Navy ROTC scholarship and then accepted to George Washington University in Washington D.C. In 2006, he earned his commission and a bachelor of arts degree in political science. As a naval flight officer, Howell earned his wings of gold from the “Sabrehawks” of VT-86 in Pensacola, Florida, in 2008 and reported to the EA-6B “Prowler” Fleet Replacement Squadron in 2009.
Afloat, CDR Howell’s first sea duty assignment was to the “Gauntlets” of VAQ-136, forward deployed to Atsugi, Japan, from 2010 to 2012 flying the EA-6B. While there, he deployed aboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) in support of U.S. foreign policy goals in the U.S. INDOPACOM area of responsibility, as well as in support Operation Tomodachi. In 2012, Howell and the “Gauntlets” executed a squadron homeport change to Whidbey Island, Washington, and transitioned from the EA-6B to the EA-18G “Growler”, where he served until 2014. In 2016, he was assigned as a department head with the “Zappers” of VAQ-130 in Whidbey Island. While there, he deployed aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, flying combat missions over Iraq against ISIS. While serving as operations officer and maintenance officer, the “Zappers” received back-to-back Naval Air Forces Atlantic Battle “E” awards in 2016 and 2017.
Ashore, CDR Howell served as the Fleet Replacement Squadron instructor, familiarization phase head, and safety officer with the “Vikings” of VAQ-129 in Whidbey Island from 2014 to 2016. In 2019, he was one of 19 officers selected as a George and Carol Olmsted Foundation Scholar for the class of 2020, assigned to Tbilisi, Georgia. From 2019 to 2020, he was assigned to the Defense Language Institute-Washington, where he completed an 11-month course in the Georgian language. From 2020 to 2022, he attended the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, Law, and Politics Faculty as a master’s degree student in international relations.
His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), as well as other various unit and campaign awards. He has flown over 1,500 flight hours and has nearly 300 carrier arrested landings in the EA-6B and EA-18G. He is the proud son of Jack and Cathy Howell of Lee’s Summit, is the husband to his beautiful wife Stephanie, of Redlands, California, and father to his son Orson.