Capt. Keith Dowling enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1983, serving as a diving medical technician aboard USS Reclaimer (ARS 42) from 1986 through 1991. He assumed the rank of chief hospital corpsman in 1993 and completed the Navy’s Enlisted Educational Advancement and Enlisted Commissioning Programs. He is a graduate of the University of North Florida and was commissioned an ensign in 1995. Dowling holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
Dowling’s first operational assignment was as operations officer for Mine Countermeasures Rotational Crew GOLF, serving aboard USS Warrior based at Ingleside, Texas, and aboard USS Dextrous (MCM 13), forward deployed and conducting mine clearance operations in the Arabian Gulf.
After graduating from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) School in 2000, Dowling’s operational tours included serving with EOD Mobile Unit (EODMU) 11 in Washington; as EOD task unit commander with the USS Carl Vinson Strike Group; and as EODMU 11’s operations officer, responsible for the operational readiness and deployment of six sea and three shore platoons that completed 21 deployments, various regional and fleet tasks, and support to civilian and federal law enforcement. Subsequent tours include force protection officer for USS Kitty Hawk Strike Group, deploying with the 3d Marine Division following the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, and as executive officer of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, where he also deployed as an Individual Augment supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom as officer in charge of the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell at Victory Base Complex in Baghdad, Iraq.
As commanding officer of EODMU 11 in Imperial Beach, California from 2012 to 2014, he led an EODMU headquarters, ten EOD platoons, and a diving and salvage company conducting operations in the U.S. 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleets. He also deployed his headquarters as Commander Task Group 56.1 and 56.9 supporting EOD/diving and intelligence collection/exploitation for the U.S. 5th Fleet.
His shore and staff tours include service as U.S. Central Command’s branch chief for Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) in Tampa, Florida, where he developed EOD plans and policies and balanced scarce C-IED resources between the Iraq and Afghanistan joint operating areas. He taught as a naval professor in the Naval War College’s Joint Military Operations Department and served as branch chief, integration and delivery for materiel solutions in the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization.
Dowling selected for major command in 2018.
He assumed command of the Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving in June 2020.
His personal awards include the Bronze Star, Defense and Navy Meritorious Service Medals, Joint and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation and Achievement Medals, and various unit and campaign awards. He is qualified as a Navy EOD officer, naval parachutist, and Navy diving and salvage officer
Last Updated: 23 November 2020