First Flight Military Officers Association enjoys look at defense insider’s life

Published 1:04 pm Sunday, October 23, 2022

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Members of the Kitty Hawk, First Flight Military Officers Association (FFMOA) gathered at Duck Woods Country Club in September to meet with Chris Kelley Cimko and hear vignettes from her life and career in the world of U.S. Defense.

A Washington insider with over 40 years of experience, Cimko entertained the assembled FFMOA members and guests with tales from her personal and professional lives. She described her work on Capitol Hill, at the Pentagon and as an executive with several major global communications firms.

Cimko also provided a look at the fascinating life and friendships of her illustrious father, General P.X. Kelley USMC (Ret.), a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who served as 28th  Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. She shared stories and insights about her father’s close friendships with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and with General Colin Powell, going back to their days together as young officers at Fort Benning.

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Recalling her childhood with her dad, Cimko explained that spending time with her father on the beaches at Camp Lejeune led to her lifelong love of the North Carolina coast. She now spends much of her time in Duck with her husband, John Cimko, a telecommunications attorney.

After growing up on military bases throughout the country and attending 17 schools, Cimko made her way to Washington, D.C., where she served in a variety of roles in government and the defense establishment.

Cimko served as spokesperson for the Secretary of Defense, communications director for the Senate Armed Services Committee, director of communications for the Base Realignment and Closure commission, and communications counselor to numerous defense companies, foreign nations and international leaders.

Cimko also led strategic communications for the organizations responsible for building the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, the Disabled Veterans Memorial and the Eisenhower Presidential Memorial.

Those interested in learning more about the Kitty Hawk, First Flight Military Officers Association should contact George Berry at 703-473-0528,, FFMOA membership chairman.



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