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Honoring a Great Military Leader and Advocate of U.S. Maritime Industry

The Phillips Trust wishes to acknowledge the passing of a great military leader and also an advocate on behalf of a strong U.S. Maritime Industry.

The International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO sadly announced the passing of Major General (Ret) Patrick J. Kelly. He served as ILA Military Consultant following a distinguished 33- year military career that included two tours of duty during the Vietnam War, as well as directing major projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Defense. Gen. Kelly passed away Thursday, September 12, 2019.

The General was highly educated and well respected. He earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Applied Science (Physics) from the University of California at Davis, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University. He also earned a Graduate Degree in Physics from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His military education included the Army Command and General staff College and the Army War College.

The ILA has lost a truly American hero; a military giant and a great leader,” said Harold J. Daggett, International President of the ILA. Gen. Kelly addressed the recent ILA’s 55th Quadrennial Convention in Hollywood, Florida where ILA President Harold Daggett called him “brilliant” and said,“His work over the past years has resulted in the ILA keeping precious military cargo to working with our Stevedores to get new work loading and unloading Military Cargo.

An Impressive Career

General Kelly’s military career was marked by many achievements. He held numerous command and staff assignments in the United States and overseas. He directed a number of $500 million-plus range projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Defense. This included commanding a divisional combat engineering battalion, a Corps of Engineer District and Division, the Army’s Research and Development Command, and directing the Corps’ Civil Works program responsible for flood control and navigation projects nationwide. He was the Officer in Charge of constructing a modern fighter airbase in Israel as part of the Camp David Peace Agreement. He also managed the restoration of Kuwait’s infrastructure following the first Gulf War.

In an April 1991 article in the New York Times about the Kuwait restoration, the newspaper noted Gen. Kelly’s impressive career: “General Kelly, the Pentagon’s top disaster assistance expert, who has worked on earthquakes, hurricanes and the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska…. will supervise a $45 million reconstruction contract by the Corps of Engineers’ largely civilian construction arm.” Following his retirement from the Army, Gen. Kelly managed the government programs for two leading engineer companies specializing in the engineering, environmental and maritime business.

The ILA named Gen. Kelly as the union’s Military Advisor and Consultant in 2011.