Archdeacon Kelly O’Lear received his Master of Divinity at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in 2003. Adn O’Lear, an Iowa native, received a Master of Theology at Duke University in 2014 and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2019. He has since served as chaplain for twenty years in multiple units around the world, including Burial Chaplain at Arlington National Cemetery, where he conducted 930 burial services for Army veterans and their families.
Adn O’Lear also served as Command Chaplain, Special Operations Command Africa, where he provided religious support, leadership and oversight for all Special Operations religious support teams and service members operating in Africa. The Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy (JAFC) is a part of the American Church in North America.
He also served as professor of world religions and director of regional and cultural education at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center of Excellence at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He has served in combat with Special Operations, the 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and the 2nd Infantry Division. His most recent assignment was as Command Chaplain for the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, located at Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Illinois.
Among other awards, he has received two bronze stars for his meritorious service in a combat zone, the Legion of Merit for a career of service, and is a member of the military orders of St. John and St. Martin of Tours.
Dr. O’Lear and his wife, Jennifer, have four children and two granddaughters.