His first duty station was aboard the USS Nassau (LHA 4), where he earned his Enlisted Surface and Air Warfare Specialist qualifications. He then reported to Commander, Second Fleet in 2003 for duty as a TLAM/Strike Cell LPO. His follow-on shore duty was at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes in 2006 as a Recruit Division Commander (RDC). While there he served as an RDC “C” School instructor and was advanced to chief petty officer on Sept. 16, 2009.
In 2009, he reported to Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (CRAM) Unit 8/Joint Intercept Battery 2, as the CRAM Maintenance Leading Chief Petty Officer. His unit defended multiple forward operating bases and achieved a 100% kill rate. He then reported to USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) in 2011 and served as the TLAM LCPO, VBSS Boarding Officer, and Weapons Department LCPO. In 2014, he reported as a company SEL and Battalion LCPO at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he was advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer.
His first Command Master Chief tour was at Coastal Riverine Squadron 4 (CRS 4) located in Little Creek, Virginia. He currently serves as the Command Master Chief aboard USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) homeported in Norfolk, Virginia.
Connolly is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy Class 193 (Khaki Group). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Religion and a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security. Connolly’s military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Army Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards), Iraq Campaign Medal, Recruit Training Service Ribbon and numerous unit citation and service awards.