Captain Robert J. Kelsey was born in 1945 at Lawton, Oklahoma. In June 1967 he received a commission in the U.S. Navy through the Navy ROTC Regular Program at the University of Oklahoma; he was selected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Physics.
After flight training in the A-F4 aircraft in June 1969, he reported to VA-23 (Fixed Wing Attack) deployed on the USS Oriskany, CVA-34 in Southeast Asia participating in air operations over North and South Vietnam. When VA-23 was decommissioned in 1970 he transitioned to the A-7E aircraft and reported to VA-146 on the USS Constellation CVA-64 assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Five (VX-5) at Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, California.
During his tour with VA-105 the Squadron deployed twice to the Mediterranean Sea and for service there was awarded the Commander Naval Air Atlantic Battle "E" and the Rear Admiral C. Wade McClusky Award as the best Attack Squadron in the U.S. Navy. In October 1984 he assumed command from Commander, Light Attack Wing One (LATWING ONE) and was the top pilot in LATWING ONE.
His medals awarded include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, three Meritorious Service Medals, 20 Air Medals with "Vs" and seven Navy Commendation Medals with "Vs". He retired 4 June 1992 and died 24 June 1992.