Book Team

Joshua Welle is Class President of USNA 2002 and an active-duty Surface Warfare Officer. He is lead editor of the book.

Tours at sea include engineer officer in USS ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG 51), weapons officer in USS PEARL HARBOR (LSD 52), and main propulsion assistant in USS COWPENS (CG 63).

While ashore, Josh taught American Government and International Relations at Annapolis. He served as special assistant to the 11th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ADM William Crowe, USN (Ret.).

Josh served as a United Nations Military Observer in Liberia and was the Deputy Chief for the NATO International Security Assistance Force Civilian-Military Cell in Regional Command South, Afghanistan. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland in Government and Politics and an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business. He completed graduate education at St Antony’s College, Oxford University and was a military fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He is also a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations.

John Ennis is an Account Executive with Microsoft. Prior to this employment, he was an Account Manager at IBM, and previously served with Lockheed Martin as a member of its International Business Development Organization. He is a co-editor of the book.

John last served in uniform as Chief Speechwriter to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. His first sea tour was as Comunications Officer aboard USS OAK HILL (LSD 51). His second was aboard USS BULKELEY (DDG 84), where he was the Damage Control Assistant. This tour included a deployment to the Persian Gulf and extensive multi-national operations.

He sits on the Board of Directors of Luke’s Wings, a nonprofit that brings families to the bedsides of their wounded warriors. John resides in Arlington, VA.

Katherine Kranz is a Naval Flight Officer in the E-2C Hawkeye; she is currently serving on the US Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR) protocol staff in Naples, Italy. She is a co-editor and continues with outreach efforts.

Kate flew three overseas deployments with the VAW-113 Black Eagles and Carrier Air Wing 14 in USS RONALD REAGAN. Ashore, she served as a special assistant to the Commandant of Midshipmen at USNA and later deployed to Afghanistan as an advisor and liaison officer for the NATO Rule of Law Field Support Mission/Rule of Law Field Force.

She holds a Masters Degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma.

Graham Plaster was most recently a Liaison Officer supporting US military deployed to UN Peacekeeping missions in Israel, Egypt and Iraq. He is a co-editor and leads our social media efforts.

In previous assignments Graham served as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard USS REUBEN JAMES (FFG 57) out of Pearl Harbor, deploying in support of OIF and OEF to the Persian Gulf. Subsequently he joined the staff of Destroyer Squadron One in San Diego and deployed in support of Counter Drug Operations in South America.

Following DESRON ONE, he assumed duties as Assistant Dean of Students at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. While there, Graham completed a Masters degree in Humanities at Salve Regina University with a thesis on electronic democracy in Iran. He built an internal wiki for student collaboration and knowledge management. Subsequently he was selected by the Naval Foreign Area Officer community and attended the Defense Language Institute for Arabic. While in Monterey, he volunteered to help the Foreign Area Officer Association of Monterey by becoming their website manager and was invited to participate in the launching of FAOweb.

After arriving in Washington DC for his current tour in 2010, he took on the role as website manager for the Foreign Area Officer Association. He is currently writing a book on social media's influences on democratization in Iran. Graham lives in Annapolis, MD with his wife and their four children. 

Elizabeth Kreft is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran who currently serves as a Defense Legislative Fellow in Washington, D.C. She is a chapter contributor and is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the book team.

As a Public Affairs Officer, Elizabeth is responsible for media relations, community relations and internal information programs highlighting emerging weapons systems, high-profile missions and strategic defense policy. She served with the 45th Space Wing coordinating media for Shuttle and Mars Rover launch missions, the 1st Fighter Wing and the first F-22 operational squadrons, the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard and the USAF Thunderbirds – the Air Force’s premier jet demonstration team.

Elizabeth is also the CEO of Fly-By-Wire Communications, a specialty communications agency focusing on military, aviation and technology opportunities.

Patrick McConnell is on the professional staff of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. He is Vice President of the Class of 2002, contributed to the book, and is the lead website designer. 

As a surface warfare officer, his initial sea tour was as Communications Officer in USS BULKELEY (DDG 84), where he participated in the ship's maiden deployment and numerous operations. Following nuclear power training in Charleston, SC, Pat served in USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71). His final tour was on the Navy Staff at the Pentagon, intially working as an action officer for the Littoral Combat Ship program and later for unmanned surface, air, and subsurface vehicle programs.

Pat recently earned an MBA from the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Ellicott City, MD with his wife and son.