Kent Jean Carroll was born in Newton, Iowa, on August 22, 1926, son of Lee and Mabel E. (McCormick) Carroll. He enlisted in the V12 Program of the US Naval Reserve on February 10, 194 and had instruction at St. Ambrose College, Davenport, Iowa. From June 1945 to June 1946 he continued his instruction at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana and while there was a member of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit. Commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on June 5, 1946, he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from January 1, 1968, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the US Navy on May 9, 1947. His selection for the rank of Rear Admiral was approved by the President on January 30, 1947.
After receiving his commission on 1946, he joined USS Mississippi (BB-41) and in July 1947 was detached for instruction at the Naval Gunfire Liaison School, Little Creek, Virginia. Completing the course there in October 1947, he next had consecutive assignments as Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer at the following: Second Marine Division; on board USS Noble (APA-218) (February to April 1948), deployed to the Caribbean; USS Kearsarge (CV-12) (May to October 1948), deployed to the Mediterranean; again the Second Marine Division and finally in USS Okanogan (APA-220) (February to April 1949), deployed to the Caribbean.
Following a brief assignment in USS Irex (SS-482), he reported in June 1949 for submarine training at the Submarine School, New London, Connecticut. In January 1950 he joined USS Caiman (SS-3230 and in April 1953 transferred to USS Sea Fox (SS-406). Both submarines, based at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, operated in the Western Pacific during the Korean hostilities. He attended the General Line School, Monterey, California, from November 1954 to May 1955, after which he was assigned to the Plans and Policy Division, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC. In August 1957 he became Executive Officer of USS Sea Poacher (SS-402), which deployed for eight months to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean.
He attended the Command and Staff course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, during the period July 1959 to June 1960 and in July assumed command of USS Sablefish (SS-303), which operated for eight months in waters of Northern Europe, the Caribbean and the Great Lakes. He returned to the Submarine School in August 1962 to serve as Director of the Tactics Division until July 1963, then as Director of the Basic Officer Department. He attended the Senior Course at the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, from June 1964 to June 1965, after which he served until August 1966 as Flag Secretary to Commander Submarine Force, US Atlantic Fleet and Commander Submarine Flotilla Two until July 1967, then became Commander Submarine Division Eighty-One, which participated in a four months deployed to the Mediterranean.
Assigned in August 1968 to the Office of Naval Research, Navy Department, he was Military Deputy to the Assistant Oceanographer for Science until August 1970. Ordered to the Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Naval Shipyard, he had pre-commissioning duty in USS Blue Ridge (LLC-19) and assumed command of that amphibious command ship upon her commissioning on November 14, 1970. In July 1972 he became Commander Amphibious Squadron Ten and “for exceptionally meritorious service from August 1972 to June 1973…” was awarded the Legion of Merit. The citation continues in part:
“…His deployment as Commander Caribbean Amphibious Ready Group was marked with myriad challenges and successes which included the conduct of salvage operations in this operating area. His performance during Exercise Veritas VI and Rum Punch was instrumental in the development of the Brazilian Amphibious Transportation Force and the Panamarian Guardia National and in the promotion of a significant degree of understanding between these nations and the United States…”
In June 1973 he reported as Chief of Staff to Commander Amphibious Force, US Atlantic Fleet and in March 1974 was ordered to duty as Commander Naval Inshore Warfare Command, Atlantic.
In addition to the Legion of Merit, Captain Carroll has the Combat Action Ribbon; Navy Expeditionary Medal (Cuba); China Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; Europe Clasp; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; Korean Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars; the Expert Rifleman Medal and the United Nations Service Medal with Device.