Commander Clees hails from Phoenix, AZ, and received his commission via the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2005. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from CU and a Master’s Degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Following commissioning, he reported to USS TORTUGA (LSD 46), which later hull swapped with USS FORT MCHENRY (LSD 43), as the Second Division Officer, Repair Division Officer, Electrical Officer, and Damage Control Assistant. While onboard, he deployed in support of BALTOPS 2005, JTF KATRINA, and CARIBBEAN LION 2006.
His next afloat assignment was in MARITIME EXPEDITIONARY SECURITY DETACHMENTs 221 and 222 from May 2007 to May 2009 as the Assistant Officer in Charge. He deployed in support of OIF as well as antiterrorism missions in West Africa and Central America. After arriving at his first shore duty in 2009, he volunteered for an Individual Augment deployment to Afghanistan and served as a Combat Advisor to the Afghan Army.
Upon completion of Department Head School in 2013, he returned to sea as Chief Engineer for MCM Crew EXULTANT in USS SCOUT (MCM 8), USS PIONEER (MCM 9), and USS AVENGER (MCM 1). As Chief Engineer he completed multiple heavy lifts, a Dry-dock Planned Maintenance Availability, and several follow on engineering certification events. His second department head tour was in USS ESSEX (LHD 2) as First Lieutenant where he deployed in 2015 to SEVENTH, SIXTH, and FIFTH Fleets in support of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE. He later reported to USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) in 2019 as the Auxiliaries Officer for her around the world deployment, which marked the longest deployment for any nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in history.
CDR Clees’ assignments ashore include Operations Plans Officer for COMMANDER NAVY REGION NORTHWEST from June 2009 to August 2011 and Engineering Assessments Pacific (EAP) from May 2016 to May 2019. During his tour at EAP, he also served as Chief Engineer in USS ANCHORAGE (LPD 23) at the request of Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific.
His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation, and various other campaign and service awards.