Kelly joined the United States Marine Corps in 1993. While on alpha increment air alert, his unit deployed to Cuba in 1995. His unit was also deployed to Okinawa, Japan, and South Korea. In 1996, he served on the LST USS La Moure County (LST-1194) during UNITAS 96. This was a South American tour and relations mission. Seeing every Country in South and Central America broadened Kelly’s knowledge base and interpersonal skills.