He was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy in 1978. Attending flight school in Pensacola, Florida, he received his Wings of Gold as a Naval Flight Officer.
RDML Powell was assigned to VS-41, with subsequent assignment to VS-31 at Naval Air Station, Cecil Field, Florida. Flying the S3-A Viking Carrier Anti-submarine aircraft, he deployed with the squadron to the Persian Gulf onboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69).
RDML Powell transferred from VS-31, reporting in March 1983 to Navy Recruiting District Albany, as an officer recruiter and department head.
In March 1986, RDML Powell affiliated with the Naval Reserve. Assignments included:
He retired from the United States Navy, in the rank of Captain, in July 2008. Having affiliated with the New York Naval Militia in 1986, he was assigned as N5, Assistant Chief of Staff, Assigned as Commander, Naval Militia Northern Command in October 2010, he was mobilized by New York State during Operation Irene and Operation Sandy. RDML Powell was assigned as Deputy Commander for Operations for the New York Naval Militia in January 2013.
RDML Powell was promoted to Rear Admiral (lower half) on August 11, 2014 and subsequently selected to Command the New York Naval Militia effective December 6th, 2014.
RDML Powell is married to Julia Dessloch, MD, and has three children. In civilian life, he is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The H.B. Davis Seed Company, in Albany.