Captain, United States Navy, Retired
Captain Dell W. Epperson is a native of Marceline, Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwest Missouri State University Maryville in 1975. After working several years in the broadcasting industry in Missouri and lowa, he received his naval commission in July 1982.
Captain Epperson first served aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) as First Division Officer and in the Supply Department. His next assignment was aboard USS ARKANSAS (CGN 41) in the Combat System Department. Following shore duty Captain Epperson returned to the fleet from January 1990 to May 1993 aboard USS COWPENS (CG 63) as the pre-commissioning Weapons Control Officer and later as the Combat System Officer during her maiden deployment. He served as the Executive Officer aboard USS PAUL HAMILTON (DDG 60) from May 1997 to December 1998, and returned to Pearl Harbor as the Commanding Officer, USS Fletcher (DD 992) from November 2000 to April 2002.
From July 1994 to May 1996, Captain Epperson served in the Pentagon on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as a Surface Warfare Combat Trainings Requirements Officer. He also served in London as the Warfare Requirements Officer on the staff of Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and was the Warfare Requirements Branch Head on the staff of the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He also served as the Commanding Officer, Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific, Ford Island, Hawaii, and was the Commanding Officer/Professor of Naval Science at Naval ROTC Unit, Auburn University-Tuskegee University Consortium, in Alabama from December 2008 to July 2010. He served as Chief of Staff, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific from August 2010 until his retirement in July 2012.
Captain Epperson attended the Defense Intelligence College, Washington, D.C.., earning a Master of Science degree in Strategic Intelligence. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Diplomacy and Military Studies from Hawaii Pacific University. He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College.
Dell is the son of the late Paul and Shirley Coram of Marceline and is a 1972 graduate of Marceline High School. Dell married his college sweetheart, Janet Kelley, a 1975 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, and together they celebrated their 45th anniversary in 2022. The Eppersons returned to their home state of Missouri in 2015 and now reside in Columbia. Captain Epperson has served as a board member and volunteer with Mobility Worldwide-Columbia, and volunteers with Meals on Wheels. He currently serves as president of the Columbia South Rotary Club, and he and his wife are active members of Community United Methodist Church. They continue to travel extensively and have now enjoyed visiting over 50 countries.