Campbell graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1893 and would later be assigned to the USS Baltimore (C-3). During the Spanish-American War he would serve off the coast of Central America. Following the war he would serve aboard the USS Iowa (BB-4) and the USS Indiana (BB-1) before being assigned to assist in the fitting-out of the USS Milwaukee (C-21). In 1907 he was named Judge Advocate General of the Navy. He served in this position until 1909, when he left to assist in the fitting-out of the USS North Dakota (BB-29). During World War I Campbell commanded the USS Charleston (C-22). Following this assignment he would take command of the Naval Training Station, Newport. Later he would return to his former position of Judge Advocate General. In 1929 he would take command of the Special Service Squadron. From 1934 to 1935 he served as commander of the Scouting Force. Later he took command of the 12th Naval District.
Awards he received include the Navy Cross.
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