1st Lt. Kealani Kellye was portrayed by Kellye Nakahara. She appeared in 86 episodes of the series, more episodes than some main characters, such as Henry Blake and John Trapper. The character grew steadily from a background (often non-speaking) character in the first season, culminating in the season 11 episode "Hey, Look Me Over" which was centered around the character. In her first appearances, her name changed several times before it finally settled on "Nurse Kellye"; for example, she was referred to as "Nurse Able" in her first appearance in "A Full Rich Day". The first name "Kealani" was never spoken on screen, but according to interviews with the actress, that was the first name used on set when referring to the character. As late as season 10, Major Winchester referred to Kellye as "Lt. Nakahara" in "The Birthday Girls."
She described herself as "part Chinese, part Hawaiian" in "Life Line" and speaks Japanese fluently, as revealed in "Communication Breakdown". She had great pride in her Asian American heritage and frequently took umbrage at racial slurs leveled by Frank Burns and cultural slights exhibited by Major Winchester. Her family lives in Honolulu according to her statements in the final episode.