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Leadership Conference

The 2013 United States Naval Academy Leadership Conference Dedication

McNitt photo

The 2013 conference was held in honor of Rear Admiral Robert Waring McNitt, USN (Ret.).

Robert Waring McNitt was born on 29 July, 1915 to Robert Joseph and Dora Waring McNitt in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. An avid sailor from a young age, he entered the Naval Academy from Perth Amboy High School and graduated with the Class of 1938.

After a year aboard the heavy cruiser Chicago and three years as chief engineer of the destroyer Rhind, he completed five successful World War II war patrols as executive officer of the submarine Barb, receiving two Silver Stars. He earned a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from MIT, served as gunnery officer in MIDWAY and helped design the Navy’s first underwater atomic weapon at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. Commands at sea included TAYLOR during the Korean War, Destroyer Division 322 and Destroyer Squadron 25. While on shore duty at the Naval Academy, Rear Admiral McNitt led a major curriculum revision and recruited the first civilian academic dean to replace himself.

He held various positions at the Flag Officer rank, including Superintendent Naval Postgraduate School, where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, and Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower).

Rear Admiral McNitt retired from active service in 1971, but his commitment to the Navy and Naval Academy continued. Rear Admiral McNitt was appointed Dean of Admissions at the Naval Academy in 1971, where he served for 13 years and was twice awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal. He served as president of the Naval Academy Alumni Association and in 2003, was recognized as a Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate. As a member of the Class of ’38 and former President, he was instrumental to the evolution of the Naval Academy’s Leadership Conference—facilitating the transition from a small exchange among service academies to the international forum it is today, hosting more than 50 colleges and universities.

Rear Admiral McNitt passed away on August 12, 2012 at 97 years old and is survived by his eight children and ten grandchildren. He will be remembered for his innovative, courageous and selfless leadership and for his lifetime of service to our country, our Naval service and the United States Naval Academy.

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