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  POSTED ON: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 2:20 PM by

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Colonel James “J.P.” McDonough III was recently selected to become the 89th Commandant of Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He is a USNA Class of 1994 graduate and is currently serving as the executive assistant to the Deputy Commandant, Plans, Policies, and Operations at U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters in the Pentagon.

The Naval Academy Commandant is similar to the Dean of Students at a civilian university, and is responsible for the day-to-day conduct, military training and professional development of more than 4,400 midshipmen. McDonough will replace the current Commandant of Midshipmen, Capt. Thomas R. “T.R.” Buchanan, who will depart this summer after a successful two-year assignment.

“I am truly honored and humbled to have been selected for this position and am excited to join the great team at the Naval Academy,” said McDonough. “I look forward to the opportunity to help shape the Brigade of Midshipmen as they become the future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps.”

A career artillery officer, McDonough’s operational assignments include: platoon commander with Battery C, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines; Kilo Battery Commander, 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines in support of Operations Swift and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; battalion operations officer, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment; officer in charge, Embedded Training Team 6-5, Afghan National Army in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; regimental executive officer, 12th Marine and 11th Marine Regiments; commander, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines; and most recently as commander, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. 

McDonough’s staff and joint tours include the Joint Staff where he served as an action officer and division chief in the J39, Deputy Directorate for Global Operations; a modeling and simulation analyst for training systems and project officer for multiple simulation programs at USMC Training and Education Command; and staff platoon commander at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.

McDonough's undergraduate degree is in systems engineering. He earned a master’s degree in modeling, virtual environments, and simulation from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2005, and graduated with distinction from the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at National Defense University in June 2014.

He is honored to wear several decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and various unit and service awards. 

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Reports has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top 20 best liberal arts college. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

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Category: People, General Interest, Press Releases