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Posthumous Promotion and Dedication for David Wallace

  POSTED ON: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 2:27 PM by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sarah M. Thielen

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro posthumously promoted Cmdr. David (Dave) Michael Wallace to the rank of captain earlier this month. The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) held a ceremony on May 17 to honor his life and to dedicate his former office in his memory.

Vice Admiral Buck speaking to the group for the ceremony

Wallace passed Dec. 26, 2022, in Chester, Maryland, surrounded by his wife,Valerie, and daughters Savannah, Madeline, and Emma, after a two-year battle with cancer. 

“Dave undoubtedly earned his promotion to captain while teaching at the academy,” said Vice Adm. Sean Buck, the 63rd Superintendent of the Naval Academy. “If we had been given more time with him, I have no doubt it would be him up here giving us another lecture we all needed to hear.”

Buck added that Wallace’s love for his family and pride in his work were always apparent.

The ceremony was attended by Wallace’s colleagues, friends, and family including his wife, daughters, parents, and siblings.

“I think a testament to the care he showed for the midshipmen was the number of students that sought him out for mentorship,” said Cmdr. Mike Norton, a close colleague of Wallace’s for three years. “It was a rare day that he didn’t have someone in his office asking about class material or advice on leadership and life.”

The office in Luce Hall reflects the dedication he showed at USNA instructing midshipmen in leadership and preparing them for future commissioning. Wallace served as chair of the department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law, was promoted academically to Associate Professor, and was nominated for the Military Professor Teaching Award.

Officer showing the office

“Having a leadership office in his name, in the Leadership, Ethics, and Law Department, is the perfect honor for someone that was as passionate as he was,” said Norton. “He truly made a difference at the Naval Academy in the lives of his students but also his colleagues. Most of our careers are spent rotating through jobs two or three years at a time. While as a permanent military professor, he got to be at the Naval Academy for over five years. He used that time to constantly make a positive difference in the lives of others. This posthumous promotion was more than ceremonial - he easily did the work he needed to in order to be promoted to captain.”


Category: People, General Interest, Academics, Press Releases