Press Release  


Next Naval Academy Commandant Announced

Posted on: February 14, 2013 09:00 EST

Press Release #: 013-13

NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS: Capt. Byrne will not be available for interviews until after he reports to USNA later this spring.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Capt. Bill Byrne, Naval Academy Class of 1987 graduate, was recently selected to be the 85th Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.  As Commandant, Byrne will be responsible for the military and professional development of the more than 4,400 midshipmen.

Similar to the Dean of Students at a civilian university, the Commandant at the Naval Academy is responsible for the day-to-day conduct and training of Midshipmen.  Capt. Byrne will replace current Commandant Capt. Robert E. Clark II, who will depart later this spring after a successful three-year tour.

“I'm thrilled to become a part of the team that gets the next generation of leaders ready to enter the Fleet.  The ensigns and second lieutenants coming out of the Naval Academy seem to get better every year," said Byrne, who is currently serving as Chief of Staff for Commander, U.S. Third Fleet in San Diego.

Byrne was born in San Francisco and raised in nearby Pacifica, Calif.  He spent a year at the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) before attending the academy, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and received his designation as Surface Warfare Officer. His initial sea tours were in San Diego aboard U.S.S. Cook (FF 1083) where he served as gunnery officer and main propulsion assistant, and aboard U.S.S. Lake

Champlain (CG 57) as anti-submarine warfare officer.

Subsequent sea tours were in San Diego and Yokosuka, Japan, aboard U.S.S. Vincennes (CG 49) as weapons officer and combat systems officer and in Norfolk, Va. as executive officer in U.S.S. Leyte Gulf (CG 55). 

Byrne’s command tours were in Mayport, Fla., aboard U.S.S. Halyburton (FFG 40) and in San Diego aboard U.S.S. Cape St. George (CG 71). While commanding Cape St. George, Byrne deployed with the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln Strike Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

His shore tours include duty as the aide/flag lieutenant to Commander, Naval Forces Marianas in Guam; and several Pentagon tours including as a resource sponsor for the director, Surface Warfare (OPNAV N86), as a warfare analyst for the director, warfare integration (OPNAV N70), and as division chief for antiterrorism/force protection programs in the Operations Directorate of the Joint Staff (J-3).  Byrne received a master’s in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2004.

His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation and Achievement Medals 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 like small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, leadership, ethics and military law.  Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a federally funded Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 23 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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