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SECNAV Renames Naval Academy Superintendent’s Office After Admiral Farragut May 2

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The renaming honors Union Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, a Civil War hero and the first U.S. Navy officer to be appointed Rear Admiral in 1862. Vice Admiral (a rank created for him by President Abraham Lincoln) in 1864. and by an act of Congress, he was appointed admiral in 1866, making him the first officer in the U.S. Navy to hold that rank.

The son of Spanish immigrants, Farragut was also the first Hispanic U.S. Navy officer to hold these ranks.

The decision follows a congressional mandated naming committee chaired by retired Admiral Michelle Howard, which outlines several military assets across all services that need to be renamed due to their Confederate ties. In September 2022, Secretary of Defense Austin Lloyd accepted all recommendations from the Naming Commission and provided each service to rename the asset through the end of 2023. The Navy has already renamed one of her buildings at the Naval Academy and two of her ships, the USS Robert Smalls (CG 62) and her USNS Marie Tharp (T-AGS 66). Additionally, street names throughout the Navy Department facility will be renamed by the end of FY23.

“Admiral Farragut was a true American hero,” Del Toro said. “He had a choice during the Civil War and chose loyalty to the Union that required moral courage. He left Norfolk, and this was a very important point in the war, for his success at Mobile Bay hastened the end of the war. It’s important to name our historic institutions after those that will continue.”

Farragut was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1801. He was commissioned a midshipman at the age of nine and underwent his first sea service in 1811 aboard the frigate Essex. He also joined the Independence in the Mediterranean and the ‘Mosquito Fleet’ in the West Indies. During the Civil War, he proclaimed allegiance to the Union and led the Union fleet at Mobile Bay. It was during the Battle of Mobile Bay that he proclaimed his famous words, in which he captured the ironclad destroyer CSS Tennessee and the gunboat CSS Selma. He spent the rest of his life in active service and died in 1870 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine.

Sean S. Buck, Superintendent of Instruction at the United States Naval Academy, said: “As a senior naval officer at a time when our country is at its most difficult, his devotion to our country and its principles sets a great example for our Naval Academy students. May his legacy be highly visible in our historic yards.” I am delighted to be commemorated.”

Completed in 1909 at a cost of $77,500, the 15,000-square-foot, 34-room home was designed by American architect Ernest Flagg. The house is rumored to be his second most-visited federal official residence in the country after the White House – he hosts nearly 10,000 guests each year. This Beaux Arts building was known simply as the “Superintendent’s Room” until 1976, when it was named Buchanan House after the Naval Academy’s first Superintendent at the time. Franklin Buchanan. Buchanan resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Army, then commanding CSS Tennessee, which was defeated by Farragut’s Union fleet at the infamous Battle of Mobile Bay.

Buck is the 41st principal who lives in this house.

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