Davids Takes Over as Superintendent of US Naval Academy

Naval Academy Superintendent Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, was properly relieved by Vice Adm. Yvette Davids in a change of command ceremony at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD on Thursday, January 11. Davids becomes the first female superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Esteemed guests included the Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti. Prior to the ceremony, Admiral Davids was promoted from Rear Admiral to Vice Admiral in a private ceremony.

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, USNA Class of 1983, spoke at the ceremony highlighting the importance of leadership at the Naval Academy and how their decisions shape our future leaders.

“The Superintendent is indeed more than just a president of a college – they are a leader, a mentor, a role model for everyone stationed here on the years — from the most junior Sailor and Midshipman to the senior-most faculty members and military officers,” said Del Toro. “Their vision, their decisions, their conduct shapes the future leaders of our Fleet and our Force, ensuring that this institution graduates men and women of honor, of courage, and of commitment to our national security to ensure the United States of America remains a beacon of hope and prosperity.”

Adm. Lisa Franchetti, 33rd Chief of Naval Operations, spoke about the important role our Navy leadership has on current global events and the impact the new superintendent will have on developing future leaders within the Brigade of Midshipmen.

“Today is truly a great Navy day, and we all have a lot to celebrate,” said Franchetti. “I am personally thrilled to be starting this new year out right, by getting two of our Navy’s finest naval officers into the positions we need them to be in, to build and lead the teams that will enable our naval service to get after our nation’s most pressing challenges.”

Kacher, a native of Oakton, VA and a member of USNA’s Class of 1990, was selected to serve as the acting and 64th superintendent beginning in August 2023. During Kacher’s remarks, he thanked both Secretary Del Toro and the Chief of Naval Operations.

“Thank you both for your leadership and faith in me as I embarked upon a job that every midshipman at one point dreams about, even if just for a second,” said Kacher. “I’m confident I leave the Academy on firm footing just as it was left to me. For the second time in my life, I can say 33 years after the first time, I leave the United States Naval Academy more grateful and more prepared for the adventure ahead where I plan to do my utmost to earn this Nation’s trust every day.”

Kacher has been confirmed for promotion to the rank of Vice Admiral and will serve as the next commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan. As he departed, he left a message to the Brigade of Midshipmen.

“I am thankful for the Brigade of Midshipmen who made me want to be a better leader every day,” said Kacher. “It was a privilege to join our midshipmen as they committed to serve at ‘2 for 7’ night, celebrated at pep rallies, competed all over the Yard and country, and earned their service assignment as future leaders in the Navy and Marine Corps.”

Davids, a native of San Antonio, TX and a member of USNA’s Class of 1989, is the academy’s 65th superintendent and the first woman to serve in the role. She is coming to Annapolis from San Diego, Calif. where she was Acting Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Acting Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Command. Her extensive background as a career surface warfare officer includes commanding USS Curts (FFG 38), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and Carrier Strike Group 11. She has deployed in support of Desert Shield/Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom.

“I am beyond honored to become the 65th Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy, and I look back on the experiences of those before me to guide the way ahead,” said Davids. “In the lasting words of Navy legend Admiral Grace Hopper, who in 1985 spoke to my Plebe Class, ‘A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things,’ which we will do together. I look forward to the exceptional semesters, moments, and experiences we will share.”

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