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Naval Academy names Marine artillery officer as next commandant of midshipmen

The Naval Academy will begin the next academic year with a new commandant of the Brigade of Midshipmen.

Col. James “J.P” McDonough III will be the 89th commandant of midshipmen, the Naval Academy announced Tuesday afternoon. He will assume the command from Capt. Thomas R. Buchanan, who has had the role for the past two years.

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The academy did not say where Buchanan will go after he is replaced.

McDonough is a 1994 Naval Academy graduate. He will leave his position as executive assistant to the deputy commandant of plans, policies and operations at the U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters. He has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.

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As commandant, McDonough will be responsible for the day-to-day conduct of the midshipmen, as well as military training and professional development. Buchanan used his time as commandant to increase the position’s social media footprint, using Instagram to promote midshipmen and communicate to midshipmen and the Naval Academy community through Dant Dailies.

McDonough is a career artillery officer. His most recent assignment was a commander of the 10 Marine Regiment in the 2nd Marine Division. He also served as a division chief in the Deputy Directorate for Global Operations and staff platoon commander at the Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, among other joint and staff tours.

“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,” McDonough said the academy’s release. “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.

Capt. Thomas R. “TR” Buchanan, commandant of midshipmen at the Naval Academy, has taken to Instagram and other social media channels like no other commandant before him. On June 4, 2020, he said farewell to some of the company officers who have been serving at the academy.
Capt. Thomas R. “TR” Buchanan, commandant of midshipmen at the Naval Academy, has taken to Instagram and other social media channels like no other commandant before him. On June 4, 2020, he said farewell to some of the company officers who have been serving at the academy. (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

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