Naval Academy alum tapped as next Navy secretary

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A 1983 graduate of the Naval Academy has been confirmed as the 78th secretary of the Navy.

The Senate confirmed Carlos Del Toro as the next secretary of the Navy on Saturday. Toro will replace acting Navy Secretary Thomas Harker.


President Joe Biden announced in June that he would nominate Del Toro as the secretary of the Navy.

Del Toro was born in Havana, Cuba, and immigrated to the United States in 1962, according to the Naval Academy Alumni Association. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the academy.


He also attended the Naval Postgraduate School and the Naval War College.

He served as the commissioning commanding officer of the USS Bulkeley DDG 84, which made his the first Hispanic American Naval officer to serve as captain of an Aegis capable destroyer or cruiser, according to the alumni association.

Del Toro’s experience in national security and the Navy will help in his role as the secretary of the Navy, also colloquially referred to as SecNav, said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin in a statement.

“He understands firsthand the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing our Navy, from addressing the pacing challenge of China and modernizing our capabilities, to investing in our most valuable asset – our people,” Austin said in the statement. “As an immigrant who has dedicated his life to public service, Carlos exemplifies the core values of honor, courage, and commitment in defense of our country.”

As secretary of the Navy, one role Del Toro will have is determining if a midshipman can be expelled from the Navy Academy. Del Toro’s predecessor Kenneth Braithwaite and Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker were recent subjects of a lawsuit from Ensign Chase Standage after Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck moved to separate Standage as a midshipman 1st class.