Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Naval Academy Names First Black Commandant

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Naval Academy Names First Black Commandant

Article excerpt

ANNAPOLIS, MD.

Twenty-five years after he graduated from the Naval Academy, Navy Capt. Bruce E. Grooms will become the academy's first Black commandant of midshipmen, a position similar to the dean of students at a civilian college or university.

Grooms, a native of Cleveland, was until recently the commodore of Submarine Squadron Six in Norfolk, Va. He will be the academy's 81st commandant, succeeding Capt Charles J. Leidig Jr.

Grooms' office in Norfolk told The (Annapolis) Capital that he has already transferred to the commandant's office in Annapolis. The academy's public information office would not provide details of the change in the commandant's office, saying that an announcement will be made this month.

As a midshipmen, Grooms was a company officer and was captain of the basketball team his senior year.

He is one of the "Centennial Seven," the seven Black officers who have commanded a boat in the submarine service's first 100 years. And while the first Black commander of a submarine wasn't appointed until 1982, the submarine force always tended to be more liberal about race than the rest of the Navy, says Glenn Knoblock, author of Black Submariners in the United States Navy-1939 to 1975. …

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