by HB Auld, Jr.
Today, we remember US Navy Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda, the only Sailor to rise from Seaman Recruit up through the ranks to four-star admiral and the highest ranking office in the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations.
Admiral Boorda died on this date: May 16, 1996. He was 56 years old (November 26, 1939 – May 16, 1996).
Admiral Boorda lied to the recruiter and enlisted in the Navy at 16 (some sources say 17), not unlike many of his era. He was often referred to as a “Sailor’s Sailor” and never forgot the “White Hats” from which he came.
He finished high school while in the Navy and rose through the ranks to Personnelman First Class (E-6) before being commissioned an Ensign under the Navy Integration Program in August, 1962.
Admiral Boorda died of an alleged suicide following a dispute regarding whether or not he was authorized to wear a combat “V” on two of his decorations. He was distraught over the unintentional wearing of the award and allegedly committed suicide rather than cause more trouble over that dispute for his US Navy.
I was privileged to meet Admiral Boorda several times at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, following my retirement from the Navy.
Admiral Boorda was a hero to those of us who served during his tenure and who respected his service to our US Navy.
May Admiral Jeremy “Mike” Boorda Rest In Peace in Eternity.