Capt. Thomas R. “TR” Buchanan will become the 88th Commandant of the Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, the Navy announced Friday.
A 1992 graduate of the Academy, Buchanan is a career submarine officer who currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Joint Staff.
He’ll replace Capt. Robert B. Chadwick II, who is slated to depart this summer after a two-year tour.
The Commandant post at the Academy is akin to the dean of students at a civilian university. Buchanan will be tasked with overseeing the day-to-day conduct, military training and professional development of more than 4,000 students annually, according to the Navy.
“I am humbled and privileged to have been selected to serve as the next Commandant of Midshipmen,” said Buchanan in a prepared statement emailed to Navy Times. “The Naval Academy remains the naval service’s flagship institution charged with developing combat leaders for the Navy and the Marine Corps."
"I am blessed to have this opportunity to work with the extended Naval Academy family and to contribute, in a small but meaningful way, to the professionalism of the Brigade of Midshipmen. The leadership lessons learned at the Naval Academy prepares graduates for service as (officers) and as leaders of our country throughout the rest of their lives. It is my distinct honor to participate in their leadership experience.”
Though decades separate them, many experiences remain the same.
Buchanan has served on board attack and ballistic missile submarines, including the Asheville, Florida and Norfolk.
He commanded both Los Angeles-class attack submarine Albany and Submarine Squadron 20 and was responsible for the training and certification of all operational Atlantic-based Strategic Ballistic Missile Submarines, the Navy said.
Three of those crews earned the "E" for Battle Efficiency.
His shore duties have included staff work for the Chief of Naval Operations; Aide to the Director of Naval Reactors; and as a Special Assistant to the Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.
He also was the Lead Shipbuilding Program Analyst in the Programming Division (OPNAV N80) from mid-2014 to early 2016.
Overseas, he has served as the officer-in-charge and submarine operations officer for the Commander of Task Force 54′s Bahrain detachment.