Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, whose nomination to become commander of U.S. 7th Fleet has been delayed by a Senate hold on military confirmations, has become acting superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Navy announced Monday.

Rear Adm. Yvette Davids, whose nomination to become the first female superintendent of the academy has also been delayed in the Senate, became acting commander of Naval Surface Forces and Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, on Aug. 18.

Kacher, a 1990 graduate of the Naval Academy, most recently served as vice director for operations on the Joint Staff. He has replaced outgoing Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck and will remain superintendent until the Senate confirms Davids’ nomination.

Kacher previously served as commanding officer of Expeditionary Strike Group 7, the commanding officer of the destroyer Stockdale, and the executive officer of the destroyer Barry.

“I could not be more grateful for this opportunity to lead the Naval Academy in the interim,” Kacher said in a Navy news release. “Every member of our team is deeply dedicated to the mission, and I look forward to working with every teammate here as we develop the Brigade into our Nation’s next generation of Navy and Marine Corps leaders.”

The delayed confirmations of Kacher and Davids to their respective posts are some of the hundreds of military nominations stalled due to Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s ongoing hold on confirmations because of his opposition to the Pentagon’s abortion policy.

The policy provides travel and transportation allowances for service members seeking non-covered abortion and reproductive services out of state.

Davids, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1989, became the first Hispanic American woman to lead a Navy warship in 2007 as the commanding officer of the frigate Curts. She also served as the commanding officer of the cruiser Bunker Hill, and as commander of Carrier Strike Group 11.

In 2022, she became the director of the Learning to Action Drive Team, which launched following the massive 2020 fire aboard the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard to ensure lessons learned from Navy ship fires are implemented.

Buck, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983, became superintendent of the school in 2019.

During his tenure, he steered the academy through the COVID pandemic, and oversaw increases in the academy’s operational and infrastructure budgets, as well as the implementation of two new academic majors.

“It has been an absolute honor to have returned to Annapolis following 36 years operating in the Fleet,” Buck said. “I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work with our incredible faculty, staff, coaches and midshipmen these past four years.”

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