Navy Names First Woman to Lead Naval Academy

Rear Adm. Yvette Davids.
Rear Adm. Yvette Davids. (U.S. Navy photo)

The Navy has nominated a pioneering female officer for yet another historic first. If confirmed, Rear Adm. Yvette Davids will be the first female superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Davids, who became a naval officer in 1989, has commanded the frigate USS Curts, the cruiser USS Bunker Hill, and she was the commander of Carrier Strike Group 11. Her assignment to Curts made her the first Hispanic American woman to command a Navy warship. She was also one of the first Hispanic American women to command a carrier strike group.

A press release issued by the Naval Academy Friday noted that "pending confirmation by the U.S. Senate," Davids would take over running the service academy "in summer 2023."

Read Next: Troubled Ohio Guard Has Seemingly Failed to Conduct Key Oversight of Its Units for Years

Davids' appointment leaves the US Military Academy at West Point as the only service academy to have never had a female leader. 

Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz became the first woman to lead an academy when she took command of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2011. In 2013, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson became the first female superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Finally, retired Coast Guard Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan became the first female superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in December.

Meanwhile, the Army named Brig. Gen. Diana M. Holland as commandant of cadets -- a lower position than Superintendent -- in 2016. 

While military nominations such as Davids', which was submitted Thursday, typically pass the Senate quickly with little fanfare, all general and flag officer promotions are being slowed right now by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

Tuberville is blocking military nominees from quick confirmation over his opposition to the Pentagon's recently announced travel and leave policies for troops seeking reproductive care. He has suggested he could lift his hold if he is granted a vote on the Pentagon policy, but said Thursday that Democrats and Pentagon officials have not reached out to him recently to end the impasse.

While Tuberville cannot single-handedly prevent nominees from being confirmed, his objection significantly delays confirmations since the Senate has to find floor time to hold roll-call votes on more than 180 nominees who would typically be approved in a voice vote in a single batch.

The post would be a homecoming for Davids, who graduated from the academy in 1989. Her husband, Rear Adm. Keith Davids, graduated in 1990, and the pair were both on the schools' sailing team, Colleen Krueger, a spokeswoman for the academy, confirmed.

Keith Davids is currently the commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, and he had command roles on several Navy SEAL Teams over his career. The pair have twin children together, Krueger confirmed.

They are believed to be the Navy's first married couple to both become admirals.

-- Rebecca Kheel contributed to this report

-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.

Related: Sexual Assault Reports Increase at US Military Academies

Story Continues