Courtesy of the U.S. Navy
 Admiral Jeremy M. Boorda

Florida Atlantic University Libraries

Jewish Generals and Admirals in America's Military

A Judaica Collection Exhibit

Admiral Jeremy M. Boorda:
First Enlisted Man to Become
Chief of Naval Operations

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda was the first enlisted man to become Chief of Naval Operations.

He was born on November 26, 1939, in South Bend, Indiana, to a Jewish family. He grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He dropped out of high school when he was seventeen years old and joined the Navy. This was the beginning of his naval career of 40 years.

He was recommended to the Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island and commissioned in August 1962, as an ensign. Boorda had many commands:
● USS Parrot (MSC-197)
● USS Farragut (DDG-37)
● Carrier Battle Group
● Commander, embarked in USS Saratoga (CV-60)
● Commander, Battle Force Sixth Fleet
● Chief of Naval Personnel
● Allied Forces, Europe
● U.S. Naval Forces, Europe
● Chief of Naval Operations

Boorda received the following awards:
● Distinguished Service Medal
● Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
● Legion of Merit (3)
● Meritorious Service Medal (2)

He died on May 16, 1996, with a self -inflicted wound due to a depressed state of mind. He was survived by his wife Bettie, four children and eleven grandchildren. He is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.

For additional information, contact
Special Collections and Archives
S.E. Wimberly Library

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Last updated 09 July 2008