Word came earlier this week to the US Merchant Marine Academy community of the reassignment of the Academy’s Superintendent, RADM Greene, who is himself an Academy graduate. See the announcement below.

Of more interest is just why the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, would go and reassign the good Admiral a year after appointing him to the position, a position that has lately appeared to become a revolving door. (See the Sec. Trans. praise of RADM Greene here) Take this clarification issued by the Alumni Association:

Important Message Clarification – In response to the feedback we have received from the “Important Message” released at 1300 EST regarding the Superintendent, I want to make it very clear that this is not a positive situation. The Superintendent has been “reassigned.” This is not Admiral Greene’s decision. The Dean is now the Interim Superintendent.

We are as deeply concerned about this turn of events as you are. As of now we only have the information that is in the previous release. I would like to answer all your questions but at this time that is just not possible. Thank you for your understanding and I hope this clears up any confusion.

Capt. James F. Tobin ’77
USMMA Alumni Association & Foundation, Inc. – USMMA Alumni Association

It is now a couple days later and there is still little to no further explanation as to what has happened. I met the Admiral last December and he seemed like the perfect person for the job. Which makes me wonder, perhaps this Administration didn’t appreciate that. Really, was the need at the National Defense University so great that it was better to once again open up the Superintendent’s position at King’s Point. In that Admiral Greene didn’t even have the opportunity to decline and remain in his current position? Was their no other suitable candidate and if that is the case, just where did he intend to find a new superintendent?

In addition, warning comes that the budget ax is going to start swinging in DC. No word yet on where it will strike, but compared to the other service academies, the USMMA is in a somewhat exposed position. It will need a strong leader to defend the school’s contribution to the US. As an alumnus, I hope that a replacement as strong as RADM Greene can be found quickly.


Important Announcement – Secretary Ray LaHood announced on Tuesday the appointment of Rear Admiral Philip H. Greene, Jr. (KP ’78) to be the Department of Transportation Chair at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Rear Admiral Greene served with distinction as Superintendent, United States Merchant Marine Academy since August 30, 2010. A native of Southern California, Admiral Greene, was our third Kings Point Graduate to serve as Superintendent.

Rear Admiral Philip H. Greene, Jr. (KP ’78), has been named the 2011 Alumnus of the Year by the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation. This prestigious annual award will be presented at the Homecoming Alumni Awards Dinner on Thursday evening, October 13th, in the Melville Hall Officers’ Club.

Prior to his appointment as Superintendent at Kings Point, Admiral Greene was Director, Navy Irregular Warfare. Prior to this assignment Greene was commander, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa where he led operations to build regional security capacity and counter extremism in the Horn/East Africa. He also served in Naples, Italy, as director for Policy, Resources & Strategy, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa (February 2008 to February 2009).

Previously he commanded Destroyer Squadron 31 from November 2002 to May 2004, where he served as sea combat commander for the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Other sea duty commanding officer assignments include the Spruance class destroyer, USS Fletcher (DD 992) from March 1996 to November 1997; and the patrol missile hydrofoil, USS Taurus (PHM 3) from July 1989 to June 1991.

Significant shore assignments include duty as chief of staff to commander, Naval Surface Forces; and chief, North East Asia/China Division, the Joint Staff/Political-Military directorate (J5). In addition, Greene has served tours at the U.S. Naval Academy; the Secretary of the Navy’s Office for Legislative Affairs; and the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

Greene is a 1994 graduate of the National War College (M.S. National Security Strategy) and a 1985 graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School (M.S. Information Systems). In addition, he holds a Merchant Marine license as Master (oceans, any gross tonnage).

Greene has received various service and unit awards. His personal decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

On behalf of the entire KP Alumni, we thank RADM Greene for his extraordinary efforts, dedication and leadership provided under very challenging circumstances. We also thank Admiral Greene’s wife, Debby Greene, for her grace and dignity, and the valued work and contributions made to the Academy.

We wish Godspeed to our fellow Alumnus! – USMMA Alumni Association

RADM Philip Greene ’78 Named 11th USMMA Superintendent – August 2010

Posted by FFry in History, Merchant Marine
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  • Fred,

    Follow-up on this if you can. There is another story here that needs to be told. My sources in this area are thin, and mostly they just know that they don’t know.

    When important people are removed from their jobs – especially when their salaries are paid by the taxpayer -the reason needs to be fully fleshed out.

    Silence such as this is unattractive in a Representative Republic, IMAO.

  • Here is a link to video of RADM Greene talking to Midshipmen who honored him at his quarters.



    A couple important points he makes:

    – No regrets
    – Would not have done anything differently
    – It is not his choice to leave

    Still the facts as to what actually happened here are thin in general. The Alumni meeting I attended last week brought no new details other than nobody’s contacts knew anything. This last Saturday was Homecoming at KP. Maybe more details will come out in the next couple days.

    RADM Greene is the invited speaker at the DC Chapter KP Christmas Brunch. I look forward to hearing him speak then.

    Pretty shocking how he can be summarily dismissed like that apparently without cause. Basically, he appears to have been fired. There are no shortage of Government employees who should get the ax. Given that almost nobody gets fired from a Government job, even for cause, it is strange to see where the ax struck.

    I doubt that this issue is going to go away. Budget cuts are going to be coming across the Government and the alumni know that KP will be a target. So in one respect this is a call to action for the supporters of the Academy.

  • Here is some more information:

    We appreciate the thoughtful suggestions and the ready state of our KP Alumni to act – NOW!
    The overwhelming theme of responses received was to request the immediate return of RADM Greene ’78 to Kings Point, as Superintendent.

    In these past 13.5 months, Rear Admiral Greene ’78 has removed years of ambiguity, uncertainty and stalemated progress at Kings Point. He has restored order and organization, pride and professionalism, and the credibility that the United States Merchant Marine Academy should hold among the 5 Federal Service Academies. RADM Greene has restored the confidence of the Regiment of Midshipmen. He has made remarkable progress in his short tenure, but there is much more ahead to be accomplished. Kings Point needs the vision and leadership of Admiral Greene! As clearly stated by DOT Secretary Ray Lahood (March 3, 2011 Fast Lane), “The new Superintendent really gets it!”

    We hereby request that all KP Alumni, Midshipman Parents, Current Midshipmen and all Friends of Kings Point, send a brief e-mail to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood [email protected], respectfully requesting the immediate re-assignment of Admiral Greene back to Kings Point as Superintendent!

    Gary G. Hicks ‘76
    Chairman (Chairman of the KP Alumni Assn)

    And I received the following this morning (I am withholding the person’s name because I did not get a chance to ask about publishing the comment):

    Make no mistake – the Superintendent was “dismissed”. In government speak he was “ reassigned”. As a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and upon completing one year of probation the employee can be reassigned to any other position in the system. The National Defense University is inconsequential to the story. They had to put him somewhere.

    The alumni, parents, friends, the industry, and the Regiment of Midshipmen all felt he was the right man for the job and the perfect fit. Apparently the current administration did not feel the same way. We are still hoping for an explanation but I personally am not holding my breath. There are many theories out there but as of now none have been substantiated.

    We don’t know what Plan B is other than the Dean is once again the Interim Superintendent (third time in three years; that says a lot all by itself). Would anyone of any significance take this job? What kind of individual will we really get? Under what restrictions will this person have to agree to in order to get the job?

    It is a very sad time for the Academy and I have never seen the alumni as upset as they are today.

    Finding a replacement is going to be a problem, given that they so carelessly tossed aside the perfect candidate.

  • Marvin Lockhart, CPO/E-7 USN Retired

    I’m a retired Chief Petty Officer with 24 yrs of honorable Naval service. I’ve served with the Honorable RADM Greene on aboard the “Fighting Jack” USS Fletcher 992 (Hawaii), He was an 0-5/ Command, and I was an E-5/ E-6….and spoke with him years later when we was the Chief of Staff for Naval Surface Force 0-6/ CAPT) (I an E-7/ CPO) in Coronado California…….I had a lot of Commanding officers in my career, and bar NONE!!!!!!!!!! RADM Greene is the BEST!!!!! This situation and video broke my heart! The SEAS (NAVY/Merchants) were dealt a devastation blow! May god have mercy on the FOOLS! who made this stupid decision! 🙁