Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby discusses how his education at Farragut paved the way for leadership in the Navy


The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy has a motto, “Acta non Verba,” which is Latin for “Deeds, not Words.” At the 2014 commencement, Vice Admiral Michelle J. Howard, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Plans and Strategy, gave the commencement address and emphasized how this motto has played a pivotal role in the way the Academy has trained “leaders for careers at sea while instilling the values that allow them to become outstanding leaders in the maritime industry, the military, and their communities.”

Mark H. Buzby – a 1975 graduate of Admiral Farragut Academy, a 1979 graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy epitomizes “Acta non Verba.” His 34-year career in the Navy has taken him around the world as a Surface Warfare Officer where he made numerous deployments aboard cruisers and destroyers. His command tours include the destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64), Destroyer Squadron 31 and the Surface Warfare Officers School.

Admiral Farragut Academy was honored when Buzby chose to hold his Flag Officer promotion ceremony on our campus. After serving in several important positions including Commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, he was selected as the first Merchant Marine Academy graduate to become Commander of the Military Sealift Command where he served from 2009 until his retirement in 2013.   His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (five awards) and various unit and campaign awards.

But according to Buzby, all of his successes, all of his adventures, all of his opportunities to lead would not have come about had it not been for the foundation which was laid at Farragut.

“Farragut puts you in an environment to lead, where you learn what it’s like to lead and what it takes to lead,” said Buzby, who retired from the Navy in 2008.