We’ve had a fantastic beginning to the 2021-2022 academic year. Our beautiful 40-acre campus is bustling with positive energy, students are enthusiastic, teachers are excited, and the AFA staff is fully engaged. But most importantly, over the past month, our students have been outstanding members of our community! They have carried themselves with the flexibility, intelligence, and respect that all young leaders must possess. I am very excited to closely watch their continued development towards excellence over the course of the school year.
I wanted to update our alumni community on some personnel changes on campus, Todd Wallingford, our Commandant/Dean of Students announced his retirement a couple of weeks ago. Commandant Wallingford has been an outstanding role model and leader for our cadets over the past seven years, and on behalf of Admiral Farragut Academy staff, faculty, and students we thank Todd for his years of dedicated service, countless hours, and hard work for the AFA students and community. Commandant Wallingford plans to find good hunting and to spend more time with family in his retirement. We wish him fair winds and following seas!
I am delighted to announce that Col. Robert Sprague, USMC (Ret.) will join the AFA community as our new Commandant/Dean of Students starting next week. Read the story to learn more about Col. Sprague.
We are also happy to welcome aboard our new Senior Naval Science Instructor, CDR. David Byrd, USN (Ret.). Commander Byrd joins AFA with a long history of senior leadership experience including 35 years in the United States Navy, most recently leading multiple teams and serving as senior advisor to military leadership working on multi-million dollar projects at MacDill AFB.
Commander Byrd holds an M.A. in National Security & Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, an M.B.A. from Jacksonville University, and a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. We look forward to his application of first-class leadership skills and experience in our globally recognized Naval Science curriculum. We are very very lucky to have Commander Byrd join our faculty, he will be an outstanding addition to the team.
I would like to take a moment to thank Mark Buzby, RADM, USN (Ret), David Arms, CAPT, USN (Ret), and Garrett Gummer, CAPT, USN (Ret) for their guidance and advice through the hiring process. Serving as an advisory board, their all-important military experience and Farragut alumni status has been invaluable throughout. I look forward to updating you very soon on our final appointment.