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Michael Glenn Mullen, a retired United States Navy admiral, served as the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011, and as the 32nd vice chief of Naval Operations from 2003 to 2004. A prominent figure in defense, Adm. Mullen was a regular presence at the BEYA STEM Conference Stars and Stripes awards dinner.

One of his notable appearances was when he presented the 2007 Career Achievement in Government Award to former Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Director of Operations Rear Adm. Anthony L. Winns.

At that time, Adm. Mullen was serving as the chief of naval operations, a testament to his leadership and dedication to the Navy.

This week, during a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced one of the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers will be named USS Michael G. Mullen, after the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Another destroyer will be named after former Secretary Richard Danzig, who served as the 71st secretary of the Navy.

Mullen served as the 32nd vice chief of Naval Operations from 2003 to 2004. He then was the commander of both the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and the Allied Joint Force Command Naples from 2004 to 2005, and from 2005 to  2007, Mullen served as the Navy’s 28th chief of Naval Operations. He began his four-year term as chair of the Joint Chiefs in October 2007 and retired after 43 years of service in 2011.

“This is an honor of a lifetime and one I certainly never expected. It says so much about the Navy that I love and represents most of my life at sea,” Mullen told the U. S. Naval Institute.

The ships are part of a Fiscal Year 2023 multi-year contract between the Navy and destroyer builders HII Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine.

The Flight III destroyers are the first Navy combatants to be fitted with the AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar that will allow the destroyers to interdict ballistic missiles and traditional cruise missile threats.

“Secretary Danzig and Adm. Mullen are visionary leaders in the mold of the greatest naval leaders that came before them,” Del Toro said in his remarks. “… And these ships will carry on the legacies of public service that Secretary Danzig and Adm. Mullen personify and will be crewed by the most capable young men and women our nation has to offer.”

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