Profiles: Jeremy M. Boorda



Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda was born on November 26, 1939, in South Bend, IN. He grew up in Chicago, IL and dropped out of high school and joined the U.S. Navy at age 17, in 1956. Jeremy became the first enlisted sailor in U.S. history to rise to the position of admiral. He attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, and was commisioned as an officer in 1962. Boorda also received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1971 from the University of Rhode Island.

Boorda was the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, during military and humanitarian operations in Bosnia in 1993. In fact, he ordered the first airstrikes over Bosnia. On April 23, 1994, Jeremy became the 25th Chief of Naval Operations.

Boorda committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest on May 16, 1996. It is believed that Jeremy committed suicide after learning that Newsweek reporters had supposedly uncovered evidence that he wore two unearned combat ribbons for his participation in Vietnam. However, the former Chief of Naval Operations at the time, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, said that he had personally authorized Boorda to wear those combat ribbons. Boorda is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.


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