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NEWS | June 28, 2024

NAVEUR-NAVAF Commander becomes U.S. Navy’s Old Goat

By Lt. Samuel Hardgrove, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

Adm. John Aquilino, former Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, passed the title of Old Goat to Adm. Stuart Munsch, Commander of United States Naval Forces Europe and Africa and Commander of Allied Joint Force Command, Naples, on the National Mall, Jun. 26.

The Old Goat is a prestigious honor presented to the longest-serving United States Naval Academy graduate currently on active duty. This accolade recognizes an unwavering commitment to the Navy.

“It has been my absolute privilege to represent the Class of 1984 and serve as the Old Goat,” Aquilino said. “I am proud to pass this legacy to Admiral Munsch. His strategic mind and untiring dedication have truly lived up to our alma mater’s motto, ‘Ex Scientia Tridens’ (Through Knowledge, Sea Power). As I am piped ashore for the final time, I wish him and our Navy, fair winds and following seas.”

Upon receiving the award, the Old Goat receives a crystal decanter engraved with the initials and class years of past recipients. The tradition started with retired Rear Adm. Alton Stock, a 1972 graduate of the Naval Academy. Adm. Munsch becomes the 10th recognized Old Goat in the Academy’s history.

“I congratulate Admiral Aquilino on his impressive and accomplished career,” said Adm. Munsch. “It is an honor and a privilege to follow him as the new, Old Goat.”

The Award was presented on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“There is a deep symbolism in holding this event here and now,” said Munsch. “We stand before a memorial to man who defended our democracy. Tomorrow, the Naval Academy Class of 2028 will swear their first oath to do the same, just as we did over 40 years ago. Whether you are the oldest or the youngest goat, we all stand ready to serve our Navy and protect our democracy.”

Aquilino graduated the United States Naval Academy in 1984, while Munsch graduated in 1985.

“I gladly accept this title on behalf of all of my 1985 classmates. To the class of 1984: we’ve got the watch.”