First black academy graduate held back?

May 29, 2012

I read the obituary regarding the first African-American to graduate from theU.S. Naval Academy("Wesley A. Brown," May 25) and am left wondering what went wrong with this person.

Here is a man who served in three wars, and for over 20 years of active duty in the U.S. Navyand retired as only a lieutenant commander. When you graduate from the Naval Academy you are automatically commissioned an ensign in the Navy. Lieutenant commander is only three grades above that. That seems almost unbelievable for someone who served in three wars, especially during World War II when they were promoting almost everyone.

Can someone shed any light on what went so terribly wrong here? He should have been at least an admiral.

Bob Culligan, Glen Burnie

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