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The USNAAA PSC Speaker Series will feature CAPT R. Sydney “Syd” Abernethy III USN Ret (USNA 81) at 1800 Pacific time on Wednesday, February 16, 2022. Syd’s discussion – “What Divides the United States” – will help us to better understand ourselves and the world around us while celebrating Black History Month.
An Annapolis, Maryland native, Syd graduated from USNA in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree following four years on the United States Naval Academy Men’s Lacrosse team. While on the team, Syd was named All-American twice, and was the second-ever Black All-American in NCAA Lacrosse history.
Syd Abernethy completed 26 distinguished years of service with the U.S. Navy, retiring in 2007. Syd’s tours of duty included qualification as a Naval Flight Officer and Mission Commander on Naval Maritime Patrol Aircraft where he flew numerous VQ/EP3-E aircraft missions in various theaters as a junior officer and later department head in VQ-1 and VQ-2. Syd also served as Commanding Officer for VQ-2 , the VQ detailer, as the U.S. Navy’s first Chief Diversity Officer, and onboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as the C2WC (Command and Control Warfare Commander). In his final position as the Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor WA, he managed more than 30,000 personnel and was awarded numerous Navy awards including the prestigious 2006 Commander in Chief Installation Excellence Award as the top Navy base.