Sean Spicer is now on the board of the Naval Academy

news
Sean Spicer and Jenna Johnson at the end of their performance of the Foxtrot on Dancing with the Stars. Spicer was one of six contestants left when he was eliminated Nov. 11. (Twitter/Dancing with the Stars)

Sean Spicer is back to business.

Spicer left behind the Foxtrot and flashy blouses of his recent stint on "Dancing with the Stars," donning a suit and magenta tie for his first Naval Academy Board of Visitors meeting Monday, where an expected budget approval delay was discussed despite infrastructure needs at the academy.


President Donald Trump appointed Spicer to the board in July, two years after Spicer resigned as Trump's first White House press secretary. The board is tasked with asking about the school's "morale, discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs [and] academic methods" under federal code. The board is required to visit the school once a year and issue a written report to the President of the United States within 60 days with "views and recommendations."

Spicer missed what would be his first board meeting in September to compete on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." He was voted off the show in November after making it to the Top 6.

"Mr. Spicer, welcome aboard. You have a really cool first name," Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck said to Spicer after he took the oath of office at the start of Monday's meeting.

In his superintendent's update, Buck addressed the academy's financial situation. The academy receives $15 million biannually for renovation and modernization, which Buck says isn't enough.

"We're in a deep hole. We need to catch up," Buck said.

With the construction of a new cyber building — which Buck is asking $4.7 million a year for — and renovations needed on MacDonough Hall, the utility bridge, Naval Support Activity Annapolis (NSAA) waterfront and sea wall, Buck said the academy is literally falling apart without proper funding.

"We put band-aids on things and we hope," he said.

He told the board about an underground maintenance area of MacDonough Hall that scared him so much he thought, "I don't want to die this way."

Academy spokeswoman Cmdr. Alana Garas clarified after the meeting that the area is structurally safe and off-limits to everyone except maintenance staff.

Buck said approval of his new budget requests for 2024 could be delayed with a new Navy secretary coming in. Trump tweeted plans to nominate retired Rear Adm. Kenneth Braithwaite to replace Richard Spencer last week. Braithwaite is a Naval Academy graduate and Spicer's former Commanding Officer in the Naval Reserve.

A 2018 audit found the infrastructure has degraded to the point of threatening the school's ability to train and educate midshipmen, according to the report by the Naval Audit Service.

At the change of command ceremony in July in which Buck relieved former Superintendent Vice Adm. Walter E. "Ted" Carter of his duties, Buck said he sees infrastructure and sexual assault as two challenges facing the institution.

Buck also announced that the Department of Defense's Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at Military Service Academies should be released later this month.

After the meeting, Spicer said he's excited for the challenges he'll face as part of the board.

"It's a huge learning opportunity," Spicer said. "It's so interesting to hear about the infrastructural challenges. It's a beautiful school, but you have to scratch beneath the surface, especially with things like sea-level rise threatening it."

Staff writer Rachael Pacella contributed to this report.

©2019 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.) - Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

SAN DIEGO — Days after Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty to a federal felony related to a yearslong campaign finance scandal, he has finally stated explicitly that he will resign from his congressional seat before the end of his term.

"Shortly after the holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, R-Calif., in a statement. "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years."

Read More Show Less
A Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak boat crew displays their new 38-foot Special Purpose Craft - Training Boat in Womens Bay Sept. 27, 2011. (Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen)

A collision between a Coast Guard boat and a Navy vessel near Kodiak Island, Alaska on Wednesday landed six coasties and three sailors to the hospital, officials said.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Jamarius Fortson)

The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Navy photo)

A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.

The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.

Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Victoria Fontanelli, an administrative specialist with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, moves through a simulated village inside the Infantry Immersion Trainer as part of training for the Female Engagement Team, at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Oct 16, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Brendan Custer)

Widespread sexism and gender bias in the Marine Corps hasn't stopped hundreds of female Marines from striving for the branch's most dangerous, respected and selective jobs.

Six years after the Pentagon officially opened combat roles to women in 2013, 613 female Marines and sailors now serve in them, according to new data released by the Marine Corps.

"Females are now represented in every previously-restricted occupational field," reads a powerpoint released this month on the Marine Corps Integration Implementation Plan (MCIIP), which notes that 60% of those female Marines and sailors now serving in previously-restricted units joined those units in the past year.

Read More Show Less