B. J. Penn has a perfect profile for Black History Month. He is a native of Peru Indiana and was educated at Purdue University (B.S.) and George Washington University (M.S.). He would later also acquire a certificate in Aerospace Safety from the University of Southern California and a certificate in National Security for Senior Officials from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Penn began his career in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Aviator, ultimately amassing 6500 hours of flight time in sixteen different aircraft. He was named the Navy's EA-6B Prowler pilot of the year in 1972. He wen on to serve as the Executive officer/Commanding Officer of VAQ 33 within the Fleet Electronic Warfare Support Group. He also served as Batallion Officer at the United States Naval Academy (including serving as Officer-in-Charg of the Plebe Detail for class of 1983). Penn held a host of other military, government and corporate positions of leadership and ultimately was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installation and Environment) by then President George W. Bush. Then, when President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, Penn was appointed acting Secretary of the Navy until a permanant appointee was identified.
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