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John McCain, five others to receive Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate Awards

U.S. Sen. John McCain is on the list of honorees for the Naval Academy Alumni Association’s 2018 Distinguished Graduate Awards.

McCain, who is currently hospitalized as he deals with aggressive brain cancer, was one of six graduates who will be recognized for a lifetime of service to the nation and for being living role models for Midshipmen.

The alumni association’s Distinguished Graduate Award Selection Panel made its selections Dec. 8. The panel is chaired by retired Adm. Michael Mullen, a 1968 graduate and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The six men selected will be honored at a ceremony March 23, and more information on the recipients will be shared in 2018, the association said in a statement.

The awardees are:

McCain, class of 1958. McCain is a six-term senator from Arizona and former presidential candidate.

Retired Rear Adm. Lawrence Chambers, class of 1952. Chambers was the first African-American to command an aircraft carrier, according to a book about Chambers written by Ric Murphy.

Retired Adm. James Hogg, class of 1956. Hogg represented the United States on the NATO Military Committee from 1988-1991. According to The Military Times, Hogg was born in Annapolis.

Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden Jr., class of 1968. Bolden is a former astronaut and served as administrator of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration from July 2009 to January 2017.

Retired Adm. Timothy Keating, class of 1971. Keating retired in 2009 after serving three years in charge of United States Pacific Command. According to the Naval Institute, his area of responsibility included 3.4 billion people and half the Earth’s surface.

Steven Reinemund, class of 1970. Reinemund is the former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. He also serves on the board of directors for the Naval Academy Alumni Foundation.

Last year’s ceremony was not without controversy. Former Sen. Jim Webb was offered a 2017 Distinguished Graduate Award, but ultimately declined to accept it after backlash from fellow alumni regarding an essay he wrote for Washingtonian magazine in 1979 titled “Women Can’t Fight.” In the essay he said that the presence of women “at institutions dedicated to the preparation of men for combat command is poisoning that preparation.”

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© 2017 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.