In Memoriam

Distinguished Graduate ADM Bruce DeMars ’57, USN (Ret.)

Bruce DeMars arrived at the U.S. Naval Academy from Chicago. After graduation he served on two surface ships before heading to Submarine School. He later taught there as well as at Nuclear Power School.

After service on four submarines, he commanded USS CAVALLA. He participated in submarine cold war special operations in all theaters. He served as Deputy Squadron Commander, Submarine Squadron 10, followed by three years as a senior member of the Atlantic Fleet Nuclear Power Examining Board. In 1977 he became Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 12, then Deputy Director of the Attack Submarine Division in OPNAV.

Promoted to flag rank in 1981, he commanded Naval Forces Marianas and was the CINCPAC representative for the Trust Territories. Returning to OPNAV he served as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (ADCNO), then DCNO for Submarine Warfare with additional duties as SEAWOLF project officer. As the DCNO, he strengthened congressional support for submarine programs. In 1988 he was promoted to Admiral and spent eight years as Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. 

DeMars continued the Navy’s fine record for safety and efficiency while Director of the Nuclear Propulsion Program. After the SEAWOLF program was terminated, his leadership in the design and authorization for the VIRGINIA class secured the future of the submarine service. Upon his retirement both houses of Congress honored Admiral DeMars with resolutions recognizing his distinguished service.

In his retirement, Admiral DeMars has continued to serve: as an advisor to industry and government; as a supporter on the Central Union Mission in Washington, DC; and by funding the book “Making Faces” designed to aid families with children born with cleft palates. He serves on a number of corporate boards. He served as the Chairman of the Naval Submarine League and currently is Chairman of the Naval Historical Foundation. Admiral DeMars was chairman of the Class of 1957 Washington DC Chapter, a member of the Distinguished Graduate Award selection committee and co-chair of the Class of 1957’s legacy gift campaign. He was a member of the Stadium Committee, Buchanan Society, and President's Circle. In 2009, DeMars was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate by the USNA Alumni Association and Foundation.

ADM Demars passed away in Alexandria, VA, on Saturday, 3 February 2024, at the age of 88. Read the official obituary notice.

Read his full biography on the Naval Historical Foundation website.