The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

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The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

An Admiral’s Triumph, Keith Davids Honored at Hall of Fame

Serving the U.S. up to now, the HOF inductee celebrates his legacy by reflecting on his naval career
On+Nov.+3%2C+Rear+Admiral+Keith+Davids+returns+to+Coral+Gables+Senior+High+as+a+Hall+of+Fame+Inductee.
Dimitra Boutsis
On Nov. 3, Rear Admiral Keith Davids returns to Coral Gables Senior High as a Hall of Fame Inductee.

As a 16-year-old, Coral Gables Senior High student Keith Davids envisioned a life full of sailing and an aspiring career in engineering. Now at 54, the class of ’86 graduate returns to Gables, 37 years later reminiscing on his journey as a Hall of Fame inductee, standing as U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and leader of the Naval Special Warfare Command.

Spending his adolescence on the shores of Biscayne Bay, Davids found himself immersed in the world of fleet racing and regattas. Growing up as a competitive sailor, Davids was taught by World War II veteran, Mr. Taylor Lamore, who instilled his passion for sailing, the skill that got him to where he is today. Throughout those years, Davids grew a prodigious skillset earning him the title of National Youth Champion of ’86 and the recognition from many, including the United States Naval Academy.

Davids (fourth, bottom row) sits beside Gables Wrestling Team, lead by coach Hudach. (Lorena Acevedo)

In the midst of friendly faces and strong connections he relished in creating at Gables, when Davids wasn’t surrounding himself with his clique, he could be found on the wrestling mat. After years of dedication to the sport, Davids and his team were led to the tittle of 1986 Wrestling District Champions by Gables Wrestling Coach, Mr. Hudach. Davids accredits Mr. Hudach for teaching him the value of persistence and tenacity in moments where raw talent isn’t enough. 

“I think what Gables did is, it gave me the foundations with which to excel. I was able to, after this education, go to the Naval Academy and do fine. It helped teach me the values I talked about, and a lot of that was in the classroom, a lot of that was on the wrestling mat, and a lot of that was just being a part of this diverse population that is Gables High,” Davids said.

Although Davids had aspired to attend Tulane University in the fall, an interview to join the Naval Academy created a new potential path. After a rigorous process, Davids was granted a congressional nomination. In the nine years that followed, Davids would graduate from the Naval Academy and head off to Navy SEAL training where his future was only beginning.

“In retrospect, it’s a blink of an eye. Those years quickly went by, and I thought I would do my five years and get out, but I found out that I had a purposeful mission. I worked with really cool people. It was a crazy adventure, and so I sort of got hooked,” Keith Davids said.

What Davids assumed would be five years of service led to 33 tumultuous and rewarding years of serving the country. After completing six years with the SEAL teams on the East Coast and moving into the early 2000s, Davids continued to grow in the Navy working his way up the ranks.

“I’ve been deployed to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. After that, I went to the West Coast and went to grad school, so that was cool, and then back to the East Coast. There have been a lot of moves, but a lot of adventures. Global deployments, 22 years of sustained combat operations. That is not glamorous, but it’s good job security – lots to do,” Davids said.  

Throughout his naval career, Davids has upheld countless roles and assignments. Ranging from being commanding officer of SEAL Team One to director of the White House military, Davids holds a myriad of achievements under his belt.

“I got to bring home the remains of somebody we lost in Iraq. They had been lost for 10 years. That was pretty special to me. I’ve gotten to save a lot of people, like in Mosul that was oppressed by ISIS, operationally, that was pretty rewarding.  I also did get to work for two presidents. President Bush, and then more recently President Trump, running all the military support to the office of the presidency. That was an incredible honor,” Davids said. 

Currently, Davids acts as Commander of the Navy Special Warfare Command. Upon accepting the position in August 2022, Davids now takes charge of the Navy SEALS as a whole, being over 10,000 people. Amongst all of his success, Davids returned to his alma matter on Nov. 3 acting as an inspiration to current Gables students, reminding them the uncertainty of the future is often replaced with greatness.

“When you see the folks that are nominated here today, it’s a diverse collection of people that took different paths. So there’s a lot of paths to success. I used to think success was about making a lot of money or being in charge, and I don’t think that’s it. I think, success is about finding purpose… Don’t let other people tell you what to do. Don’t settle. Follow your heart. Find your passion, and then go after it boldly,” Davids said. 

About the Contributor
Lorena Acevedo, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Entering her final year at Coral Gables Senior High, senior Lorena Acevedo hopes to make this her most notable year yet. As returning member of Cavsconnect, she aims to continue doing what she loves most, write. She considers her past three years with the publication one of the things that has made her high school experience so memorable, and will always feel lucky to be a part of this team. When she is not chasing an interview or busy  typing away, Lorena maintains her involvement at Gables as a Peer Health Educator for the Health Information Project. This year, in between spending time out with friends and binging any early 2000's drama, Lorena will conquer her toughest feat. Becoming a Miami driver. Aside from this, she lives for all things beauty as she is often found giving her friends at home lash-lifts and spending too much time in the Sephora checkout line. With graduation on the horizon, Lorena is eager to explore what the future holds as she steps into adulthood.
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