PEORIA — A Limestone Community High School graduate was promoted to rear admiral (lower half) and was sworn in by his son.
Rear Adm. Dave Welch, a 1983 Limestone grad, received his first star on Tuesday at a ceremony at the Pentagon. His son, Lt. j.g. Benjamin Welch, read him the oath.
The elder Welch's rank is the naval equivalent to a brigadier general, or a one-star general, in the Army.
Dave Welch was born and raised in Peoria. Following graduation from Limestone, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and graduated in 1987. He's commanded the guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and also commanded Destroyer Squadron 31, both of which are based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He's also headed the Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, R.I.
At the ceremony Tuesday, Dave Welch explained why his son did the honors.
"I had the privilege of commissioning Ben as an officer when he graduated from Virginia Tech, and I thought it would be nice to have him return the favor," said Welch in a news release, reflecting on being able to share the dais in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes with his son.
“It’s incredible,” said the younger Welch of the experience. “A year ago, he promoted me.”
The elder Welch currently serves as the director of international engagement for the chief of naval operations in the Pentagon. His next assignment will be as commander of the Naval Surface and Mine Warfare Development Center in San Diego.