He enlisted and then became one of the first commissioned African-American officers in the US Navy. He was denied housing and even jailed for impersonating an officer. He withstood a cavalcade of abuse and racism and still managed to rise through the ranks of the Navy.
Throughout his career, Gravely received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal. Then on July 1st, 1971, he was appointed a rear-admiral, the first African American to achieve flag rank in the Navy. Rear-Admiral (Two Stars).
Sept 10th, 1976 - Three star Vice-Admiral Gravely, Jr assumed command of the Third Fleet.
He served in a dual role Director of Naval Communications for the Chief of Naval Operations and his final duty station prior to retirement was Director of Defense Communications in D.C. He retired in August 1980. Retirement Ceremony.
USS Gravely is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy. She is named after Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Gravely is the 57th destroyer in her class.