On 13 April 1989, President Bush nominated H. Lawrence Garrett, III, to be the Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Garrett was confirmed by the Senate on 12 May 1989 and took the oath of office on 15 May 1989, becoming the 68th Secretary of the Navy.
Mr. Garrett was born 24 June 1939 in Washington, DC, and was raised in Miami, Florida. He enlisted in the United States Navy in October 1961 and subsequently qualified in submarines as a machinist mate. Mr. Garrett was commissioned in April 1964 upon completion of flight training, serving as a Naval Flight Officer aboard maritime patrol aircraft. Subsequently, he completed operational tours in VP-50 including deployments to Vietnam.
In 1972, he transferred to the Judge Advocate General's Corps, where he rose to the rank of Commander. He served from 1974 to 1978 as Force Judge Advocate/Legal Advisor to the Commander, Submarine Force, US Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In January 1979, while serving in the Office of Civil Law in the Washington, DC, Office of the JAG, he was detailed to assist in developing the Federal regulations pertaining to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. In February 1981, he was detailed to the White House as Assistant Counsel in the Office of Counsel to the President. He retired from the Navy in 1981.
Subsequently, Mr. Garrett was Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Operating Officer of the US Synthetic Fuels Corporation. In 1983 he returned to the White House as Associate Counsel to the President of the United States. Mr. Garrett served as General Counsel of the Department of Defense from February 1986 to August 1987. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Mr. Garrett served as Under Secretary of the Navy from 6 August 1987.
Mr. Garrett earned a BS degree in Business Management from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, and received his JD degree from the University Of San Diego School Of Law, San Diego, California, graduating cum laude. A member of the California and District of Columbia Bars, he is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of California, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, US Court of Military Appeals, and the US District Court for the Southern District of California.