A South Portland native has been promoted to rear admiral at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Wash.

Navy Capt. Mark Whitney has served as commander at the facility since May 2008.

“I am honored, humbled and excited,” he said Friday.

“This nomination is a reflection of all the people I have had the opportunity to serve with throughout my career. And I absolutely wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of my family.”

After graduating from South Portland High School in 1980, Whitney followed in the footsteps of his father, Richard Whitney of Portland, a 1958 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Mark Whitney enrolled in Maine Maritime Academy and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering in 1984. Shortly after, he enlisted in the Navy.

By 1994, Whitney had completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, receiving the Naval Postgraduate School Superior Award. His mother, Linda Johnson, was South Portland’s first female mayor.

“It’s a very proud week to be a mother,” said Johnson, who also got news this week about her daughter receiving a promotion.

“He’s very quiet, unassuming person,” she said. “But a very hard worker. He loves the Navy.”

Whitney has served in many positions in his career, including tours on the USS Luce and a combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on the USS Theodore.

“I am excited to move forward in my military career and to continue serving my country,” Whitney said.

Whitney lives in Bremerton with his wife, Lisa Ann Long, and their twin sons, John and Austin.

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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