Friday, January 19, 2018

Fullbore Friday

So, what did you do to serve your nation? When you finally are realeased from your mortal coil, what will be your benchmark?

Few would be able to match a Shipmate who had a long life well lived. Rest easy Admiral.
Stansfield Turner, a Navy admiral and Rhodes Scholar who was Director of Central Intelligence under President Jimmy Carter, died on Jan. 18 at home in Seattle, Washington. He was 94.
Put some of his politics to the side if you must, he was a player and a patriot - and the author of my favorite quote about Bulgaria.
The retired admiral became a strong advocate for nuclear arms control after his tenure at the CIA, arguing that the United States and Russia had more atomic warheads than they could possibly use and warning that arms control was in trouble.

Turner, who taught at the University of Maryland after leaving the CIA, published several books, including “Caging the Nuclear Genie: An American Challenge for Global Security,” where he first proposed his idea of “strategic escrow.”

The seeds of his hostility toward nuclear weapons were sown in 1970 when he commanded a U.S. carrier group in the eastern Mediterranean. He wanted to know the specific targets of his pilots in the event of war with the Soviet Union.

One young pilot told him that his target for nuclear attack was a rail bridge in Bulgaria. The bridge was so small it did not show up on photographs of targets taken by sophisticated air reconnaissance.

Turner was astonished.

“Nothing in Bulgaria was worth a nuclear weapon,” he told reporters in the 1990s.

In a statement, current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, said: “Admiral Turner was a devoted patriot and public servant who led our Agency through a turbulent period of history, including both the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian revolution. An analyst at heart, Admiral Turner championed analytic innovation and applied his extensive military knowledge and insight to the challenges of the day, even taking a direct role in preparing the annual estimates on Soviet offensive strategic nuclear forces.”
A little side-note about the picture I picked. When on active duty, he served during a period between a humble and modest Navy, and the "everyone gets a trophy" Navy where everyone and their mother gets a ribbon or medal. After Vietnam, we chased the Army in getting blinged up.

You can see later pictures when he was C6F where he gets the then new SWO pin and assorted additional flair.

You have to admit, there was something sound and secure where being a Surface Warfare Officer was just assumed for a line officer not a submarine or air type. You didn't need a bunch of NORK surplus bling.

You just were, and that was enough. 

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