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Offline Marlin

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Admiral Kelso on Eternal Patrol
« on: Jun 24, 2013, 10:49 »
   I am very saddened and shocked by this, I recently saw the Admiral at a ceremony preformed by the Haddo Base chapter of the United States Submarine Veterans in Chatanooga. The following is the Bio and Obituary from the Haddo Base. He may be an unknown to the commercial nuclear community but well known to many of us from the Navy nuclear community.

FAYETTEVILLE, Tennessee – Admiral Frank Kelso II, 79, former Chief of Naval Operations, died today, Sunday, June 23, 2013, following a fall this week that resulted in a severe head injury.

He qualified in submarines on the USS Sabalo (SS-302) in 1959 and was a ADM when he left the Navy.

Kelso and his bride of two weeks, Georgia Robinson, had been visiting one of Kelso's two sons for his grandson's high school graduation in Norfolk, Va. His grandson has an appointment to the Naval Academy, where Kelso himself and both of Kelso's sons also graduated. Kelso and his first wife, Landess, who died in 2012, also had two daughters.
Kelso, who returned to live in his hometown of Fayetteville, Tenn., in 2003, 10 years after his retirement from the Navy, leaves behind the straight, true wake of life lived in line with Kelso's personal morals, intelligence, and irreproachable integrity. "Oh shoot," muttered Mickey Spillane of Huntsville when he heard the news of Kelso's death, taking in a long breath. "From the second he woke up to the second he closed his eyes, every single day, he was a gentleman." 'A Good Shipmate' Spillane, currently a Master Marine with the Merchant Marines, is a retired Navy captain. He met Kelso when Spillane was a Lt. Commander at the Navy's War College. Kelso, as do other senior officers, flew into the college regularly to work on war game challenges.
"He was quiet," Spillane said. "He was decisive. He was well-read, and he did his homework. He was smart."
Spillane's officer's voice wavered for a split second. "He was a good shipmate," Spillane added. "If Abe Lincoln had gone to sea, he'd be Frank Kelso's twin. Frank Kelso was the kind of guy you'd want to be in the life boat with."
It was that integrity and strength of character that helped catapult Kelso to Chief of Naval Operations in the year just before the 1991 Tailhook scandal, Spillane said. "He was brought in to do the job of cleaning up the Navy," Spillane said. "They knew no one could challenge his morality. He lived by his code. He got out for the good of the Navyhe did not want to tarnish the Navy."
A Uniter
    In fact, Kelso's attempted resignation in the wake of the news of the sexual shenanigans at the annual reunion for Navy pilots was refused by then-President Bill Clinton. Kelso continued to serve until 1994. Kelso's retirement ended a decorated 42-year career. Some of the anti-sexual harassment programs Kelso helped put in place for the Navy during his last few years have become models for other branches of the armed services.
"A good captain goes down with his ship," said Austin Boyd of Huntsville, a retired Navy Commander who served as an aide to Lt. Admiral Jerry Tuttle, who was on Kelso's staff when Kelso was Chief of Naval Operations. "He accepted responsibility for what happened under his watch. He was a man of honor."
Boyd said that one of Kelso's great strengths was his ability to bring together the Navy's "Brown Shoe" pilots with the "Black Shoe" forces on the ships, two elements of the Navy that have sometimes competed, he said.
"Admiral Kelso transformed the elements in a way that brought all of the Navy together," Boyd said. "He was a very direct man, but a man of grace. He held you accountable."
Boyd also credits Kelso with pushing to take the Navy to an advanced level in terms of its ability to use high-tech communications tools and weapons.
"He was always leading in a new direction," said Boyd, who assisted Tuttle on the information staff and network operations. "He was fighting a bunch of people who were always saying 'But we've never done it that way.' He led the way into a new era for the Navy."
During a career that began in the Vietnam era, Kelso served as commanding officer of nuclear attack submarines, as commander of Submarine Squadron Seven, as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, then as the U.S. Atlantic Command and eventually NATO's naval commander.
It was under his watch, when he was commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, that Navy fliers helped capture the hijackers of the Italian ship, Achille Lauro.
"He was a squared-away tough guy who made hard decisions," said retired Marine Lt. Gen. Frank Libutti, whose own years of service overlapped with Kelso's. "He was well-respected across all the services."
A Great Loss
In Fayetteville, where Kelso grew up, his friends remember him as the disciplined, focused only child of a postal carrier and of a mother who worked in the circuit clerk's office on the square. Since Kelso and his wife Landess returned to Fayetteville, Kelso has been a leader at First United Methodist Church, a Sunday school teacher, and active in community activities, particularly those having to do with history.
Kelso donated his career memorabilia to the Lincoln County Museum when he retired. The collection of his honors, gifts and recognitions includes photos of him chatting with kings, queens, presidents, and with sailors - giving all the same level, dignified attention.
"This is a great loss for our country, for Tennessee and for Fayetteville," said Tom Bagley, a longtime friend of the Kelso's."He was always busy."
"When he took on a job, he didn't put it off," said Bill Askew, a lifelong friend of Kelso's. "He didn't sit back and have other people do that. I saw that, and I saw how he dealt with other people - no matter what their rank - he was always kind and thoughtful."
"He was an extraordinary person."
Kelso will be buried in Fayetteville in the historic Rose Hill Cemetery that he had been part of protecting in the last few years as an active member of the cemetery's board, Askew said. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.
« Last Edit: Jun 24, 2013, 10:53 by Marlin »


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Re: Admiral Kelso on Eternal Patrol
« Reply #1 on: Jun 24, 2013, 12:47 »
CNO when I entered active duty in December 1991.

Many changes occurred because of ADM Kelso's leadership.  ALL were for the betterment of our Navy.

I still recall the resentment fostered by several "old school" pilots when I reported aboard the ENTERPRISE in 1994.  In their minds, he destroyed the Tailhook convention and all of its "glorious tradition".  Apparently, in their minds, glorious tradition amounted to forcing a female hotel staff member to run the gauntlet of aviators, while having her blouse and bra actually ripped off of her.  Photos of that incident, taken by someone in attendance, made their way into the mainstream media, and thus the aviation community had its hidden secret exposed.

The end result was the aviation community came back in touch with the rest of the Navy.  Brown shoes and black shoes realized that the other existed, and that each community played a vital role in the Navy's mission.

Godspeed, ADM. Kelso  :(


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