On The Bricks

November 29, 2020

Not too long ago we were thanking our veterans. Here is an Oklahoma veteran that we should all hear his story.

William James Crowe Jr. was a United States Navy admiral who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and as the ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Bill Clinton.

Crowe was born in Kentucky on Jan. 2, 1925. At the beginning of the Great Depression, Crowe’s father moved the family to Oklahoma City. In June 1946, Crowe completed a war – accelerated course of study and graduated with the Class of 1947 from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

From 1954 to 1955, Crowe served as assistant to the naval aide of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. From 1956 to 1958, Crowe served as executive officer of the submarine USS Wahoo (SS-565). In 1958, he served as an aide to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. In 1960, Crowe took command of USS Trout, homeported in Charleston, S.C., and served as commanding officer until 1962. Crowe next earned a master’s degree in education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and then, turning down an invitation from Admiral Hyman G. Rickover to enter the Navy’s nuclear power program, earned a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science at Princeton University. During the Vietnam War he was the senior adviser to the Vietnamese Riverine Force. In 1969, he took command of Submarine Division 31, homeported in San Diego.

A long string of assignments followed that included; Head of East Asia Pacific Branch, Politico – Military Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; promoted to rear admiral and named Deputy Director, Strategic Plans, Policy, Nuclear Systems, and NSC Affairs Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Director of East Asia and Pacific Region, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Commander of the Middle East Force; promoted to vice admiral and named Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Plans, Policy and Operations; promoted to admiral and named Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe; named Commander in Chief, United States Naval Forces Europe; and named Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Command.

On July 10, 1985, Crowe was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He continued to serve as CJCS through the Bush administration until 1989, when he retired from active duty.

After he retired in October 1989, Crowe returned to the University of Oklahoma and William J. Crowe chair in geopolitics. President Clinton named Crowe chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in 1993. In 1994, Clinton appointed Crowe the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and he served in that capacity until 1997. Crowe taught a seminar class on national security at the United States Naval Academy from 2000 to 2007.

Crowe died on Oct. 18, 2007, at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland at age 82 due to a heart condition. His funeral was held on Oct. 31, 2007, at the Naval Academy chapel; Bill Clinton spoke. Crowe was buried later that day in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery.

Think on it: We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. ~Randy Pausch

Make me laugh: The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.

Remember those New Year’s resolutions: Go someplace you’ve never been. Step out of your comfort zone and do something daring for you. It’s good for the soul and forces you to learn new things.

Thank you to all who came downtown and shopped as part of the Shop Small Saturday on Nov. 28. We love you for supporting our local stores!

          See you on the bricks!