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Located in the "Rickover, Hyman G." folder of the Navy Department Library's Modern Biographies Collection.

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Hyman G. Rickover's Promotion to Admiral

[H.A.S.C. No. 93-16]


House of Representatives,

Committee on Armed Services,

Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 14, 1973.

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m. in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D. C., the Honor­able F. Edward Hebert, chairman, presiding.

The Chairman. The committee will be in order.

Members of the committee, we have several pieces of legislation to consider this morning before we go info executive session with Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, Mr. Clements. We will start with legislation—Mr. Stratton, have you anything to report?

Mr. Stratton. Yes, Mr. Chairman.  I have a statement here which I will read if it meets with the approval of the chairman.


Mr. Stratton. On behalf of Subcommittee No. 4, Mr. Chairman, I report to the full committee three bills and ask for their approval by the committee. The first of these is H.R. 1717 which would authorize the President to appoint Vice Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, U.S. Navy retired, to the grade of admiral on the retired list.

[H.R. 1717 is as follows:]

[H.R. 1717, 93d Cong., 1st sess.]

A BILL To authorize the President to appoint Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, United States Navy retired, to the grade of admiral on the retired list

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in recognition of the vital contribution of Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (United States Navy retired) to our na­tional defense and in special recognition of his invaluable guidance, initiative and perseverance in developing the nuclear submarine, the President is author­ized to appoint the said Hyman G. Rickover to the grade of admiral on the re­tired list with all the rights, privileges, benefits, pay and allowances provided by law for officers appointed to such grade.

Mr. Stratton. H.R. 1717 would authorize the President to appoint Vice Adm. Hyman G. Rickover to the grade of admiral on the retired list in recognition of the singular contribution he has made to our national defense and particularly his initiative and perseverance in bringing about the development of the nuclear submarine.



Admiral Rickover’s achievements are too well known to require repeating here. He is a unique American whose indomitable drive enabled us to achieve and develop our invulnerable undersea nuclear deterrent. I think it is particularly fitting that the authorization for a fourth star for Admiral Rickover initiate in the Congress because the Congress has always had a special relationship with this remarkable individual. In fact, if it had not been for the intercession of the Congress, Admiral Rickover might have been retired years ago as a captain.

Admiral Rickover’s present status is that he has been retired because of the legal age limit and recalled to active duty. He is, therefore, ineligible for consideration for promotion to admiral according to the normal selection procedures.

Promoting a man to a grade above what his billet would normally call for is only justified in very exceptional circumstances when the individual has maintained the position for an extended period and has served with distinction. A previous example would be the promotions accorded to General Hershey.

Admiral Rickover’s situation is certainly very exceptional, and this additional recognition by the Congress and the country is certainly deserved.

I urge the approval of the bill.

Mr. Chairman, I think perhaps in the interest of orderly procedure it might be better to take these individually as we go along, and I therefore will move that the committee approve H.R. 1717.

Mr. Pike. A question, Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman. Yes.

Mr. Pike. Mr. Stratton, can you tell us how many four-star admirals the Navy has now, and how many four-star admirals it had at the height of World War II?

Mr. Stratton. I don’t have the number of four-star admirals with respect to how many we have now and how many we had at that time, Mr. Pike.

Mr. Pike. Mr. Ford indicates he has the answer.

Mr. Stratton. On the effect of the admiral on the total limitation. Mr. Ford do you want to comment on that?

Mr. Ford. The Navy now has eight four-star admirals, not counting the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who would make nine.

If Admiral Rickover is promoted to 4-star admiral, that would make 10.

Mr. Pike. Do you have the figure on World War II?

Mr. Ford. I do not have the figure on World War II, I’m sorry.

Mr. Pike. Mr. Chairman, before we vote on this, I would like to state, I’m going to vote “No,” not for any lack of respect or affection for Admiral Rickover but simply I have been for a very long time concerned about the fact that we’ve got too many four-star generals and admirals and three-star generals and admirals, et cetera. I see enough pressure coming from the military to create this grade struc­ture, and I hate to see more pressure coming from the Congress to do it.

Mr. Stratton. Mr. Chairman, let me just comment in regard to Mr. Pike’s statement. This is really not a four-star rank in terms of what he has in mind.


According to the memorandum which I have from Mr. Ford, section 5231, which is the limitation on grades, would apply only to the active list; and Admiral Rickover would, therefore, not count against the numbers since he is not on the active list.

This is something that has been done before: Admiral Leahy was a four-star admiral on the retired list. President Roosevelt called him back to active duty as his personal Chief of Staff in World War II; and when the five-star rank was created by Congress, he was made a five-star admiral.

So we are not really changing the situation to which the gentleman from New York takes exception. This is an honor to Admiral Rickover, more than an increase in the total number of officers at a particular level.

Mr. Ichord. Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman. Mr. Ichord.

Mr. Ichord. I would like to ask Mr. Stratton what would be the effect on Admiral Rickover’s retirement pay?

Mr. Stratton. The admiral is already retired, and I think that this will probably mean a few cents more in his pocket if he gets retired pay at four stars rather than three stars.

I might say, Mr. Chairman, that Admiral Rickover himself pro­tested rather characteristically against my introduction of this legisla­tion. He told me when it was being considered by the subcommittee that if he had been a member of the subcommittee, he would have voted against it; but fortunately he wasn’t a member of the subcommittee.

Mr. Ichord. Mr. Ford has the answer.

Mr. Ford. Mr. Ichord, the Secretary of the Navy testified the in­crease for Admiral Rickover in pay would be $5 a month.

Mr. Arends. How much?

The Chairman. Five dollars a month.

Any further comment?

All those in favor of passing H.R. 1717, to authorize the President to appoint Vice Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, U.S. Navy retired, to the grade of admiral on the retired list signify by saying aye. Those opposed, no.

The ayes have it and the bill is passed.

Mr. Stratton, you proceed according to the usual method bringing the bill to the floor.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman. Do you have another bill?

Mr. Stratton. Yes. sir. The next bill is HR. 8528, which would pro­vide for increasing the amount of interest paid on the permanent fund of the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airman’s Home.

[HR. 8528 is as follows:]

[H.R. 8528, 93d Cong., 1st sess.]

A BILL To provide for increasing the amount of interest paid on the permanent fund of the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 8 of the Act of March 3, 1883, chapter 130 (24 U.S.C. 46) is amended by striking out “of 3 per centum per annum,” and inserting in place thereof “a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, taking into consideration the current average market yield on


outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with remaining periods to maturity comparable to the average maturities of such investments, adjusted to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum,”.

Mr. Stratton. The home’s trust fund has been limited by an 1883 law to an annual interest rate of 3 percent. The bill would amend the law to allow a rate of interest to be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury taking into consideration the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States. Simply stated, the bill would allow a rate of interest equal to that of similarly situated trust funds, such as the social security trust fund, the railroad retirement fund and the civil service retirement fund. The average interest rate paid on such funds in recent years has been approximately 4.8 percent.

The Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home, which is located in Washington in the general vicinity of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, is financed entirely by expenditures from the trust fund and is not sup­ported by appropriations. The trust fund, which was started with the bounty brought home by General Winfield Scott from the war with Mexico in 1946-48—Mr. Ford is prepared to tell us more about Gen­eral Scott’s background if anyone is interested—receives income from three sources: fines, forfeitures, and stoppages of pay of regular enlisted personnel of the Army and Air Force; contributions of 10 cents per month from all regular enlisted personnel in the Army and Air Force; and interest on the trust.

In recent years rising costs have resulted in expenditures exceeding income, and the principal of the home’s trust fund has begun to diminish. Quite clearly, the home has not been treated equitably in terms of interest on its fund compared with other Government trust funds, and the bill would correct this situation.

H.R. 8528 is a clean bill introduced at the direction of the subcommittee in substitution for H.R. 4955, the bill originally considered. The amendments which brought about the clean bill were a change in the title to reflect the change in the name of the home from “United States Soldiers’ Home” to “United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home”—and a change in the language of the bill to provide better guidance to the Treasury Department in determining the amount of interest to be paid to the fund. These changes were recommended by the executive branch.

I move the approval of the bill by the committee.

The Chairman. Any discussion on Mr. Stratton’s motion?

Mr. Charles Wilson. Can you tell me briefly about the home, how large it is, how many people are there, who is eligible for it, where it is located?

Mr. Stratton. Yes.

Mr. Charles Wilson. I have never heard of it.

Mr. Stratton. If you drive out on North Capitol Street in the direction of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and you don’t drive too rapidly, you will see it on your left. It has been there for many years. It goes back to the early part of the 19th century. President Abraham Lincoln used to drive out there in the summertime to get away from the Washington heat, It is a rather beautiful place,

and once had about 500 acres. It is now down to about 300 acres because of land donated to the VA hospital.

Mr. Charles Wilson. How many people are in it?

Mr. Ford. About 3,000.

Mr. Stratton. 3,000 are living there.

Any person in the Air Force or the Army is eligible, provided he has served 20 years on active duty, or has been permanently disabled as a result of a service-connected disability, or has been permanently dis­abled for a non-service disability but did serve in time of war. Is that correct?

Mr. Ford. That is correct.

Mr. Charles Wilson. Thank you very much.

The Chairman. Any further questions of Mr. Stratton?

Mr. Stratton. Enlisted men and warrant officers, as Air. Davis re­minds me, not officers.

The Chairman. Without objection, the bill H.R. 8528 to provide for the amount of interest paid on the permanent fund of the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen’s Home will be approved.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

One more bill, H.R. 8537: The purpose of this bill is threefold. [H.R. 8537 is as follows:]

[H.R. 8537, 93d Cong., 1st sess.]


 [H.A.S.C. No. 93-11]


House of Representatives,

Committee on Armed Services,

Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 10, 1973.

The committee met at 10:07 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Of­fice Building, Washington, D.C., the Honorable F. Edward Hebert, chairman, presiding.

The Chairman. The committee will be in order.

Mr. Price, you have a resolution.

Mr. Price. Mr. Chairman, I would like to offer a resolution. The resolution itself is self-explanatory so I won’t take any time explain­ing the resolution, except to say it provides for the naming of the new engineering building at the U.S. Naval Academy in honor of Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover.

I suggest that the staff director read the resolution, which is self- explanatory.

The Chairman. Mr. Slatinshek.

Mr. Slatinshek. The motion offered by Mr. Price:

“Whereas, Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, since being designated for engineering duty in 1937, has established himself as the outstand­ing naval engineer of our time; and

“Whereas, since his assignment to the Manhattan Project in 1946, Admiral Rickover has been the principal officer in charge of the naval nuclear propulsion program, a program which successfully launched the first nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus and which has seen the U.S. nuclear fleet grow to 60 attack nuclear submarines, 41 Polaris- Poseidon ballistic-missile submarines, 1 deep-submergence nuclear research vessel, a nuclear aircraft carrier and 3 other nuclear surface ships, with 23 additional nuclear submarines, 2 nuclear aircraft car­riers and 5 nuclear frigates under construction; and

“Whereas, Admiral Rickover has been honored by receipt of a special gold medal from the U.S. Congress, the Distinguished Service Medal and a gold star in lieu of a second DSM, the Enrico Fermi Award, the rank of Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 12 honorary degrees, membership in the National Academy of Engineering, and numerous other medals and awards by private groups; and



“Whereas, a major new engineering complex providing more than 300,000 square feet of space for engineering education is presently being completed at the Naval Academy; and

“Whereas, the advancement of education, and particularly the education of naval officers, has always been a purpose to which Admiral Rickover has devoted an extraordinary amount of his talents; and

“Whereas, as a great naval officer and a great patriot, Admiral Rickover has had to overcome tremendous obstacles and has done so in a manner that is an example to future naval officers;

“Now, therefore, be it

“Resolved by the Committee on Armed Services, That the committee recommends to the Secretary of the Navy that the new engineering complex at the Naval Academy be named in honor of Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover as a singularly appropriate tribute to this great naval engineer and as an inspiration to the future naval engineers who will study in this complex.”

The Chairman. Is there anything further?

Mr. Price. I move the adoption of the resolution.

The Chairman. We will withhold it until Mr. Bray says something.

Mr. Bray.

Mr. Bray. I am strongly in favor of this. Perhaps no one—almost certainly no one has added as much to the use of nuclear energy, not only in the military field but for our country and the entire world, as Admiral Rickover. This is a very fitting tribute to this great officer and gentleman.

Mr. Bennett. I second the motion.

The Chairman. Mr. Stratton.

Mr. Stratton. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if the gentleman from Illinois would accept an amendment to this resolution. I introduced leg­islation to promote Admiral Rickover to full admiral on the retired list, and I wondered whether Mr. Price would accept that.

The Chairman. I would rule that out of order.

Mr. Price. I would say, though, this is just a recommendation to the Secretary of the Navy.

Mr. Stratton. I understand that, but I thought perhaps we might even obviate the necessity for legislation if we had a further paragraph that “Be it

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Navy be urged to promote Vice Admiral Rickover to full admiral, retired.”

The Chairman. The Navy Secretary doesn’t promote officers.

Mr. Price. He doesn’t have the power of promotion?

The Chairman. He doesn’t have the power of promotion.

Mr. Price. Mr. Bray, and myself are the coauthors of this resolution. It is pure recommendation; it has no legislative power. In reality this action would not be necessary to name the building after Admiral Rickover. This is purely an administrative process.

However, after conference with the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Bray, Mr. Price, and myself, we all agreed it would be more fitting and more proper and more meaningful that we introduce it and have the com­mittee, if in its wisdom it desires to accept the recommendation, show the high esteem and high regard in which Admiral Rickover is held by this committee, and has been held by previous committees.


The old people on the committee remember it was this committee which forced the building of the Polaris submarines. That was at the insistence of Admiral Rickover and his close cooperation with Mr. Vinson and Mr. Rivers at that time.

We all worked very closely with Admiral Rickover. We have a high esteem for him, a high regard, and a high admiration for his ability. Many of us, too, have the same highest regard for our own opinion against his opinions, and the highest disregard for his opin­ions in some areas. I think this makes America great.

This is a splendid way of showing we all recognize the genius of this particular individual; and he is a genius.

Now, Mr. Price.

Mr. Price. Mr. Chairman. I did want to point out, as you have done, that the chairman, Mr. Hebert., Mr. Bray, and myself have been in contact with the Secretary of the Navy.

We thought this was a tribute that should be sponsored by the House Armed Services Committee, and it is merely a recommenda­tion to the Secretary of the Navy.

The Chairman. Any further comment?

Mr. Price. I move the adoption of the resolution.

Mr. Bennett. Second.

The Chairman. Without objection, the resolution has been adopted.

Mr. Stratton, I now recognize you for a report.

[H.A.S.C. No. 93-14]


House of Representatives,

Committee on Armed Services,

Subcommittee No. 4,

Washington, D.C., Thursday June 7, 1973.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Samuel S. Stratton (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding.

Mr. Stratton. The subcommittee will be in order.

The Chair would like to read a brief statement before we begin the testimony.

Today the subcommittee considers two bills. H.R. 1717, which I introduced myself, would authorize the President to appoint Vice Adm. Hyman G. Rickover to the grade of admiral on the retired list.

H.R. 4955 would provide an increase in the interest on the permanent trust fund of the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home to a rate commensurate to that paid similar trust funds deposited with the U.S. Treasury.

I would like to take a moment before we get into specific bills to mention to the members of the subcommittee some other legislative items with which we will be concerned. We can look for an unusually heavy agenda for the subcommittee this year; and because, as mem­bers of this subcommittee, you may be receiving inquiries from col­leagues and constituents, let me briefly address some of the items.

Mr. Stratton. I apologize for taking the time to make this explanation. But we do have some very detailed work ahead of us, and I wanted the members to be aware of what lies ahead.

We will take up H.R. 1717, the bill to promote Admiral Rickover to full admiral.

H.R. 1717

[H.R. 1717, 93d Cong., 1st sess.]

A BILL To authorize the President to appoint Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, United States Navy retired, to the grade of admiral on the retired list

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in recognition of the vital contribution of Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (United States Navy retired) to our na­tional defense and in special recognition of his invaluable guidance, initiative, and perseverance in developing the nuclear submarine, the President is author­ized to appoint the said Hyman G. Rickover to the grade of admiral on the retired list with all the rights, privileges, benefits, pay and allowances provided by law for officers appointed to such grade.

Mr. Stratton. Our first witness is the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. John W. Warner.

Mr. Secretary, we welcome you and will be happy to have your statement.


Secretary Warner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

May I respectfully request that my remarks constitute the record, as opposed to the statement submitted yesterday, I think unofficially, from my office. This was prepared by the staff, and I did not have the opportunity to review it. Consequently, I wish to make several depar­tures from it.

I request that my remarks constitute my presentation.

Mr. Stratton. Without objection, that will be the case. Your re­marks will be incorporated in the record as you make them.

Secretary Warner. Thank you.

I view my responsibility here this morning as that of adviser to the Congress on a most unusual bit of legislation. I have always regarded my responsibility under the law, as Secretary of the Navy, as that of trustee of a very marvelous organization. Personally. I am a strict con­structionist. Through my tenure of office I have tried to preserve the fine traditions of this Department in every respect.

Admiral Rickover and I have worked together now for 4 1/2 years. He is truly one of the most remarkable individuals I have ever been privileged to know.

I,  of course, wish to speak objectively this morning. But I feel I should convey to the committee some of my personal viewpoints, hoping they will not unduly bias what I have to say in my advisory capacity. Nevertheless, I consider Admiral Rickover one of my two or three most valuable advisers. When I am confronted with an issue, particularly one which goes to the traditions of the Navy, invariably I consult him, for I realize he has perhaps the best corporate knowl­edge of any living individual concerning the history of the Depart­ment of the Navy, dating from 1922.

Admiral Rickover has throughout his career probed many areas, never confining himself to just a single subject.

He always provides a perspective, several viewpoints, then concludes with his own personal opinion, of which I am never in doubt whatso­ever that it reflects his honest conviction.

I find him a man of ultimate humility with respect to his own per­sonal life. That humility, of course, is not always present when he considers professional questions.

I would now. however, like to refer to the statement submitted yesterday to the committee, and read certain portions which I endorse entirely.

Admiral Rickover has made a unique contribution to our national defense, a contribution unparalleled in history. Exercising technical brilliance, tremendous initiative, and a single-minded sense of purpose, he has been for over 25 years a world leader in the development and application of nuclear propulsion for naval ships. He is aptly known as the father of the U.S. nuclear Navy.

History, as we know, does not reveal its alternatives. It seems clear, however, that this country in all probability would not have the quantity and quality of nuclear-powered ships it has in operation to­day had it not been for the foresight of Admiral Rickover.

Before atomic power was harnessed for propulsion, Admiral Rick­over had the vision to see that, the Navy must have nuclear power for its ships, particularly its submarines, regardless of the great difficulty and expense involved in achieving that goal.

The measure of his success in guiding the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program lies not only in the solid evidence provided by the more than 100 nuclear submarines of all types now in operation, and others to follow, or in the highly capable, nuclear-powered guided-missile sur­face ships and aircraft carriers in operation or under construction, but most strikingly in the safety record of this complex and potentially hazardous program.

Admiral Rickover has established and insisted upon continuous and scrupulous observance of safety measures by everyone involved in the nuclear propulsion program to control radioactive materials and to insure the safe operation of naval nuclear powerplants. He has pressed upon shipyards and industrial concerns involved in this program quality control measures of the highest order, which are probably un­matched anywhere else in history. There has never been a fatality or serious injury aboard a nuclear-powered naval ship of the U.S. Navy attributable to a nuclear propulsion plant accident.

Admiral Rickover has also established selection and training pro­grams required to attract highly qualified personnel needed to operate and maintain nuclear propulsion plants aboard Navy ships. He has administered nuclear propulsion programs totaling many billions of dollars, and in doing so has spared no effort in obtaining full value for every tax dollar spent on those important programs.

Because of the broad and continuous congressional interest in the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program, Admiral Rickover has been a fre­quent visitor to the various congressional committees. He has gained a reputation for complete candor in responding to questions.

Many of you on this committee are personally aware of this and are familiar with his outstanding attributes and his exceptional leadership qualities.

Mr. Chairman, the Department of the Navy, of course, would be in­directly honored by any honor bestowed upon Admiral Rickover.

That concludes my formal statement. I would be happy to respond to questions.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. I appreciate your statement, which is a very fine statement.

You have emphasized the things that stand out, in my judgment, in the admiral’s career—his very rigid quality control, the very tight oversight of production, which are items certainly most needed in the present circumstances.

The only thing I think perhaps has not been mentioned, (1) he would also regard as important as his concern for education and basic quality education not only of prospective naval officers, but citizens, as well.

I might add, in fairness to Admiral Rickover, that this legislation was introduced by me without any consultation with him, and he has on a couple occasions told me that he was not in favor of it. He said, in fact, he was not concerned with how many stars he had, he just wanted to do a job, and he said if he were a member of the subcommittee he would vote against it.

I told him I was glad he was not on the subcommittee.

In fact, at this hour he is testifying before Mr. Bennett’s subcommit­tee on naval ships.

I told him we were meeting at the same time, and he said, “You would be doing yourself a lot more good if you attended Mr. Ben­nett’s subcommittee instead of chairing this one.”

I had to respectfully disagree with him.

I think, as you say his humility, though we are sometimes not aware of it, is very real, and I think his feeling that doing the job is more im­portant than any rank is typical of him.

In my judgment, however, nobody deserves this honor any more than he does.

Secretary Warner. Those same sentiments were expressed to me, Mr. Chairman. Partially, for that reason, I omitted giving what I might call here an “unqualified endorsement” of this legislation.

As I go back through history and read the code, the rank of full admiral is conferred in those instances where command of fleets or subdivision of fleets, command of naval units to perform special or unusual missions, or performance of duty of great importance and re­sponsibility has existed.

Knowing of Admiral Rickover’s reluctance, following a practice I invariably have of consulting any officer before I appear before Con­gress with respect to that officer, you must stand on the statement I have given.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

Mr. Hunt, any questions?

Mr. Hunt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. No.

I think the Secretary has stated the case quite properly. Also, the chairman has outlined the position of the committee.

Certainly I know of no man in the history of this Nation who has made any greater contribution than has Admiral Rickover.

From my personal observation, and I know him well enough to call him. I can tell you I have never called him during the course of the day asking for information that he has not responded personally to that telephone call. He is perhaps one of the most dedicated individuals we have ever had.

If man was entitled to naval or by patriotic standards to be pro­moted to full admiral on the retired list, it is Hyman Rickover. I am fully in accord with your statement. I intend to support this legislation.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you.

Mr. Nichols.

Mr. Nichols. I want to echo everything the Secretary has said about this great American, Mr. Chairman.

I want to confess what I think is a little interesting story on my part.

Soon after I was elected to Congress I received a letter from the U.S.S. Will Rogers, I believe, signed “Rickover.” I scratched my head and I said, “Who is this guy Rickover?” And, wishing to do what­ever my duties were as a new Congressman, I wrote, “Dear Rickover, I appreciate your letter * * *” and so forth. And, was the egg on my face when this great individual came before this committee.

You just cannot say too much about what Admiral Rickover has meant to this committee, to the U.S. Navy, and to his country.

I certainly support the intent of this legislation.

I have some questions, Mr. Chairman, if I may pose them at this time.

Mr. Secretary, can you tell us exactly what the admiral’s status is with you now? Is he on board as an advisor? And when did he retire?

Secretary Warner. Admiral Rickover retired on February 1, 1964. I have brought with me the formal documents which I will submit for the record which reflect his place within the organization. Of course, the chairman and the members of the subcommittee, since you have personal knowledge of Admiral Rickover, know he is not one to pay a great deal of attention to the charts themselves. They in no way inhibit his activities.

Mr. Nichols. Mr. Secretary, that is an understatement.

Secretary Warner. Indeed it is. With some humility, I note that I seem to be at the top of this rather lengthy document, and he is at the bottom.

He reports through the 2-star admiral who is head of the Naval Ships Command Headquarters, in the guise of Deputy Commander for Nuclear Propulsion.

That chain goes through the Chief of Naval Material, Chief of Naval Operations, and ultimately to me.

Under a separate regulation, largely dependent on his role through the Atomic Energy Commission, he reports in a different manner. Here, I am quoting from a Naval Material Command document dated August 20, 1969; paragraph 5, section (c) :

In order to fulfill his responsibility to the Atomic Energy Commission the Deputy Commander for Nuclear Propulsion has direct access to the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Naval Material on mat­ters relating to Naval Nuclear Propulsion.

Mr. Nichols. My inquiry related to, is he on civilian status? Is he receiving civilian pay?

Secretary Warner. No. He is on the retired list, but recalled to active duty.

Mr. Nichols. Then I understand.

Now, my second question, Mr. Secretary, and Mr. Chairman: What precedent do we have to take a man on the retired list who is, I guess, out of the Navy, in some aspect, and promoting a man, whether to full general, or to admiral?

Secretary Warner. We will provide the complete details to the rec­ord. But thus far my survey has revealed that Adm. Richard Byrd of Antarctic fame, was promoted to the rear admiral list; but at that time he was not on active duty. In other words, he was retired, and remained in retired status.

[The following information was received for the record:]

Public Law 711, 69th Congress: Captain Reginald R. Belknap to Read Admiral retired.

Private Law 215, 73rd Congress: Captain Richmond P. Hobson to Rear Ad­miral both active and retired.

Private Law 348, 78th Congress: 1 July 1944 Rear Admiral Emery S. Land, Con­struction Corps, U.S. Navy, appointed Vice Admiral on retired list. Retired on 1 April 1937 while serving as Chief of Construction and Repair. Active duty dur­ing WW II.

Public Law 791, 80th Congress: Vice Admiral Raymond A. Spruance to Admiral. Full pay and allowances when retired. Formally served in the grade of Admiral.

Richard B. Byrd (retired as Ensign) : Public Law 389, 68th Congress author­ized him promotion to LCDR on retired list; Public Law 538, 69th Congress au­thorized him promotion to CDR on retired list; Private Law 1, 71st Congress authorized him promotion to Rear Admiral on retired list: Served on active duty many times as Rear Admiral, particularly during WAV II and after.

At the request of the Speaker of the House and the President Pro tem of the Senate in 1966, the President nominated and appointed Rear Admiral George W. Calver, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret) to the grade of Vice Admiral on the retired list. Vice Admiral Calver was then serving as physician to the legislative body of Congress.

In 1965 the President nominated Rear Admiral George G. Burkley, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret) for appointment to the grade of Vice Admiral on retired list while serving at the White House. Following confirmation by the Senate, Rear Admiral Burkley was appointed a Vice Admiral on 17 March 1965.

The appointment of both Calver and Burkley were under the President’s broad appointment authority vested in him by Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution.

Secretary Warner. About 2 years ago we had a tragedy in the Marine Corps when the man who had been designated to the position of Assist­ant Commandant, contracted terminal cancer. That was Gen. Keith McCutcheon. The Congress in its wisdom, justifiably, in my judgment, promoted him to four-star rank on the eve of his demise.

Mr. Nichols. I recall that legislation. I believe it came through this committee, Mr. Secretary.

Secretary Warner. Yes.

Mr. Stratton. If the gentleman from Alabama would yield, is it not true Admiral Leahy was a four-star admiral on the retired list in World War II, recalled to duty as the President’s Chief of Staff, and then promoted to five-star rank by Congress?

Secretary Warner. Yes. Admiral Leahy did serve as adviser to the President during World War II.

I would like to provide for the record the details of that case.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you.

[The following information was received for the record:]

Admiral Leahy retired on 1 August 1939 in the grade of Admiral. On 18 July 1942, in response to a memorandum from the President, the Secretary of the Navy recalled Admiral Leahy to active duty for service as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.

Pursuant to authority contained in the Act of December 14, 1944 (Public Law 78-482), Admiral Leahy was temporarily appointed a Fleet Admiral on the active list of the Navy. Upon termination of that appointment he was to have re­verted to his status of Admiral on the retired list. However, pursuant to the Act of March 23, 1946 (Public Law 79-333), he was appointed permanent Fleet Ad­miral on the active list and remained on the active list until his death on July 20, 1959.

Mr. Nichols. Mr. Chairman.

I want, to say, I do not know of a man of the courage and the char­acter of this great American. He has added immeasurably, I think, to the stature of the U.S. Navy and those who wear the U.S. uniform.

Mr. Chairman, I enthusiastically support this legislation.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you. Mr. Nichols.

Counsel reminds me, also, when General Chenault was on his death­bed. Congress passed a law promoting him to three-star general. And that was passed, I think, and signed into law in a single day and flown out to him. if I recall correctly. So there is ample precedent.

Mr. Young.

Secretary Warner. Mr. Chairman, may I remark for the record at this time, that having visited the admiral just this week, he is in vig­orous health. And none of these health situations should in any way influence the judgment of the committee.

Mr. Stratton. We were not suggesting a parallel.

Secretary Warner. He also likes a moment of levity and will ex­amine the record, I am sure, if he has the time, and thinks he has the time.

He is in marvelous health, and I have recommended he be retained for another 2 years. He is in superb health.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you.

Mr. Young. I want also, Mr. Chairman, to express my admiration for Admiral Rickover, the job he has done and does, for the United States. Knowing his great adverse reaction to those who do not use their time properly, or in fact waste time, I am not going to take more time of the subcommittee on accolades, but merely advise you I intend to support this legislation.

Mr. Dellums. I support the legislation. I have no other question.

Mr. Stratton. Mr. Mitchell.

Mr. Mitchell. Thank you. I certainly join with the others in my admiration of Admiral Rickover. I think all Americans are aware of his tremendous contribution to the U.S. Navy and to the country. I think we all agree he is tremendously deserving.

I understand from previous testimony ample precedent has been established.

Would you assure me, Mr. Chairman, that this is the only way Ad­miral Rickover could receive this honor he so greatly deserves, that is, through an act of Congress?

Mr. Secretary?

Secretary Warner. I refer to title 10, section 5231 which specifies that: “The President may designate officers on the active list of the Navy above the grade of captain, and in time of war or national emergency above the grade of commander.” The key word in this passage of the law, however is “active list.” Admiral Rickover is on the retired list.

Mr. Mitchell. I think this is very worthy legislation. I yield back the remainder of my time.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you.

Mr. Davis.

Mr. Davis. I join in the accolades to Admiral Rickover. I have not only seen and dealt with his great work, but also dealt with him on the other side of the picture.

It is very easy to see at a time when our Navy has had problems competing worldwide that it is only through the efforts of Admiral Rickover that we are as advanced as we are. It is truly through his efforts that we have come so far and can really say we are probably 5 to 10 years ahead of what we would have been but for Admiral Rickover.

Since we are promoting him on the retired list, and he has been re­called to active duty, does this change the chain of command within which he operates now?

Secretary Warner. If Congress enacted this legislation and were the President to sign it into law, in my judgment we would not change any of the formalities that presently exist.

He holds the rank of vice admiral at the moment. Quite frankly, gentlemen, the question of the number of stars is inconsequential with respect to his effectiveness in carrying out the responsibility.

Mr. Davis. The chain of command would still exist?

Secretary Warner. I would so recommend. I would entertain other alternatives. But I am not sure Admiral Rickover would encourage an amendment or charge to the existing chain of command.

Mr. Davis. I think this is truly a fine way to honor a man who has contributed to our Navy. I commend you for taking your time as Secretary of the Navy, today, to so honor and pay tribute to this great American.

Secretary Warner. It is. indeed, a privilege to me.

Mr. Stratton. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Davis.

Mr. Ford, do you have any questions?

Mr. Ford. Mr. Secretary. I think perhaps the record should be clear that the reason Admiral Rickover is retired is that he reached the statutory age limit for his grade, and he was retired and immediately recalled to active duty by the President.

Secretary Warner. Yes.

Mr. Ford. That has been extended on a number of occasions, be­cause of the age limitation.

Also, as you say, the stars do not make any difference to Admiral Rickover. But, I think the members might want to reflect that had it not been for the Congress of the United States, Admiral Rickover would have been retired a long time ago as a captain.

To clarify the point Mr. Nichols raised, since he is recalled and is now on active duty as a 3-star officer does he count against your allowance for three-star officers? When he is promoted under this bill will he count against your allowance for four-star officers?

Secretary Warner. That is quite technical, and I would like to pro­vide a precise answer for the record.

[The following information was received for the record.]

Should Vice Admiral Rickover be advanced to the grade of admiral on the re­tired list and continue on active duty, he will not be counted against any statu­tory strengths pertaining to active duty officers.

Section 5231 of title 10, United States Code, imposes statutory controls on the number of admirals and vice admirals on the “active list of the Navy” who may serve in those grades. The controls presently limit the number of such officers in those combined grades to 15 percent of the number of officers prescribed for rear admiral on active duty in the Line of the Navy. However, that limitation has been suspended by Executive Order No. 10886 of 7 September 1960 which will be effective until 30 June of the fiscal year in which the present national emergency ends.

A current administrative control imposed on the Navy by the Department of Defense limits the number of vice admirals on active duty to 44. Vice Admiral Rickover is presently included in that number. There is no similar control im­posed on the number of officers on active duty in the grade of admiral.

Section 5450 of title 10, United States Code limits the number of retired flag officers who may serve on activity duty to 10, except in time of war or national emergency. Because of the current national emergency, the limitation of 10 such officers does not apply. However, the Navy has imposed internal controls to live within the spirit of 10 U.S.C. 5450 with respect to the total number of retired regu- lar flag officers on active duty and reserve flag officers on duty for the administra­tion and training of the reserve.

Vice Admiral Rickover is included in the limitation of 10 flag officers described in the above paragraph and will confine to be so included if he is advanced to the grade of admiral.

Mr. Ford. Very well. Will you also provide for the record the pay difference between what Admiral Rickover gets and what he would get as a four-star officer?

Secretary Warner. I think it is about $5 in regular salary and the difference between $500 and $2,200 in allowances.

Again, it is a technical answer.

Mr. Ford. I think we should have it for the record. I think we all recognize, if he were interested in money, he could name his price on the outside.

Secretary Warner. The dollars, I am sure, are a matter of little sig­nificance to him. The Chief of Naval Operations and I have repeatedly offered him naval quarters and the usual assistance that goes with those quarters. He has declined in each instance.

Mr. Ford. Thank you.

Mr. Stratton. Mr. Young.

Mr. Young. I think we might clarify for the record whether that $5 is per annum or monthly or daily?

Secretary Warner. It is per month, Mr. Young.

Mr. Stratton. It will probably all go in taxes, anyway. Thank you very much.

I think in view of the new open policy of the Congress and the com­mittee, it might be appropriate at this time for the Chair to entertain a motion that this bill be favorably reported.

Secretary Warner. Mr. Chairman, as a concluding remark, I opened with the statement that I am here as an adviser. I think I have done my very best to advise the committee.

You should weigh heavily the precedent established in the event you use this as a means by which to honor him. Tradition, of course, is that the four-star rank carries with it a certain command structure when that officer serves on active duty. That command and control structure would not be present in this case.

Mr. Stratton. I get the impression, Mr. Secretary, that while you are endorsing this legislation, you are also suggesting a certain re­luctance. And I must say, I do not really share this reluctance. We have had four-star officers—Admiral Robertson, I think, and other of­ficers—called to active duty in World War II, as members of the gen­eral board. I don’t know exactly where the general board sits in the chain of command. But I think the fact that he is going to go up from three stars to four stars, really from that point of view is relatively unimportant.

As you related to Mr. Davis, he is a three-star admiral reporting to a two-star admiral at the present time. I don’t think that situation will be greatly changed by having a four-star admiral report to a two-star admiral.

Mr. Ford has reminded me that we have another example in the case of General Hershey, who was senior officer extended in one duty for a lengthy period of time, in a billet normally calling for a lesser rank, but was promoted to three stars.


In any event, Mr. Secretary, we are glad to have your advice. We appreciate your testimony.

Secretary Warner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am here to do what I can, to surface every possible consideration, and be of help.

I conclude on the note that I never met a man of whom I more could say, “He is totally dedicated to his country.” That is his only desire in life.

Mr. Stratton. Do I hear a motion?

Mr. Nichols. I move this committee give the bill a favorable report.

Mr. Hunt. I second the motion.

Mr. Stratton. The motion is made by Mr. Nichols, seconded by Mr. Hunt.

All in favor say “aye,” opposed, “no.”

The motion is carried. It is so ordered, and the bill will be favorably reported.

Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.


Published: Mon Nov 06 16:40:52 EST 2017