[ RadSafe ] Navy to Host Memorial Service for Former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral James D. Watkins

Roger Helbig rwhelbig at gmail.com
Thu Aug 2 05:19:53 CDT 2012

Retired Admiral Watkins also served as Secretary of Energy from 1989-1993
August 01, 2012
Navy to Host Memorial Service for Former Chief of Naval Operations
Admiral James D. Watkins

            A memorial service for the 22nd Chief of Naval Operations
(CNO), Adm. James D. Watkins, will be on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, at 11
a.m. EDT at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate
Conception Church in Washington, D.C.

            Watkins passed away on July 26 at the age of 85, and is
survived by his wife Janet and six children.

            Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and current Chief of
Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, will both participate in the

            "Adm. Watkins served the nation leading Sailors during
some of our nation's most trying and challenging times from 1949 to
1986," said Greenert.  "His strategic approach to safeguarding our
national security and interests at sea set a precedent for generations
to come.  Adm. Watkins was an innovative thinker who pushed our Navy
forward.  He was known for developing a Maritime Strategy for dealing
with the U.S.S.R. and improving the quality of life for Sailors and
their families.  We will always remember the life and honorable
service of a great shipmate."

            A 1949 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Watkins became
CNO June 30, 1982 and served until June 30, 1986 during the height of
the Cold War.  A career submariner, he also commanded the Navy's Sixth
Fleet in Naples, Italy, and later the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl
Harbor.  He also served as Chief of Naval Personnel and Vice Chief of
Naval Operations.

            "Few have lived as full or accomplished a life as Adm.
Watkins," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.  "Although we mourn
his passing, we celebrate his accomplishments not only as a consummate
naval officer and public servant, but also as a man who understood the
importance of taking care of the entire Navy family."

            As CNO, Watkins led a Navy that operated in support of
national objectives in Grenada, Lebanon, and the Persian Gulf.
Appreciating that changes that were occurring in the Soviet Union at
the end of the Cold War, he initiated a review of American naval
strategy.  He precipitated a renaissance in naval operational thought
that encouraged a new generation of officers to become more deeply

            After retiring from the Navy, he led a very active life.
In 1987, he chaired President Reagan's Commission on the HIV epidemic.
 Known as "The Watkins Commission," it investigated the AIDS epidemic
and eventually recommended support for increased AIDS research, laws
protecting HIV-positive people, and treatment of drug addiction.

            On March 9, 1989, Watkins was sworn in as Secretary of
Energy by President George Bush.  As energy secretary, he developed a
10-point plan to strengthen environmental protection and waste
management activities, established the Office of Environmental
Restoration and Waste Management, and recognizing America's dependence
on foreign oil, instituted policy designed to increase oil production
and decrease consumption to counter Iraqi-Kuwaiti oil losses caused by
the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.  He remained in his position as energy
secretary until 1993.

            The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy became the second
presidential commission chaired by Watkins.  Established by The Oceans
Act of 2000 on Jan. 20, 2001, the commission was charged with
developing a comprehensive national ocean policy including governance,
research, education, marine operations, stewardship, and investment.
It conducted hearings and research before producing its final report,
"An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century" on Sept. 20, 2004.

            Media interested in attending the funeral mass should
contact Jacquelyn Hayes, Director of Communications for the Basilica
of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, at 202-281-0615.
The Basilica is located at 400 Michigan Ave., Northeast, Washington,
D.C., and is easily accessible by car and by Metro on the red line at

            Additional news media queries may be addressed by calling
the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342.

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