William J. Crowe

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William J. Crowe
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|successor1 = Les Aspin|office2 = Chair of the Intelligence Oversight Board|president2 = Bill Clinton|term_start2 = January 20, 1993|term_end2 = May 26, 1994James R. Thompson>Jim ThompsonAnthony S. Harrington>Anthony Harrington|office3 = Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff|president3 = Ronald ReaganGeorge H. W. BushRobert T. Herres>Robert Herres|term_start3 = October 1, 1985|term_end3 = September 30, 1989John William Vessey Jr.>John Vessey|successor3 = Colin Powell|office4 = Commander of United States Pacific Command|president4 = Ronald Reagan|term_start4 = July 1, 1983|term_end4 = September 18, 1985Robert L. J. Long>Robert LongRonald J. Hays>Ronald Hays19252}}La Grange, Kentucky>La Grange, Kentucky2007181|2}}Bethesda, Maryland>Bethesda, MarylandRepublican Party (United States)>RepublicanUniversity of OklahomaUnited States Naval Academy {{small>(Bachelor of Science)}}Stanford University {{small>(Master of Education)}}{{nowrap>Princeton University {{smallMaster of Arts>MA, PhD)}}}}|allegiance = United States|branch = United States Navy|serviceyears = 1946–1989Admiral (United States)>AdmiralChairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffUnited States Pacific CommandUnited States Naval Forces EuropeAllied Joint Force Command Naples>Allied Forces Southern EuropeSubmarine Division 31{{USSSS-566}}|battles = Vietnam War|mawards = Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4)Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)Army Distinguished Service MedalAir Force Distinguished Service MedalCoast Guard Distinguished Service MedalLegion of Merit (3)Bronze Star MedalAir Medal (7)Presidential Medal of Freedom}}William James Crowe Jr. (January 2, 1925 – October 18, 2007) 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.

Early life and education

Crowe was born in La Grange, Kentucky, on January 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|6}} (SS-565). In 1958, he served as an aide to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. In 1960, Crowe took command of {{USS|Trout|SS-566|6}} (SS-566), homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, and served as commanding officer of that ship until 1962. From there, Crowe 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,WEB,weblink Former Joint Chiefs Chair Crowe Dies, October 18, 2007, Press Association, 25 June 2018, dead,weblink" title="">weblink June 9, 2007, 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, California.A long string of assignments followed: On July 10, 1985, Crowe was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS). He continued to serve as CJCS through the Bush administration until 1989, when he retired from active duty. He was the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to serve under the provisions of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, where he as chairman became (not the collegial body of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), by statute, the principal military adviser to the president, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. In 1989, Army General Colin L. Powell succeeded him as CJCS.

Later life and death

After he retired in October 1989, Crowe returned to the University of Oklahoma and William J. Crowe chair in geopolitics. Crowe surprised politicians when he endorsed Bill Clinton in the presidential election of 1992. 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 sat on the boards of Texaco, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, Norfolk Southern Corporation, and General Dynamics. He also served on the board of Emergent BioSolutions (then Bioport), a company that provided controversial anthrax vaccinations to the U.S. military in the 1990s. The deal was approved by the Clinton administration, with which Crowe had a previous relationship. At the time of his death, Crowe served as the chairman of the board of Global Options, Inc., an international risk-management and business solutions company headquartered in Washington, D.C.As he did at the University of Oklahoma in 1990–91, Crowe taught a seminar class on national security at the United States Naval Academy from 2000 to 2007.In 2004, Crowe was among 27 retired diplomats and military commanders called Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change who publicly said the administration of President George W. Bush did not understand the world and was unable to handle "in either style or substance" the responsibilities of global leadership.NEWS,weblink Retired Officials Say Bush Must Go, Brownstein, Ronald, June 13, 2004, Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2018, On June 16, 2004 the former senior diplomats and military commanders issued a statement against the Iraq War.Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change Official Statement {{webarchive |url= |date=October 11, 2007}} (June 16, 2004)Crowe died on October 18, 2007, at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland at age 82 due to a heart condition.NEWS,weblink Former JCS chairman Crowe dies at 82, October 18, 2007, Air Force Times, His funeral was held on October 31, 2007, at the Naval Academy chapel; Bill Clinton spoke. Crowe was buried later that day in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery. As of 2016, he is one of only two deceased former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to not be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His predecessor, John William Vessey Jr. died in 2016 and was buried in Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, Minnesota.


In 2008, a fellowship was established in Crowe's honor at the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce to support a former member of the U.S. armed forces who – like Crowe – is shifting from military to diplomatic service.In 2009, the International Programs Center at the University of Oklahoma established the Admiral William J. Crowe Jr. Award. This award is presented to an outstanding International and Area Studies (IAS) graduate every spring semester. The award recognizes an IAS student who has demonstrated high academic achievement, a commitment to public service, and a desire to pursue a career in global affairs.Also in 2009, the Xbox/ PS2 game, Heroes of the Pacific, was released. The main character's name is also William Crowe, though whether or not this was inspired by the real-life Crowe is unknown.

Personal life

Crowe was married to Shirley Grennell in 1954. They had three children.

Dates of rank

{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" align="center" width="100%"!Ensign!Lieutenant junior grade!Lieutenant!Lieutenant commander!Commander!Captain !O-1!O-2!O-3!O-4!O-5!O-6 (File:US Navy O1 insignia.svg|60px) (File:US Navy O2 insignia.svg|60px) (File:US Navy O3 insignia.svg|60px) (File:US Navy O4 insignia.svg|60px) (File:US Navy O5 insignia.svg|60px) (File:US Navy O6 insignia.svg|60px)!June 5, 1946!June 5, 1949!June 1, 1952!January 1, 1958!July 1, 1962!July 1, 1967{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" align="center" width="100%"!Rear admiral (lower half)!Rear admiral (upper half)!Vice admiral!Admiral!O-7!O-8!O-9!O-10 N/A* (File:US Navy O8 insignia.svg|60px) (File:US Navy O9 insignia.svg|60px) (File:US Navy O10 insignia.svg|60px)!June 1, 1974!August 1, 1977!September 26, 1977!June 6, 1980
  • At the time of Admiral Crowe's promotion, all rear admirals wore two stars, but the rank was divided into an "upper" and "lower half" for pay purposes

Awards and recognition

Crowe was awarded Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) honorary degrees from numerous universities, including University of Liverpool, The George Washington University, and Knox College.In 1989 Crowe appeared in an episode of the television sitcom Cheers (Season 7, Episode 17 "Hot Rocks"), where he played himself.{{IMDb name | nm2330958| William J. Crowe Jr. }}On 1990 he was the first recipient of the Distinguished Sea Service Award of Naval Order of the United States.In 1993 Crowe published his memoirs in the book The Line of Fire: From Washington to the Gulf, the Politics and Battles of the New Military.Crowe received four Defense Distinguished Service Medals and numerous military decorations from heads of state. In 1998, the American Atatürk Association honored Crowe with the "Atatürk Peace and Democracy Award".WEB,weblink Admiral Crowe Receives Ataturk Award, Turkish Press Review, April 28, 1998,weblink December 10, 2000, Following his retirement from the Navy, he was awarded a 2000 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor.WEB,weblink Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients, U.S. Senate,weblink July 14, 2004, List of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients#Military

Awards and decorations

(File:Submarine Officer badge.jpg|180px) Submarine Warfare Insignia (File:Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg|115px) Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
{| class="wikitable" bgcolor = "#cccccc"U.S. military decorationsnumber=3ribbon=Defense Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg|width=106}}|Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters)number=2ribbon=Navy Distinguished Service ribbon.svg|width=106}}|Navy Distinguished Service Medal (with two gold stars)number=0ribbon=U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg|width=106}}|Army Distinguished Service Medalnumber=0ribbon=Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg|width=106}}|Air Force Distinguished Service Medalnumber=0ribbon=Coast Guard Distinguished Service ribbon.svg|width=106}}|Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medalnumber=2ribbon=Legion of Merit ribbon.svg|width=106}}|Legion of Merit (with 2 gold award stars)number=0ribbon=Bronze Star ribbon.svg|width=106}}Bronze Star Medal>Bronze Star with Valor devicenumber=0type=oakwidth=106}}(File:Award numeral 7.png|20px)|Air Medal with bronze award numeral 7 (strike/flight awards) bgcolor = "#cccccc" align=centerU.S. Unit Awards106px)Presidential Unit Citation (United States)>Navy Presidential Unit Citation106px)|Navy Unit Commendation bgcolor = "#cccccc" align=centerU.S. non-military decorations106px)|Presidential Medal of Freedom bgcolor = "#cccccc" align=centerU.S. service and campaign awards106px) |China Service Medal106px)|American Campaign Medal106px) |World War II Victory Medal106px) Navy Occupation Service Medal#Pacific>Navy Occupation Service Medal with Pacific claspnumber=1ribbon=National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg|width=106}}|National Defense Service Medal with bronze service starnumber=1ribbon=Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg|width=106}}|Vietnam Service Medal with 1 campaign star106px) |Humanitarian Service Medal bgcolor = "#cccccc" Foreign military decorations, unit and campaign awards106px) Vietnam Distinguished Service Order>Republic of Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order 2nd Classnumber=0ribbon=Vietnamese Gallantry Cross, with palm.svg22px)|Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and Bronze Star106px) Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal>Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal First Class 106px) |Republic of Korea Order of the National Security Merit Tong-Il Medal left|106px) |Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic106px)|Knight Grand Cross of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand 106px) |Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation 106px) |Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal



External links

{{Commons category|William J. Crowe Jr.}} weblink >archive-date=October 15, 2007, Foreword by Adm. (ret.) William J. Crowe.
  • WEB,weblink Selected Works of Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., USN, 2013, Joint History Office, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC,
  • WEB,weblink William J. Crowe Papers, The Library of Congress,
  • {{C-SPAN|William Crowe}}
}}{{JCS}}{{US Ambassadors to the UK}}{{Authority control}}

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