Part One: Rosenberg, David Allen. Part Two: Rosenberg, David Allen. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, : All rights are reserved by the author and publisher. No flag officer in the US Navy in the twentieth century spent more time contemplating and practicing strong, effective leadership than Arleigh Albert Burke. A Colorado boy imbued with integrity, self-discipline and strong principles by his farmer father and teacher mother, Burke graduated Annapolis inthe very year the US Naval Academy faculty compiled the first textbook on naval leadership. That book listed the essential qualities of a naval officer as personal dignity, honor, courage, truthfulness, faith, justice, earnestness, assiduity, judgment, perseverance, tact, self-control, and simplicity.
Loyalty up and down was critical because of the natural independence and self-reliance of the American sailor, who came from a society with no established system of rank and caste. Naval officers had to earn the respect of their men through strong leadership.
Even as a young officer, Arleigh Burke understood that technology was constantly transforming the navy, and that he needed in-depth knowledge, both technical and professional, to succeed. During three years as an en and lieutenant j. This background exposed Burke to the most advanced navy technologies of his time, and would prepare him as CNO to promote the development of nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and guided and ballistic missiles.
It would also lead him to support broader educational opportunities for naval officers, including the post graduate scholarships that came to bear his name. Rather than resent the extra work, his crew loved the challenge, especially when Captain Burke let them take the ship to sea out of San Diego with no officers directing them. Kept in an ordnance asment in Washington for a year after Pearl Harbor, Burke arrived in the Solomon Islands in Marchin command of a destroyer division. Within two months, he had completed a total reassessment of the surface warfare tactics employed in the night actions off Guadalcanal the year.
Tested by others in combat that summer, these tactics were employed by Burke commanding Destroyer Squadron 23 in victories at Empress Augusta Bay and off Cape St. George in November. He worked immensely hard to master the ability to understand and direct forces rather than platforms. He also developed an understanding of intelligence as key to achieving victory that served him well for the remainder of his career.
The next nine years saw Burke exercise his staff leadership much more than his proven talent for command at sea. One other key leadership quality also emerged: his commitment to long range planning, manifested in his ability to envision the future navy and its requirements. In his report he championed the continuing need for loyalty to and interest in subordinates, tightness in command, and stability in personnel asments and operations.
He argued that: "We have to maintain in ourselves, and imbue our juniors with an ardor to keep our Navy in front.
We must pass along a willingness to think hard--to seek new answers --to chance mistakes--and Burke escort classified 'mix it up' freely in the forums and activities around us to promote knowledge. From that knowledge we can inspire our country to have faith in us--not because the organization of the military forces is the only place to put our national faith, but because we have discharged our responsibilities in such a manner that we have justified confidence in the effective manner in which we operate. He championed nuclear power in all future US submarines as well as in aircraft carriers and surface combatants, created the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program that brought Polaris submarines from drawing board to deployment in five years, backed missiles for air defense, and started communications and intelligence programs, particularly satellites, that transformed the way the Navy communicated and tracked potential adversaries.
He also strongly emphasized the professional bonds among navies by establishing the Naval Command Course at the Naval War College that continues to bring senior foreign naval officers to Newport and expand allied and friendly links among naval officers.
As CNO, Burke understood that the United States Navy was an immense bureaucracy, and that it was very hard, if not impossible, to communicate his desires, much less make his commands felt. Instead, he called the action officers to his office and convinced them of the importance of what he wanted.
This was "the main reason why" Burke believed that as CNO he could "influence things but I must get things done by persuasion and Burke escort classified things do not get done which I think should be done. He was known to regularly work seven days a week, and to inspire his seniors and encourage his subordinates to do all they could to match him. Yet his service was marked with a personal humility that kept his ego in check. Nevertheless, each of the three times that President Eisenhower called upon Burke to serve as CNO, his sense of duty trumped his personal desires.
It highlights the special nature of leadership in a seagoing organization, where the environment demands large measures of self-reliance, flexibility and independence of thought and action: "We believe in command, not staff.
We believe we have 'real' things to do. The Navy believes in putting a man in a position with a job to do, and let him do it--give him hell if he does not perform--but be a man in his own name.
We decentralize and capitalize on the capabilities of our individual people rather than centralize and make automatons of them. This builds that essential pride of service and sense of accomplishment. If it in a certain amount of cockiness, I am for it. But this is the direction in which we should move.
At the time of his death, half a century after the end of World War II, Arleigh Albert Burke was best remembered by both naval officers and naval historians as the United States Navy's premier destroyerman. George won him a Navy Cross and a permanent place in naval legend.
Burke's contributions to twentieth century American naval history, however, go far beyond his wartime exploits in destroyers. His multi-faceted career began on battleships but finished with battles to build and maintain super carriers, nuclear powered submarines, the Polaris missile and the Navy's role in space. Even during World War II, he spent more time on the staff of the commander, fast carrier Task Force 58 helping to shape naval aviation than he did in destroyers.
In fact, during his thirty-eight years commissioned service, Burke spent more time ashore than at sea. He had command at sea for a total of only two and a half years before being selected for Rear Admiral in Decemberand then served barely seventeen more months in three subsequent sea-going flag command asments. By contrast, Burke spent a total of eight years in four shore tours with the Bureau of Ordnance between andand nine years in three different posts in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations after World War II.
The last six of these were spent as CNO, in an unprecedented and unequalled three terms in the Navy's top uniformed post. It is not surprising that Arleigh Burke's wartime surface combat exploits have overshadowed his postwar accomplishments creating and defending navy strategy and programs.
Valor in battle als a strength of will and character that tends to grow larger as the years pass, plus success in combat conveys a sense of conclusive accomplishment. Peacetime achievements ashore are difficult to measure and their impact is all too easily buried in paperwork, bureaucracy and secrecy.
Yet physical courage in combat is not always accompanied by the strength of mind and moral courage needed to defend and advance both institutional interests and strategic principles in bureaucratic skirmishes over money, people or ideas. As impressive as Burke's combat victories were, it was in his long hours ashore fighting bureaucratic battles where he achieved his most lasting impact on the Navy.
His postwar service helped insure that the nation would continue to exploit the strategic advantages of the oceans, and that the Navy could keep its own counsel on budgets, programs and personnel, if not operations. To a remarkable degree, in fact, the story of Arleigh Burke's naval career is the story of the U.
Navy in the mid-twentieth century. Arleigh Burke became a naval officer under rather unusual circumstances and drove himself hard to prove he had not taken on more of a challenge than he could handle. Born 19 October on the family farm three miles east of Boulder, Colorado, he was the grandson of a Swedish immigrant, Anders Petter Bjorkegren, who shortened his name to Gus Burke before becoming the first baker in Denver. Arleigh's father, Oscar, was a farmer who wanted his first-born son to inherit his property and his dreams.
Burke's mother, Clara Mokler, was of Pennsylvania Dutch stock, and put a high premium on education. She encouraged her son to follow his own destiny rather than limit his vision to the acres Oscar owned, or rented and hoped to buy. To his father's distress, young Arleigh went to State Preparatory High School in Boulder in and pursued a college course. Encouraged by his teachers, inspired by the history books he read, and stimulated by the outbreak of the First World War, he developed an interest in a military career.
The flu epidemic of closed high school during his junior year. After a brief sojourn on a threshing crew, seventeen year-old Arleigh decided to compete for an appointment to the Naval Academy. The night before his congressman's competitive exam, he rode into Boulder because it looked like snow the next day and slept in the stable with his horse. The snow became a blizzard.
Many students who were academically far better prepared stayed home, but Arleigh took the test and got the appointment. With school still closed, he studied for the Academy entrance examination with the help of his teachers and some University of Colorado professors, and for a few months attended a cram school run by a former congressman in Columbia, Missouri.
He passed the exams, and, barely escaping quarantine when his father contracted smallpox, boarded the train east. Burke entered the Naval Academy class of on 26 June Midshipman Burke, the farm boy who had always hated the smell of cows, felt immediately at home in the Navy.
He enjoyed competing "in just such an organization in which the rules were strict, known and observed. He was not an outstanding student, an uncommon athlete nor an obvious, charismatic leader, but he quickly won the respect of his classmates.
Energetic and dependable, he used his capacity for hard work and self-discipline to establish a solid record. At graduation, he stood a respectable 70th in a class of One notable success at Annapolis was the courtship which began on a blind date during his Third Class sophomore year.
Roberta Gorsuch was the Kansas-born and raised daughter of a Washington businessman, and Burke felt immediately drawn to her. She was pretty, playful, kind, candid, and easy to talk to.
She quickly came to occupy a great deal of Burke's free time and attention. Her puckish sense of humor could shake him loose from the black moods which sometimes plagued him, and her inner serenity and strength, rooted in a Christian Science faith he admired but did not share, steadied and reassured him. Worried that duty at sea would take him from her side for too long, First Classman Burke even requested a commission in the Marine Corps in Decemberfollowing a rousing address by Major General Commandant John A. Bobbie's lack of enthusiasm for this abrupt change in plans, and Burke's own growing naval ambitions led him to withdraw the request a month later.
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