Sunday, February 1, 2009

Admiral James S. McFarland Passed Away Six Years Ago Today - We Miss You, Sir !

A native of Portland, Oregon, Rear Admiral McFarland graduated from Lewis and Clark College. His Naval career began in 1953 when he enlisted in the Naval Reserve. As a Third Class Petty Officer (YN), he was commissioned in 1957. After Communications School in Newport, Rhode Island, he spent four years in Hawaii working in Signals Security and making training and communications readiness visits to over 200 U.S. Navy ships. Staff duty in Washington, D.C. with Commander Naval Security Group followed from 1961-1963. This was followed by operational assignments at Karamursel, Turkey, and on USS Belmont (AGTR-4) as the Special Operations Officer.

In 1967, he left the Staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet for Vietnam, where he served primarily in support of U.S. Marine Corp Forces in support of tactical ground operations. The Armed Forces Staff College was next followed by a tour as Middle East Operations Officer. In 1971, he became the first Office-In-Charge of the Navy's Current Support Group (CSG) in Rota, Spain where the unit earned the Navy Unit Citation for its support of the U.S. SIXTH Fleet during the Yom Kippur War and the 1974 Cyprus crisis. He returned to the Staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet from 1975 to 1979. His next assignment was as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Misawa, Japan where he assumed command on 5 March 1979.

In 1981, Rear Admiral McFarland assumed duty as Chief, Naval Forces Division, at the National Security Agency (NSA); and in 1983, was assigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Cryptology, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet; Director, Naval Security Group Pacific (DIRNSGPAC). Early in 1985, he was selected for Flag Rank. His last assignment was as Commander of the Naval Security Group Command (CNSG) from August 1986 to July 1990. Rear Admiral McFarland was also assigned as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI) for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).

Some of his personal decorations include the Bronze Star with Combat distinguishing device, Meritorious Service Medals and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

RADM McFarland was married to the former Paula Ann Wiise of Macon, Georgia for twenty-five years. He has six children, Scott, Brett, Suzanne, Jeffrey, Matthew, and Kelly. Mrs. Paula McFarland resides in Annapolis, Maryland.


Frank Bartow said...

Mike: Leadership was the admiral's hallmark and we have all learned - and continue to learn - from his mentorship.
Gone but not forgotten!

Scott said...

In 1981 I had the honor of working for ADM James S. McFarland. I along with others joined in on a pool to name his son Scott while working for Captain MAC in A24 Division at the NSA. I won the contest and ADM McFarland took my wife and I to a place called Through the Garden. Great Sandwiches and much more. I remember he ask me to coach the Navy Football Team and darned if we did not win the Captains Cup Trophy for ADM MAC. He took me to see the Colonel of CCS at NSA who's team the Navy had just beat. He wanted to know who the civilian was on our team. I told the Colonel we had no civilian on our team. She was the only female on our team and she started. Go Navy. ADM MAC was so proud I had allowed her to play and start. The Marines till this day still refer to that November Saturday as Black Saturday. Navy 36 Marines 6.

It was an honor to win the Captians Cup for Admiral McFarland.

S. Boyle, CTAC(SW), Retired.

Jim said...

Jim Downes: I know Adm McFarland when he was Ens. in Wahiawa, HI. Then helped him get his house ready for his family in the 60's in Rockville, Md. He liked to throw a football so hard there was no way I could catch it. Loved pizza with fresh tomato on it and when I saw him he always had a smile on his face. I babysat his kids. He came to dinner at my fathers Capt. Robert Downes after Vietnam and was different but he still had a big smile when I saw him what a grip. Boy could he throw a football. My Mother saw him at a seminary of all the "code breaks" here in Washington. He was a good friend.

Mike Rich said...

Admiral McFarland was my first CO when I was a young Seaman. He was an outstanding example of leadership for all who served during his tenure. I recall seeing him several years later (aboard the USS Midway) after I'd been promoted a few times, and he recognized me from my early years in Misawa. I also recall his visit to the watchfloor on Christmas Eve dressed as Santa when he delivered Egg Nog for all on watch. As has already been said - Gone but not forgotten!

Mike Lambert said...

@ Mike Rich

Thanks very much for the comment Master Chief. Greatly appreciated !!

Martin Sawyer said...

Mike, I was on a mid-watch in 56 division the Christmas eve/Christmas he delivered eggnog. I learned a very important life lesson in leadership that night. If someone doesn't know what that is, then that person has a lot of learning to do. He made RADM for a solid reasons. People skills and leadership were probably a just an important couple.