Sunday, October 10, 2010


"- the central virtue of moral life - is being able to judge the limitations of knowledge.  Though there is no substitute for intelligence, it is not enough.  People may be intelligent but lack the courage to act.  To find a purpose in life, one must be willing to act, to put excellence in one's work and concern for what is right beyond personal safety."

Admiral Hyman G. Rickover


Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

Admiral Rickover conducted himself in the same manner that he required anyone in the Nuclear Engineering Dept on a nuclear powered Submarine to conduct themselves. I speak of professionalism in their chosen field and the way they conducted themselves in observing reactor safety. The man, his intelligence, and his dedication to performance is well beyond most men's capabilities. I credit his Nuclear Power Program as the main force in defeating the Soviets in the Cold War. Engineers did not do it alone, but they are the ones that powered us through the ocean with complete reliability for all those years, so we could bring our weapons to bear on any enemy that threatened the way of freedom and liberty.


Steve said...

Anecdotes of Admiral Rickover’s brilliance, demanding nature and his implicit toughness are legion, and one has to believe most of them are true. You didn’t have to LIKE the man, but you sure as hell had to PERFORM to his standards if permitted to join his corner of the US Navy.
I had a grandfather who reminds me to this day of ADM R. Granddad also was an engineer (BSEE, Penn State, 1905) when that science was in its infancy. He electrified some of Pittsburgh’s steel mills and then worked to bring DC electricity to rural Pennsylvania, finding himself somewhere in the middle of the Edison-Westinghouse argument about which current- modulation was best suited to America at the time. Granddad went with the storage battery crowd – and lost the argument.
…Except in submarines, which is not to mention that HG R’s and my Granddad’s paths ever crossed – rather that they shared a common appreciation for the same energy source: the Universe.
Flinty, intolerant of incomplete work and excuses for its incompleteness, the hardest worker/thinker I can envision, ADM Rickover, Granddad Eichelberger and Ebenezer Scrooge could not have played a hand of bridge for two reasons: they would have considered it a gross waste of good time for thought and invention—and among them it was impossible to find a ‘dummy.’
Nonetheless, I believe they all now work gainfully for the Great Architect of the Universe, taming lightning bollts and quietly sharing the process with those who dream of such challenges.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...


Thanks for that comment. I really appreciate it. Sounds like your Granddad was quite a man !!