Saturday, January 22, 2011

A note on Admiral Ernest J. King

Admiral King was a harsh taskmaster; he did not suffer laziness or shoddy performance gladly.  He could be publicly abusive of subordinates to an extent the code of military command behavior does not countenance; praise he dispensed rarely and in private.  One of his daughters said of King, "He is the most even tempered man in the Navy.  He is always in a rage." Sometimes he seemed to go out of his way to find fault.  On the bridge of a ship, a junior officer said, "he was meaner than hell."  But those who measured up to his exacting standards knew a different King.  He could be impulsively considerate and generous; he looked after his own people; officers he relieved would be given obscure but honorable billets; his flag lieutenants were able to humor him and be relaxed about it.  "I suppose that his reputation was that he was difficult," said an officer who worked closely with him. "I never thought so." And another: "I never had a harsh word from Admiral King.  I never met a finer gentleman."

From COMMANDER IN CHIEF - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his lieutenants and their war
Eric Larrabee

7 comments:

General Quarters said...

Where are the old school fighting admirals? Have they all gone extinct, displaced by murmuring metrosexuals? Can anyone name a gruff, straight shootin,' brass balled, competent fighting man still wearing the stars today? Anyone?

Walt Kowalski wants to know.

Anonymous said...

Stan Arthur was a straight shooter.

Anonymous said...

Admiral Mark Buzby. Look him up.

Rubber Ducky said...

Of the past... Stan Arthur. Ron Thunman. Frank Kelso. Bill Owens. Yogi Kaufman. I'd go to war with any of these guys.

Now: Jim Stavridis. John Harvey. Ditto.

An ancient proverb: Each generation thinks itself the worst.

General Quarters said...

VADM Al Konetzni (ret. 2004), a mentor to many.

Anonymous said...

I second the vote for Mark Buzby! A true seaman and superb leader.

Anonymous said...

Stan Arthur ++++; Mark Buzby +; Lobster Fitzgerald ++; Jim Stavridis 1/2+