Sunday, February 1, 2015

Admiral James S. McFarland - Gone 12 Years - NOT FORGOTTEN

LCDR James McFarland - Bronze Star Winner for combat action in Vietnam.
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  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, 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 (for his time in Vietnam), Meritorious Service Medals and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

RADM James S. McFarland passed away on Saturday, 1 February 2003, at 8:00 p.m. At the Admiral's request, there was no funeral service. His ashes were scattered on the beach, near his Annapolis home.

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.


tom stevens said...

the best of the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Lambert said...

Admiral Stevens

Thank you for your comment. I agree.


Anonymous said...

Admiral McFarland was an extraordinary leader. He had complete command of issues, large and small, but never came across as a micromanager... just tremendously interested in whatever people were doing. When he visited a command, he didn't rush in, get a bunch of briefs and rush out, like he was too important to be there. He actually "visited" in the old fashioned sense. He talked WITH the sailors and the junior officers, not TO them. Even though SECGRU had dozens of field sites in those days, he visited them all routinely, and knew the people, by name. He knew the spouses, he even knew a lot of the kids. You liked having him around.
He knew the issues and did not hesitate to engage with senior navy leaders on issues that impacted SECGRU or SECGRU sailors.
He was the measuring stick.
Lee Cardwell

CWO4 Brian Ashpole, USN-Retired said...

Admiral McFarland was one of the main reasons (along with some salty CPOs and LPOs) that convinced me to make the Navy a career.

There is something about a commanding officer of one of the largest NSG sites in the world remembering the name of a high speed 20 year old CTR3 that he had only met once during the check in process. This was over a year later.

Fast forward 8 years to the USS Leyte Gulf where I am the LPO/Workcenter Supe. He came to visit us in Mayport, FL because of a piece of specialized equipment that we had.

He first had breakfast with our CO and then came to SSES where we were mustered up with our DIVO (Lt. Paul Solis) and our LCPO (CTRCS(SW) Mike Henson.

He spoke to each one of us about where we had served and what our plans were. He came to me and said "I know what PO Ashpole has been up to." The look on my CO's face was priceless.

His short time with us was impactful. He made sure that each and everyone that was around him was a valued member of the team.

It taught me a valuable lesson in leadership and one that I tried (and sometimes failed) to measure up to. I made it a point to know each and every Sailor that I was responsible for, his or her family names, where they were from, and at least one thing that they were passionate about.

I have a soft spot for Sailors (even in retirement) and try to stay engaged with them.