Jeremy Michael Boorda
Jeremy M. Boorda
|Born||November 26, 1939|
South Bend, Indiana, United States
|Died||May 16, 1996 56) (aged|
Washington, D.C., United States
Arlington National Cemetery
(Section 64, Lot 7101 Grid MM-17)
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1956–1996|
|Commands held|| Chief of Naval Operations |
United States Naval Forces Europe
Allied Forces Southern Europe
Chief of Naval Personnel
Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight
Destroyer Squadron 22
|Battles/wars|| Vietnam War |
|Awards|| Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)|
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Jeremy Michael Boorda (November 26, 1939 – May 16, 1996) was a United States Navy admiral who served as the 25th Chief of Naval Operations. Boorda is notable for being the first American sailor to have risen through the enlisted ranks to become the Chief of Naval Operations, the highest-ranking billet in the United States Navy.
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.
Admiral is a four-star commissioned naval flag officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below fleet admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health Service do not have an established grade above admiral. Admiral is equivalent to the rank of general in the other uniformed services. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps has never had an officer hold the grade of admiral. However, 37 U.S.C. § 201 of the U.S. Code established the grade for the NOAA Corps, in case a position is created that merits the four-star grade.
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the highest-ranking officer and professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the CNO is a military adviser to the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the President. The current Chief of Naval Operations is Admiral John M. Richardson.
Boorda committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest after leaving suicide notes reported to contain expressions of concern that he had tarnished the reputation of the Navy, following a media investigation into the legitimacy of his having worn on his uniform two service ribbons with bronze "V" devices, which indicate the awards were for service in a combat zone. The "V" devices are by regulation only to be awarded to personnel who participated in actual combat, and Boorda had not. Boorda had removed the two ribbon devices on his uniform almost a year before he died and was generally perceived as having made a good faith error in believing he was authorized to wear the devices.
A service ribbon, medal ribbon, or ribbon bar is a small ribbon, mounted on a small metal bar equipped with an attaching device, which is generally issued for wear in place of a medal when it is not appropriate to wear the actual medal. Each country's government has its own rules on what ribbons can be worn in what circumstances and in which order. This is usually defined in an official document and is called "the order of precedence" or "the order of wearing." In some countries, some awards are "ribbon only," having no associated medal.
Boorda was born in South Bend, Indiana, to Jewish parents, Gertrude (Frank) Wallis and Herman Boorda.His family moved to Momence, Illinois, where his father had a dress shop. His grandparents had immigrated from Ukraine.
South Bend is a city in and the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 318,586 and Combined Statistical Area of 721,296. It is the fourth-largest city in Indiana, serving as the economic and cultural hub of Northern Indiana. The highly ranked University of Notre Dame is located just to the north in unincorporated Notre Dame, Indiana and is an integral contributor to the region's economy.
Momence is a city in Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,171 at the 2000 census, and 3,310 in 2010. It is part of the Kankakee–Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.
When he was 19, Boorda married Bettie Moran. Their first son David was born with severe disabilities. They had two more sons, Edward and Robert, and a daughter named Anna. [ citation needed ]Boorda and his Christian wife raised their children as Protestants.
Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).
Boorda dropped out of high school to enlist in the United States Navy in 1956 at the age of 17; it provided a structure he at first disliked but came to appreciate.He finished high school while in the Navy and attained the rate of Personnelman First Class. Boorda served a variety of commands, primarily in aviation. His last two enlisted assignments were in Attack Squadron 144 and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 11.
VA-144 was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy, nicknamed the Roadrunners. It was established as VA-116 on 1 December 1955, and redesignated VA-144 on 23 February 1959. The squadron was disestablished on 29 January 1971.
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 11 (VAW-11), nicknamed the "Early Elevens", was an airborne early warning squadron, whose mission was to provide services to fleet forces and shore warning networks, under all weather conditions. The squadron was also responsible for combat air patrol and Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. It was based at NAS North Island in San Diego, California, but had detachments serving aboard 13 attack carriers and antisubmarine carriers in the Pacific Fleet.
Boorda was selected for potential commissioning under the Integration Program in 1962, by which enlisted sailors were admitted to the navy's Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. Boorda was commissioned as an ensign upon graduating in August 1962. He first served aboard USS Porterfield as combat information center officer at the rank of lieutenant junior grade. In 1964, he attended the Naval Destroyer School in Newport.
Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, located approximately 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, 20 miles (32 km) south of Fall River, Massachusetts, 73 miles (117 km) south of Boston, and 180 miles (290 km) northeast of New York City. It is known as a New England summer resort and is famous for its historic mansions and its rich sailing history. It was the location of the first U.S. Open tournaments in both tennis and golf, as well as every challenge to the America's Cup between 1930 and 1983. It is also the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport, which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and an important Navy training center. It was a major 18th-century port city and also contains a high number of buildings from the Colonial era.
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank acquired the name. This rank has generally been replaced in army ranks by second lieutenant. Ensigns were generally the lowest ranking commissioned officer, except where the rank of subaltern existed. In contrast, the Arab rank of ensign, لواء, liwa', derives from the command of units with an ensign, not the carrier of such a unit's ensign, and is today the equivalent of a major general.
In October 1964, Boorda was assigned as weapons officer aboard the destroyer USS John R. Craig. The destroyer deployed to Vietnam in March 1965 and participated in combat missions and operations off the coast of Vietnam until it departed for San Diego on August 11. On August 15, Boorda was recommended for the Navy Commendation Medal by his commanding officer on John R. Craig. On August 28, the Commander in Chief, U.S Pacific Fleet, approved a lesser award, the Secretary of the Navy Commendation for Achievement (the service ribbon awarded to him was redesignated the Navy Achievement Medal in July 1967). The citation read: "for meritorious service while serving as Weapons Officer in USS JOHN R. CRAIG (DD 885) while operating in combat missions supporting the Republic of Vietnam from 10 April to 10 August 1965".
After the destroyer arrived in San Diego in September, Boorda served as commander of USS Parrot. His first shore tour was as a weapons instructor at Naval Destroyer School in Newport. In December 1971, after attending the U.S. Naval War College and also earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island, Boorda assumed duties as Executive Officer, USS Brooke, a guided missile destroyer. In October 1972, the Seventh Fleet, including Boorda's ship departed for Vietnam; his second tour began in November 1972 and ended on February 19, 1973. On April 8, the commanding officer of Brooke recommended Boorda for the Navy Commendation Medal (without the Combat "V"). The medal was approved by the Commander, Seventh Fleet, and the citation read: "for meritorious achievement as Executive Officer while attached to and serving in USS BROOKE (DEG 1) from 15 December 1971 to 20 February 1973 including combat operations".
That tour was followed by a short period at the University of Oklahoma and an assignment as head, surface lieutenant commander assignments/assistant for captain detailing in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D.C.. [ citation needed ] From 1975–77, Boorda commanded USS Farragut. He was next assigned as executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Washington, DC. He relieved the civilian presidential appointee in that position, remaining until 1981, when he took command of Destroyer Squadron 22. In 1983–84, he served as executive assistant to the Chief of Naval Personnel/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel and Training. In December 1984, he assumed his first flag officer assignment as executive assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, remaining until July 1986. His next assignment was commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight in Norfolk, Virginia; he served as a carrier battle group commander embarked in USS Saratoga, and also as commander, Battle Force Sixth Fleet in 1987.
In August 1988, Boorda became Chief of Naval Personnel/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel and Training. In November 1991, he received his fourth star and in December 1991, became Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH – Naples, Italy) and Commander in Chief, United States Naval Forces Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR – London). As CINCSOUTH, Boorda was in command of all NATO forces engaged in operations enforcing United Nations sanctions during the Yugoslav wars.
On February 1, 1993, while serving as Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe, Boorda assumed the additional duty as Commander, Joint Task Force Provide Promise, responsible for the supply of humanitarian relief to Bosnia-Herzegovina via air-land and air-drop missions, and for troops contributing to the UN mission throughout the Balkans. On April 23, 1994, Boorda became the 25th Chief of Naval Operations, the first who was not a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the first of Jewish descent.[ citation needed ]
On February 24, 1996, he attended the christening and launching of USS Pearl Harbor at the Avondale Shipyard located on the west bank of the Mississippi River near New Orleans, Louisiana. Boorda personally greeted 73 members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, and over 600 other military and civilian honorees who also were invited.
Boorda was a product of an enlisted-to-officer commissioning program in the early 1960s. This program known as the Integration Program was designed to provide an opportunity for enlisted personnel who possessed outstanding qualifications and motivation for a naval career to obtain a commission. Boorda was the first Chief of Naval Operations to have risen from the enlisted rates, one of only four such modern service chiefs (the others being Air Force General Larry D. Welch, General Alfred Gray, USMC and Army General John Shalikashvili). Upon assuming this position, Boorda immediately re-established the historic program, naming it "Seaman to Admiral", as part of a STA-21 initiative for young sailors to earn their commission and become naval officers. Boorda believed "people should have the opportunity to excel, and be all they can be, even if they don't get a perfect or traditional start."
Boorda was particularly interested in C4I initiatives to place command and control, communications, computers, and intelligence assets on naval ships. Essentially this manifested itself as more robust combat information systems, with improved satellite and communication links, as well as placing more defensive assets on traditionally non-combatant ships such as support vessels. Boorda initiated efforts during the proposal phase for the future LPD-17 amphibious class to be fitted with first-class C4I suites, radars, communications, and defense systems-anti-torpedo, anti-missile, and anti-NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) – along with blast-hardened bulkheads that will absorb and dissipate much more punishment than is possible with present designs. This effort was a departure from past efforts which relied on simply assigning a destroyer or cruiser to provide these functions for amphibious forces.The ship was commissioned January 14, 2006, nine years after Boorda's death.
Boorda also spearheaded efforts to change the U.S. Navy's officer fitness report, enlisted evaluation, and enlisted advancement systems. The new systems were more systematic and consistent. The systems also allowed a more concise rating of an officer's or sailor's advancement potential. This rating allowed a command to mark only 20% of officers or sailors as "early promotes", and set strict grading criteria for each evaluation mark. The new system linked each promotion marking to the advancement system.
Boorda signed a policy for naval oceanography (the first such revision in 10 years), which emphasized, among other things, that, in addition to deep-water missions, naval oceanographers must master the complicated tangle of the oceanographic/geographic subject areas that make up the science of the littorals, or near-shore areas, as well as the complex weather patterns characteristic of any coastal area.
Boorda's vision brought the navy's new focus on littoral operations into alignment with naval projection policies. But this new program also created a large backlog of high priority oceanographic, hydrographic, and geophysical survey requirements. To meet those requirements, the navy expanded its oceanographic efforts from traditional platforms (ships, boats, planes) to new technologies (satellites, remote sensors, etc.), and efforts to work with other national and international agencies.
In the wake of the Tailhook scandal, Boorda faced hostility from a majority of naval flag officers who reportedly believed he had betrayed the Navy by allying himself with Clinton administration demands for reform of the Navy's officer corps. Naval aviators, in particular, were incensed by the treatment of Stan Arthur (Vice Chief of Naval Operations and senior Naval aviator), whose nomination for the post of commander, United States Pacific Command was withdrawn by President Clinton at the behest of U.S. Senator David Durenberger.
Durenberger raised questions over Arthur's possible mishandling of sexual harassment allegations brought by one of the Senator's constituents, Rebecca Hansen, a female student naval aviator who had not successfully completed flight training.
The administration expected protracted hearings to ensue over Arthur's nomination, and the Pacific Command position to remain unfilled during this period. Arthur decided to retire on February 1, 1995. Boorda issued an unusual public defense of Arthur and his decision not to fight for the nomination, saying that "Stan Arthur is an officer of integrity ... who chose to take this selfless action ... in the interests of more rapidly filling a critical leadership position. Those who postulate other reasons for the withdrawal are simply wrong."
Boorda died on May 16, 1996,in the garden outside of his home at the Washington Navy Yard. Boorda reportedly left two typed and unsigned suicide notes in his home, neither of which was released publicly, but were said to have been addressed to his wife and to his public information officer.
Boorda was reported to have been distraught over a media investigation led by decorated U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran David Hackworth of Newsweek , into two miniature bronze letter "V" (valor) devices which Boorda had worn for years on two of his uniform's service ribbons (in the Army, the "V" Device is worn on a ribbon to denote a specific decoration was awarded for valor in combat, and in the Navy and Marine Corps, the Combat "V" is worn on a ribbon to denote a specific decoration was awarded for heroism in combat or direct exposure to combat).Photographs of Boorda in uniform showed him wearing the "V" devices on his Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal ribbons in the 1980s. However, Boorda stopped wearing the two "V" devices on these two service ribbons about a year before the Hackworth investigation, after Boorda had been informed by the Navy that he was not authorized to wear them.
Reports at the time of Boorda's suicide indicated that his wearing of the two Combat "V"'s on the two service ribbons had not been an intentional deception on his part, but had been an unintentional mistake that resulted from his following verbal instructions delivered to commanders during the Vietnam War by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt when he was Chief of Naval Operations, as well as conflicting interpretations and updating of Navy award regulations.Newsweek later reported that "Hackworth believed that wearing an undeserved combat pin for valor was a grave matter of honor in the military, 'the worst thing you can do.'" Boorda's suicide took place shortly before he was to have met with two Newsweek reporters that day regarding his wearing of the "V" devices. Boorda was said to have been worried that the issue would cause more trouble for the U.S. Navy's reputation.
Former CNO Elmo Zumwalt, who was Boorda's commander during the Vietnam War and who verbally authorized Combat "V"s for Boorda and many other sailors, wrote a letter to the effect that Boorda's wearing of the devices was "appropriate, justified and proper."However, wearing the Navy's Combat Distinguishing Device (Combat "V") on a specific decoration that may authorize the device requires written authorization for the device on a printed award citation.
Boorda was survived by his wife, Bettie Moran Boorda, four children and eleven grandchildren. Boorda was interred at Arlington National Cemetery on May 19, 1996, with a tombstone marked with the Star of David.On May 21, a public memorial service was held at the Washington National Cathedral that was broadcast nationally by CNN with tape delay broadcast on the C-SPAN network.
In June 1998, then Navy Secretary John Dalton put into Boorda's file a letter from Admiral Zumwalt stating it was "'appropriate, justified and proper' for Boorda to attach the Combat "V"s to the ribbons on his uniform." According to the Associated Press, "the Navy also modified Boorda's record to list the V's among his other decorations... recognition that they were earned."However, later that year, one of Boorda's sons requested a formal review of his father's service record. In a decision dated June 24, 1999, the Department of the Navy Board for Correction of Naval Records, the ultimate arbiter of whether or not Boorda was entitled to wear the Combat "V", determined that despite the additions to Boorda's personnel file, he was not.
Boorda's military decorations and awards include:
|Surface Warfare Officer Insignia|
|1st Row||Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster||Navy Distinguished Service Medal with three 5⁄16" Gold Stars||Army Distinguished Service Medal|
|2nd Row||Air Force Distinguished Service Medal||Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal||Legion of Merit with two 5⁄16" Gold Stars|
|3rd Row||Meritorious Service Medal with one 5⁄16" Gold Star||Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal||Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal|
|4th Row||Joint Meritorious Unit Award||Navy "E" Ribbon||Navy Good Conduct Medal with one 3⁄16" Bronze Star|
|5th Row||Navy Expeditionary Medal||National Defense Service Medal with one 3⁄16" Bronze Star||Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal|
|6th Row||Vietnam Service Medal with two 3⁄16" Bronze Stars||Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with three 3⁄16" Bronze Stars||Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with 3⁄16" Bronze Star|
|7th Row||Unidentified foreign decoration||Legion of Honour, Officer (France)||Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960– Device|
|Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge|
The Navy's annual Admiral Boorda award was established and first awarded in 2003.The award recognizes a Navy military and civilian individual. The 2015 award will be given to those who have made significant contributions towards Navy personnel readiness either through research or analysis or the direct application of analytical results to policies and laws.
Boorda has two sons and one daughter-in-law who are naval officers. He has four grandsons who served in the U.S. military: Peter Boorda was a petty officer in the United States Coast Guard, Andrew Boorda is an armor officer in the U.S. Army, Phillip Boorda is an amphibious assault vehicle officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, and Robert Dowling is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. Andrew and Phillip are twins, and like their grandfather, both graduated from the University of Rhode Island. In addition, Boorda has a step-grandson who also graduated from the University of Rhode Island and is a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army. [ citation needed ]
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Navy Secretary John H. Dalton placed in Boorda's file a recent letter from Elmo Zumwalt Jr., the chief of naval operations during the Vietnam War, that asserts it was 'appropriate, justified and proper' for Boorda to attach the small bronze Combat V's to the ribbons on his uniform.
Frank B. Kelso II
| Chief of Naval Operations |
Jay L. Johnson