Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having had the most positive impact on you and why?:
Of the 24 years, 6 months I spent on active duty in the U.S. Navy, the leader who was the most positive influence on me was my commanding officer, Captain Jeremy (“Bear”) Taylor. He skippered the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) during my time as Administrative Department head (1981-1983). In early 1983, our ship was preparing for an around-the-world voyage and a home port change from Alameda, California, to Norfolk, Virginia. The Coral Sea was an aging aircraft carrier commissioned just before the Korean War. Taking this ship around the world was like getting a ’57 Chevy ready for a cross-country trip. Our main propulsion and auxiliary plants were stretched to the limit. They had to stay online, support a crew of over 5,000, and launch aircraft in climates that ranged from the frigid northern coast of Alaska to the tropical extremes of the Indian Ocean.