Remembering Admiral Charles R. Larsonby Senator Benjamin L. Cardin
Posted on 2014-07-31
CARDIN. Madam President, I wish to honor the extraordinary
and service of ADM Charles R. Larson. Admiral Larson passed away on
July 26, 2014, in his Annapolis, MD, home. He leaves behind his beloved
wife of 52 years, Sally, three loving daughters, and seven
Throughout his 40 years of service, Admiral Larson exemplified the ideals of a devoted public servant. After he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958, he served tours of duty aboard the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-la as an aviator and he served as a submariner on board the nuclear submarines USS Nathan Hale, USS Nathanael Green, and USS Bergal. After serving as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior and naval aide to the President of the United States, he returned to sea duty aboard the USS Sculpin. In 1990 Admiral Larson was promoted to the rank of four-star admiral. One year later, he assumed duties as commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Command.
Admiral Larson's career was marked with many notable accomplishments. His naval service as both an aviator and a submariner was unique and admired. In 1979, at the age of 43, he became the second-youngest admiral in the history of the U.S. Navy. Admiral Larson's service is also unique in that he served as both the 51st and 55th superintendant of the U.S. Naval Academy. Larson's second appointment as superintendant, while unusual, was something that the Navy desperately needed. Prior to his second tour of duty as superintendant, the Naval Academy was rocked by a cheating scandal. Admiral Larson was brought in to restore honor and integrity to his alma mater. The task was not an easy one, but he accomplished his mission by pursing two goals that he outlined when he took the job: ``No. 1: to develop character. No. 2: to prove the worth of the service academies to the people of the United States''. By the time his second tour as superintendant was over, Admiral Larson had succeeded in restoring the Naval Academy's reputation as one of America's premier educational and military institutions.
In closing, when I think of ADM Larson, I am reminded of a quote from another famous Admiral, ADM Leighton Smith: ``The United States Navy is the envy of every other navy in the world. They don't want to be like us--they want to be us.'' I believe this quote is true because of the outstanding devotion and competence of those who serve in our Navy. Ships and weapons systems are of little value if the service men and women operating them are not the very best. Admiral Larson understood this, and his service helped the Navy produce other exceptional leaders who have bravely defended and immeasurably enriched our Nation. Few could ask for a more honorable legacy.
I believe that Admiral Larson's legacy is one of duty, honor, and a sincere devotion to serving and improving the Navy he loved. I ask that all Members of the Senate join me in remembering this extraordinary man and his admirable years of service to our Nation.