Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Twenty Years Ago Yesterday...

ADM Hyman Rickover passed away 20 years ago yesterday, on July 8, 1986. Love him or hate him, no one can deny that he was one of a kind. While he may have been more trouble than he was worth the last few years of his Naval career, I don't think anyone else possessed the drive and determination needed to get the nuclear submarine from concept to launch as quickly as he did (authorized by Congress July 1951, USS Nautilus commissioned September 1954). For that, he deserves the thanks of a grateful nation.


Anonymous Paul said...


I raise my figurative white porcelain mug of bug juice to you. Thank you... and thanks I didn't have to interview with you.

7/10/2006 5:31 AM

Blogger SonarMan said...

"I believe it is the duty of every man to act as though the fate of the world depends on them. Surely no one man can do it all. But, one man CAN make a difference.”
-- Adm. H.G. Rickover

Admiral, you certainly lived by those words, as is evidenced by your enduring legacy to the US Navy, and the world. I don't know about anybody else, but I thank you. God bless you.

7/10/2006 9:34 AM

Blogger Wulf said...

63 years active duty - that's crazy.

I actually bought a book of his recently... - Education and Freedom - and I am hoping to get started on it this week.

I'll raise a glass to him tonight.

7/10/2006 3:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I qualified on the HGR; had my board on his birthday. It was a hell of a boat and Im proud to have earned my fish on her.

George (Spook(SG))

7/10/2006 5:53 PM

Blogger Trickish Knave said...

Rickover would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what NRO and all these Nuke officers have done with his program.

Rickover was a dick but he had to be to prevent the loss of life and equipment associated with this type of program. Just look at the haphazard way the Russians entered into the nuclear navy and you'll see what I mean.

Most nukes I know are miserable and nobody above them is going to do anything to make things better. Why else would an 8 year nuke get over $100k to reinlist?

The disheartening thing about it is that the nuke officers who finally get to the cone can't leave that mentality aft of frame 65. Creeping nukism isn't creeping anymore.

7/10/2006 6:28 PM

Blogger Station Commando said...

That's almost 75% of his life in the military. I love the Army but if I'm in for 20 years and 1 day, something's wrong. From what I've heard of him it sounds like he would make a good station commander, at least as far as the numbers go. But there's more than just the numbers. I'm not knocking him (don't really know that much about him) but I would be interested to hear from the people who served under him. Maybe I'll pick up a book about him one day. What would somebody who knows recommend.

7/10/2006 8:51 PM

Anonymous chrys said...

Hey - he was an aquarious working under water - call to perfection.

7/10/2006 9:39 PM

Anonymous EW3 said...

"Why else would an 8 year nuke get over $100k to reinlist?"

Because it costs about a million dollars to train men like this?
The 100K is chump change.

FWIW - I kind of remember Rickover (I was born in 52 and remember the Thresher very clearly). He was a giant, in a land of giants. People like Robert Moses were doing great things also. Back then it was not a bad thing to be a great man. Just go back to the movies from that period. Great men were revered.
The times they are a changing.

7/10/2006 10:26 PM

Blogger Skippy-san said...

Anybody want to expand about NRO changing and not for the better? I was an aviator and in part I went aviation because I did a nuke midshipman cruise on the Nimitz. All the nukes I met were miserable people. The aviators in the wing were having a great time........

7/11/2006 2:24 AM

Anonymous Cynic said...

Didn't SECDEF put a large garlic-soaked hickory stake in the lid of his coffin just to be sure Rickover stays there?

7/11/2006 10:06 AM

Blogger M. Simon said...

I was a surface nuke (ship to remain nameless).

All the officers and senior POs (save one) were total pricks.

They were very good at giving orders. Leadership seemed to have escaped them.

7/12/2006 1:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Writeup on Rickover:

Feel free to edit away guys, especially those of you who actually met Rickover.

Quick Rickover story: The Admiral was aboard for the alpha trials on our brand new boat, a 688 out of Groton. We had one very boisterous, strong-willed, Italian-blooded EOOW who at one point went into full arm-waving communication mode, very loudly giving orders to the guys in Maneuvering while doing a "crash back" on the surface.

Rickover went ballistic and just let the EOOW have it, as -- being in his 80's at this point -- he just didn't like all the noise. Of course, he did this in front of those in maneuvering; to say the least, our hot-blooded EOOW (and a truly great guy, by the way) was not amused.

Not long later, this same EOOW went through a scram drill with Rickover still in attendance. As you might imagine, the Kindly Old Gentleman had seen a scram recovery or two in his time, and wasn't all that attentive to this one.

Perhaps trying to lighten the mood he'd set while dressing down the EOOW in front of his guys, right in the middle of the recovery Rickover gestures toward the throttleman -- as it happens, a good-looking kid -- and remarks while pointing at the guy's appropriately name-stenciled jeans: "Tell him to put his phone number on his pants -- he'll do better with the girls."

Purple-faced with rage, the EOOW turns to and glowers at Rickover -- who is sitting in the EOOW's chair -- and shouts: "Do you want me to do that Admiral...or do you want me to continue the recovery..?!?"

LOL!!! What spunk!! I still laugh just thinking about it.

Anyway, it then became Rickover's turn to turn purple. But, luckily for my friend & roomate the EOOW, one of Rickover's senior NR henchmen literally jumped in between the two of them and curtly 'ordered' the EOOW to continue the recovery.

And that was that. No later further comments...just a couple of purple faces for a good long while.

The short story is actually mildly longer, as the Admiral later mistook me, the submerged crash back EOOW, for my friend, and gave a fairly odd bit of advice that will have to remain untold...I have nothing but respect for The Admiral, and wouldn't want his remarks miscontrued.

8/25/2006 9:10 PM

Blogger beebs said...

I interviewed with the kindly old gentleman in late 1978.

We were warned ahead of time not to mention football. One of his first questions was, "Midn. Beebs, do you play football?"

Figuring I shouldn't lie to the Admiral, I said, "Yes, Sir, I play battalion football."

He yelled, "The last football game I saw was in 1921. I don't have time for football and neither do you!"

He asked a few more questions and threw me out of his office.
I figured I would go Naval Aviation.

But I was selected as a nuke. The rest is "TINS".

11/22/2007 12:24 PM


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