Best Friends LTC Tom Fish (USA), CDR Uchiyama (JMSDF), LCDR Maeda, LT Sekiguchi (JMSDF)
Best Moment Obtaining a personal tour of the submarine construction shipyard in Kobe then commandeering a ferry for a personal survey tour of Kobe port.
Riding in the side-car Harley in the Black Ship Festival parade through the narrow streets of Shimoda lined with 10s of 1000s of flag-waving and cheering Japanese!
Personal chats with Amb "Fritz" Mondale either driving or flying down to the aircraft carrier USS Independence in Yokosuka. He gave me his personal account of Operation Eagle Claw (failed Iranian Hostage Rescue attempt) while he was in the oval office with President Carter.
Worst Moment Briefing misplacing the American Ambassador's greeting (speech) I was to give in Japanese at the opening ceremony for the Japan Triathalon Union (JTU) event in Osaka. I had stored it my Navy cover but saw that it was missing when I took it off in the ride to the convention center. The driver got me back to the hotel and there is was laying on the lobby floor. I gave the 8-minute greeting speech in a large hall with more than 1000 in attendance! The American Embassy supported 4 JTU events annually in different cities; JTU specifically requested the naval attaches give the greeting because they liked the "choker white" uniform! After the opening ceremony I would go off with the city dignitaries for a lavish dinner. The next morning I would get to shoot the starting gun then tour the local area sights and later present trophies at the finish/awards ceremony.
Chain of Command AMB: Walter Mondale
DCM: Rust Deming
POLMIL: Dave Shear
USFJ: LTGEN Richard Meyers; Deputy CDR USFJ: MGEN Peter Pace
DATTs: CAPT Fitzgerald and CAPT George R. ("Randy") McWilliams
AIRAs: COL Ritter and COL Rider
ARMAs: COL Jack Pritchart and LTC Mike Libby (acting)
AARMAs: LTC Mike Libby and LTC Tom Fish
ANAVA: CDR Bud Brown (predecessor)
Other Memories I was the Assistant American Legation United States Naval Attaché (A/ALUSNA) or Assistant Naval Attache. CAPT Randy McWilliams was dual-hatted as Naval and Defense Attache.
The Air Attaches were COL Rider and COL Ritter and the Army Attaches were COL Savitere, COL Pritchart and LTC Mike Libby (Acting); The A/ARMA was LTC Tom Fish.
Attachés are part of an vital corps with four main responsibilities:
Representing the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Forces of the United States abroad
Serving as military advisors to the U.S. Ambassador, the personal representative of the United States
Reporting on in-country, and regional political-military activities
Supporting U.S. military theater security cooperation and/or security assistance programs in selected countries