Larson, Charles, ADM

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Admiral
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1994-1998, 9420, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
Service Years
1958 - 1998
Admiral
Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
South Dakota
South Dakota
Year of Birth
1936
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Larson, Charles (Chuck), ADM.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Born Sioux Falls, SD. Raised Iowa and Nebraska.
Last Address
Cause of death: Cancer - Leukemia
Naval Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland

Date of Passing
Jul 26, 2014
 
Location of Interment
Annapolis National Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Naval Academy Cemetery

 Official Badges 

Presidential Service Badge US Pacific Command Allied Submarine Command US Navy Retired 30




 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon Cold War Veteran Navy Officer Honorable Discharge




 Military Association Memberships
United States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationVeterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)Navy League of the United States
  1958, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association - Assoc. Page
  1993, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) - Assoc. Page
  1999, Navy League of the United States - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Admiral Charles R. Larson, U.S.N. (Ret.)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal 7 awards

Aviator, Submariner, President's Naval Aide
First Naval White House Fellow, and twice
Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy

 

As a special Naval aide to President Nixon, at the height of the Cold War, Larson was the "Black Bag Man," carrying with him the nuclear codes, as well as the responsibility for emergency relocation and evacuation of the President in case of nuclear war, together with all of his communications.


Four-star Admiral Charles Robert Larson, one of the Navy's most distinguished officers served as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, and President Nixon's Naval Aide.

"This guy really walked on water," said General James "Don" Hughes, President Nixon's vice presidential and presidential military assistant - Larson's superior - who himself served as Commander in Chief of the Pacific Air Forces. "He was a nice person."

Larson graduated from Annapolis in 1958 - he was a classmate of Senator John McCain's - and went on to serve under legendary Adm. Hyman Rickover and accomplish the rarest of Navy feats in becoming both an aircraft-based aviator and a nuclear submariner.

"Those two alone were very, very outstanding accomplishments," Gen. Hughes said.

Larson served on the USS Nathan Hale (SSBN-636), USS Nathanael Greene (SSBN-636), USS Bergall (SSN-667), USS Sculpin (SSN-590), and
would command the USS Halibut (SSN-587) during the height of the Cold War, intercepting Soviet communications from the bottom of the ocean floor. He joined the Johnson administration as a White House Fellow, the first naval officer to do so.

With the inauguration of a new president in 1969, Gen. Hughes, who was the Nixon transition team's senior aide, immediately thought of Larson for the position.

"The DOD sent me three candidates - Army, Navy and Marine - I was going to handle Air Force myself," said Gen. Hughes. "They sent me a lot of water walkers. The three I picked were the best of the best. Chuck Larson had already been a White House Fellow - so he knew his way around."

As President Nixon's Naval Aide, he was responsible for managing and overseeing all operations at Camp David, the presidential Catoctin Mountain hideaway, as well as the presidential yacht Sequoia.

"He served superbly," Gen. Hughes said. "The difference between then and now is each of these aides were not just symbolic - they all had assigned duties."

Larson left the Nixon administration after two-and-a-half years. "He was highly motivated to be a naval officer," according to Gen. Hughes. "He came to me and thought it was time for him to go back to the Navy and take up his lifelong career, which is unusual - many of these guys get there and you can't blast them out with dynamite - but he was the first one to go."

Larson was promoted to Admiral in 1979; at age 43, he became the second-youngest admiral in history. Later as Superintendent of the Naval Academy, according to The Baltimore Sun, Larson "was widely credited with shaping the academy into a more disciplined institution and with establishing a curriculum that focused on character development."

"He was a real leader," said Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. "He had the qualities of brilliance and honesty - precisely the qualities you yearn for in a leader. He was just what the Naval Academy needed."

In 1990, he was promoted to a four-star admiral, and took up one of the highest military positions as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, "with responsibility for about half of the world out in the Pacific," Gen. Hughes said.

 

 

   
Other Comments:

Admiral Larson's major military decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, *Navy Distinguished Service Medal (7 awards), Legion of Merit (3 awards), **Bronze Star, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and he was decorated by the governments of ***Japan, Thailand, France and Korea. He was also entitled to wear the Presidential Service Badge. 

*
His 7 Navy DSMs, Distinguished Service Medals, may be the most ever awarded to any man in history.

**1971-1973: As the navigator and Executive Officer of the USS Scalpin, Larson was awarded a Bronze Star - the only nuclear submariner to receive such a medal in the Vietnam War.
***Foreign awards include the 
National Order of Merit, France - Order of the Rising Sun, Japan - Order of the Crown of Thailand.

..oOo..
 

As a junior officer, Admiral Larson served as a naval aviator in an aircraft carrier based squadron and later as a nuclear submariner. As a submarine officer, he served on two ballistic missile submarines and three attack submarines, including command of the nuclear attack submarine USS Halibut (SSN-587).

His other sea commands included Submarine Development Group, which included the Navy's world wide deep submergence program; Submarine Group Eight, which included command of all United States and NATO submarines in the Mediterranean Sea and all United States anti submarine warfare forces in that area; Commander Second Fleet, including all operational ships in the Atlantic; Commander NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic; and Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet, with all Navy and Marine Corps forces in the Pacific.


In command ashore, Admiral Larson served an unprecedented two tours as Superintendent, US Naval Academy, the first from 1983-1986 and the second from 1994-1998. He also was the first naval officer selected as a White House Fellow, serving in 1968 as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior. Following his fellowship, he was assigned to the White House where he served for 2 ½ years as Naval Aide to the President of the United States.


Admiral Larson retired in 1998 after serving as an admiral for four presidents. Since retirement, he served on corporate boards in the areas of defense, aerospace, oil exploration and production, international service and construction and the electric industry.
 

.oOo.


The Admiral's final resting place was the Annapolis National Cemetery, at Annapolis, Maryland, on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy. He reserved additional grave plots, and one of those plots is where his best friend, dating back to his days at the academy, Senator John McCain was buried.

   
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Date
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Last Updated:
Nov 1, 2015
   
Comments

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The Secretary of Defense of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Defense Distinguished Service Medal to Admiral Charles Robert Larson (NSN: 0-624726), United States Navy, for exceptionally distinguished service as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, from March 1991 to July 1994. Admiral Larson's leadership, foresight, and knowledge of the many sensitive military and political relationships in the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas advanced United States interests in assuring continuing peace and stability throughout the region. He developed and established a strategy of Cooperative Engagement to enhance military to military contacts with friends, allies, and former adversaries thus ensuring peace, stability and shared prosperity throughout the Pacific region. In a region beset by geographic and climatic disturbances and substantial political and post cole war military tension, Admiral Larson institutionalized a two-tier command relationship streamlining clear lines of command and control. This concept proved its efficacy in a series of timely responses ranging from the fullest possible accounting for Americans missing in Southeast Asia to the prompt relief and assistance to survivors of natural disasters in Guam, Hawaii, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. The distinctive accomplishments of Admiral Larson reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Navy, and the Department of Defense.

Action Date: March 1991 - July 1994
Service: Navy
Rank: Admiral


Navy Distinguished Service Medal (1st Navy DSM of 7)

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Commander Charles Robert Larson (NSN: 0-624726), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding Officer, U.S.S. HALIBUT (SSN-587) during 1974. The dynamic leadership, superb professional skill, and perceptive judgment exercised by Commander Larson during the conduct of two extremely complex submarine operations were directly responsible for the successful attainment of objectives of extraordinary value to the nation. His direction of the ship in the momentous accomplishments of these operations, conducted under adverse environmental conditions, required employment of the finest degree of personal leadership, determination, and skillful exploitation of highly sophisticated and specialized submarine systems. By his unwavering devotion to duty, Commander Larson rendered valuable and distinguished service; thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 1974
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Halibut (SSN-587)


Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2nd)
Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Captain Charles Robert Larson (NSN: 0-624726), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding Officer, U.S.S. HALIBUT (SSN-587) during 1975. The extraordinary degree of success attained during the conduct of this operation was of immeasurable value to the nation. The achievements were a direct result of the close personal involvement, brilliant leadership ability, courage, and superb professional skill displayed by Captain Larson in executing an extremely complex and challenging operation. The finest sense of judgment and command prescience as well as the ability to employ highly sophisticated and specialized submarine systems were demanded at all times. His meticulous planning and thorough preparations for this operation were exacting and included all possible contingencies. By his distinctive accomplishments and unstinting dedication, Captain Larson rendered extremely valuable and distinguished service; thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 1975
Service: Navy
Rank: Captain
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Halibut (SSN-587)


Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3rd)
Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Charles Robert Larson (NSN: 0-624726), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from August 1983 to August 1986. Responsible for the Navy's only undergraduate institution which was also the principal source of career officers for the Naval Service, Rear Admiral Larson guided the Academy to new levels of excellence and mission achievement by producing graduates better prepared morally, mentally, and physically than ever before. As a result of his superlative leadership, extraordinary insight, and boundless personal energy, the Naval Academy experienced a three-year period of innovation and program development, operating with unprecedented efficiency, and established precepts for its future growth in total consonance with the needs of the Service. Rear Admiral Larson's in-depth knowledge, perceptive judgment, and resolute devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: August 1983 - August 1986
Service: Navy
Rank: Rear Admiral
Company: Superintendent
Division: U.S. Naval Academy


Navy Distinguished Service Medal (4th)
Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Third Gold Star in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Charles Robert Larson (NSN: 0-624726), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commander SECOND Fleet; Commander Striking Fleet Atlantic; and as Commander, Joint Task Force 120 from August 1986 to August 1988. Vice Admiral Larson led his command in a wide ranging exploration of new strategic and tactical concepts. Through his leadership in the execution of Fleet operations and tactical development, he was responsible for the introduction of innovative tactics, which resulted in quantum improvements in the Fleet's ability to fight and win a war at sea. His innovations in operational training, both in port and at sea, enhanced the focus on fleet combat training. By his unswerving dedication to excellence in preparing his command for the exigencies of combat, Vice Admiral Larson rendered valuable and distinguished service to the nation and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Vice Admiral Larson's uncompromising professionalism, experienced judgment, and tenacious devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: August 1983 - August 1986
Service: Navy
Rank: Rear Admiral


Navy Distinguished Service Medal (5th)
Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Silver Star in lieu of a Fifth Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Vice Admiral Charles Robert Larson (NSN: 0-624726), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Operations; as Navy Operations Deputy, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and as Senior United States Member of the Military Staff Committee of the United Nations from September 1988 to February 1990. Vice Admiral Larson's many initiatives, broad grasp of national and international political and military issues, and exceptional strategic foresight made a lasting contribution to the Navy and the development of U.S. national security policy and strategy. At a time of extraordinary politico-military activity in a rapidly changing global political environment, he provided wise counsel for developing U.S. Government positions for strategic arms control negotiations, conventional arms control negotiations, and naval arms control matters. Vice Admiral Larson organized and led the U.S. Navy counter-narcotics effort in operations at sea designed to interdict the flow of illicit drugs into the United States. His leadership of the U.S. Navy delegation to the highly successful 1989 Incidents at Sea Conference with the Soviet Navy greatly reduced the probability of tensions at sea between the two navies. Throughout, his clear vision of U.S. national security needs, and the Navy's role in fulfilling those needs will shape the Navy's course well into the next century. Vice Admiral Larson's distinctive accomplishments, unparalleled professionalism, and selfless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: September 1988 - February 1990
Service: Navy
Rank: Vice Admiral


Navy Distinguished Service Medal (6th)
Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Silver Star in lieu of a Sixth Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Admiral Charles Robert Larson (NSN: 0-624726), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet from February 1990 to February 1991. Admiral Larson's unsurpassed professionalism and flawless judgment were directly responsible for dramatic improvements in the readiness and operational performance of the Pacific Fleet. His superior comprehension of the complexities associated with managing a fleet contributed directly to reaching and maintaining unprecedented responsiveness to national security requirements, despite increasing fiscal constraints. Admiral Larson's superior grasp of international political issues and domestic policy consideration and his vast knowledge of the capabilities of both potential enemy and friendly naval forces were invaluable in expertly guiding the actions of the Pacific Fleet in support of deterrence and world peace. He devised and directed numerous programs which greatly improved the Pacific Maritime strategy and adroitly opened new horizons in the tactical employment of forces in low intensity conflict and regional contingencies. As the Iraqi-Kuwait confrontation intensified, and commitments in support of DESERT SHIELD reduced Fleet assets, he most effectively supported national efforts by balancing assets so as to maintain the flexibility to respond to unexpected, real world requirements. Admiral Larson's outstanding professional abilities, unsurpassed loyalty, and unflagging dedication to duty reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: February 1990 - February 1991
Service: Navy
Rank: Admiral


Navy Distinguished Service Medal (7th)
Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in addition to a previously awarded Silver Star in lieu of a Seventh Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Admiral Charles Robert Larson (NSN: 0-624726), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from August 1994 to July 1998. Responsible for the Navy's only undergraduate institution, which is also the principal source of career officers for the naval service, Admiral Larson guided the Academy to new levels of excellence and mission achievement by producing graduates better prepared morally, mentally, and physically than ever before. As a result of his superlative leadership, extraordinary insight, and boundless energy, the Naval Academy experienced a four-year period of innovation and program development, operating with growth in total consonance with the needs of the service. His exceptional breadth of experience led the way to the Naval Academy's academic accreditation, establishment of a four-year fully integrated Character Development program, and the Navy's initiatives coupled withy a complete review of the Naval Academy curriculum will enable the Naval Academy to retain its status as a premier national institution well into the 21st Century. By his distinguished performance, extraordinary skills, and resolute devotion to duty, Admiral Larson reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: August 1994 - July 1998
Service: Navy
Rank: Admiral
Company: Superintendent
Division: U.S. Naval Academy

Admiral Larson also received 3 Legion of Merit Medals.

   
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