Admiral Elmo R Zumwalt, Jr. (1920-2000)
Zumwalt graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1942. His extensive WWII experience included combat off Guadalcanal and the Philippines. Over the next two decades he saw further action during the Korean War.
In 1965 Zumwalt became the youngest rear admiral in the Navy's history. The next year he headed up the new Division of Systems Analysis, a position from which he strongly influenced the combat capabilities of US Naval Forces through the next generation. In 1968, he became Commander Naval Forces and Chief of the Naval Advisory Group, Vietnam and the Navy's youngest vice admiral. His performance in this demanding position was so impressive President Nixon nominated him to become Chief of Naval operations. At age 49, Zumwalt thus became the youngest officer to hold the Navy's top job and the rank of admiral. In his new position, Zumwalt put the Navy back on the cutting edge, restoring its fading ability to confront new challenges. A critical component of this was his reforming personnel policies to provide sailors with the best conditions possible.
As a private citizen, Zumwalt became involved in humanitarian concerns relating to the Vietnam struggle, serving conspicuously as a spokesman for US servicemen suffering from affects of the herbicide Agent Orange.
"Both during his naval career and after my father placed paramount importance upon the welfare of those who served under him. He would have warmly approved of the endeavors of the Thurman-Zumwalt Foundation" - LTC James Zumwalt II, US Marines Corps (ret.)