PASSING OF ADMIRAL JAMES D. WATKINS, USN (RET), 22ND CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS

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SUBJ: PASSING OF ADMIRAL JAMES D. WATKINS, USN(RET), 22ND CHIEF OF NA VAL 
OPERATIONS UNCLASSIFIED/ PASS TO ALL OFFICE CODES:
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SUBJ/PASSING OF ADMIRAL JAMES D. WATKINS, USN (RET), 22ND CHIEF OF NAVAL 
OPERATIONS//



RMKS/1.  IT IS WITH DEEP SADNESS THAT I REPORT THE PASSING OF ADMIRAL JAMES D. 
WATKINS, USN(RET).  ADMIRAL WATKINS SERVED THE NATION, LEADING SAILORS DURING 
SOME OF OUR NATION'S MOST TRYING AND CHALLENGING TIMES, FROM 1949 TO 1986.  A 
GRADUATE OF THE NAVAL  ACADEMY, HE WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED NAVAL OFFICER, SERVING 
IN  DESTROYERS, NUCLEAR POWERED CRUISERS, AND DIESEL AND NUCLEAR  SUBMARINES, 
INCLUDING COMMAND OF USS SNOOK (SSN 592).  AS A FLAG  OFFICER, ADMIRAL WATKINS 
SERVED AS COMMANDER, SIXTH FLEET; COMMANDER  IN CHIEF, U.S. PACIFIC FLEET; AND 
CONCLUDED HIS 37 YEARS IN UNIFORM  AS THE NATION'S 22ND CHIEF OF NAVAL 
OPERATIONS DURING PRESIDENT  REAGAN'S ADMINISTRATION.

2.  ADMIRAL WATKINS WAS AN INNOVATIVE THINKER WHO PUSHED OUR NAVY FORWARD.  
HIS STRATEGIC APPROACH TO SAFEGUARDING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERESTS AT 
SEA SET A PRECEDENT FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.  HE WAS KNOWN BOTH FOR DEVELOPING 
A MARITIME STRATEGY FOR DEALING WITH THE SOVIET UNION AND FOR IMPROVING THE 
QUALITY OF LIFE OF SAILORS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

3.  FOLLOWING RETIREMENT FROM THE NAVY, ADMIRAL WATKINS WAS APPOINTED BY 
PRESIDENT GEORGE H. W. BUSH TO SERVE AS THE NATION'S 6TH SECRETARY OF ENERGY.  
ADMIRAL WATKINS CONCLUDED HIS FORMAL SERVICE TO THE NATION BY SERVING AS 
CHAIRMAN OF THE UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON OCEAN POLICY FROM 2001 TO 2004.

4.  ADMIRAL WATKINS IS SURVIVED BY HIS WIFE JANET AND HIS SIX CHILDREN.  HE 
WAS A DEDICATED HUSBAND AND FATHER, WONDERFUL FRIEND, AND A REMARKABLE 
SHIPMATE WHOSE LIFE LEFT AN INDELIBLE MARK ON ALL HE TOUCHED.  HIS PASSING IS 
A TREMENDOUS LOSS TO OUR NAVY FAMILY.  WE WILL NEVER FORGET THE LIFE AND 
HONORABLE SERVICE OF THIS GREAT LEADER.

5.  RELEASED BY ADMIRAL JONATHAN W. GREENERT, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.//

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