PASSING OF ADMIRAL FRANK B. KELSO II, USN (RET), 24TH CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS

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SUBJ/PASSING OF ADMIRAL FRANK B. KELSO II, USN (RET), 24TH CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS//



RMKS/1.  It is with deep sadness that I report the passing of Admiral Frank B. Kelso II, USN(Ret), on 23 
June 2013.  A 1956 graduate of the Naval Academy, Admiral Kelso served our Navy with honor and 
distinction for 38 years, culminating in his appointment as 
the 24th Chief of Naval Operations.  He led the Navy from 1990 to 1994, a period of challenge and 
change that saw the first Gulf War and the initial years of transformation following the end of the Cold 
War.  Admiral Kelso served in six submarines and commanded at every level including USS FINBACK, USS 
BLUEFISH, SIXTH Fleet, Atlantic Fleet, and U.S. Atlantic Command.

2.  Admiral Kelso was an early leader in the Nation's fight against terrorism. Under his command, SIXTH 
Fleet forces captured the hijackers of the cruise ship MS ACHILLE LAURO in 1985, and conducted a 
number of operations against Libya.

3.  A man of bedrock principles, as CNO Admiral Kelso prioritized reforms that focused on integrity, 
character, and ethics, including the adoption of the Navy's core values of honor, courage, and 
commitment.  He took critical steps towards a more open and accepting service culture; championing 
the fight against discrimination
and harassment and initiating the integration of women into combat ships and aircraft.

4.  Returning to his hometown of Fayetteville, TN following his retirement in 1994, Admiral Kelso 
remained active within the Navy and with the Naval Academy.  

5.  Admiral Kelso married the former Landess McCown in 1956 and they enjoyed 56 wonderful years of 
marriage until her passing in 2012.  He is survived by his second wife, Georgeanna, his four children and 
numerous grandchildren.  He was an insightful leader, an outstanding shipmate, and a man of honor, 
and he will be sorely missed by his community and the Navy family.

6.  Released by Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations.//
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