11 July 2005

Thank you, Admiral

From the New London Day (registration required, so I will quote liberally):

Washington, D.C. — Rear Adm. John D. Butler, a former commander of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., who for the last two years has been head of the submarine construction program at Naval Sea Systems Command, retired this month after 31 years of service during a ceremony in the Washington Navy Yard's historic Admiral Leutze Park.
During his tour as PEO, Submarines, he oversaw the delivery of USS Virginia (SSN 774), the first of a new class of submarine, and the delivery of USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), the last of the Seawolf Class.

RDML Butler was my boss back when I worked in DC. He was one of the best senior officers I have ever worked for. Personable, intelligent, wanted to hear your thoughts, no ego to speak of, he was what every flag officer should be in many respects, in my opinion.

Butler “shaped the submarine force of the future through his leadership of hallmark acquisition programs.” Among them were the conversion of Ohio-class submarines into SSGNs, which will fire conventional missiles and carry large complements of Special Forces; delivery of the Advanced Swimmer Delivery System; and delivery of USS Jimmy Carter at Electric Boat.

The RDML pushed for innovative thinking, encouraged non-conventional solutions, and really was a great facilitator for making a lot of the sub fleet's successful programs happen. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you know your superiors trust you and will back you up.

He entered the Navy via the Nuclear Power Officer Candidate Program in 1975. His sea assignments included tours aboard the fleet ballistic missile submarines USS Will Rogers, USS James K. Polk, USS James Madison, and the submarine tender USS Proteus.
Transferring to the engineering duty officer program in 1984, Butler headed a number of Navy programs, including the Seawolf program, and was naval aide to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition.

He had a breadth of experience, both in subs, Eng Duty, and DC money games, that will be hard to match. He was a great, and relatively unknown, advocate for subs. His replacement, CAPT (actually RDML-select) Hilarides is currently heading the SSGN program office, is still an 1120 I think (not an EDO) and is very highly regarded. He has big shoes to fill.


At 11/22/2007, Blogger Hemi said...

JD Butler was my Navigator aboard the USS James Madison. He was a LT then but it was clear he was going places. He was the most intellegent officer I have ever met and had a confidence about him that made you feel at ease when he was in charge of the conn.


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