Feb 6

Reflections of ADM Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.)

Thursday, February 6, 2020 12:01 AM


Admiral Stansfield Turner U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.)


In this excerpt, Admiral Stansfield Turner reflects on his interactions with Admiral Elmo Zumwalt and Zumwalt’s service as CNO.

After growing up in the Chicago area, Turner spent a year at Amherst College prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy in 1943. His class of 1947 graduated a year early because the academy’s curriculum was shortened in World War II. After brief service in the escort carrier USS Palau (CVE-122) and the light cruiser USS Dayton (CL-105), he was in England as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University from 1947 to 1950. In 1966, he attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Turner was PCO and first commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer leader USS Horne (DLG-30), 1966-68, and was involved in combat operations off the coast of Vietnam. He served as executive assistant to Secretaries of the Navy Paul Ignatius and John Chafee, 1968-70, and developed Project 60 initiatives in 1970 when Admiral Elmo Zumwalt became CNO.

After being selected for flag rank, Turner commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Eight in 1970-71 and in 1971-72 headed OP-96, the Systems Analysis Division of OpNav. As president of the Naval War College from 1972 to 1974, Turner made fundamental changes in the college’s curriculum and requirements for student officers. He commanded the 2nd Fleet from August 1974 to July 1975 and then served 1975-77 as Commander in Chief Allied Forces Southern Europe. In his final tour of service, Admiral Turner was Director of Central Intelligence and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1977-81.


Admiral Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., USN (Ret.)

Admiral Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., USN (Ret.)


To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go to https://www.usni.org/press/oral-histories.