Thomas H. Moorer

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1912-2004)

Thomas Hinman Moorer (February 9, 1912February 5, 2004) was an admiral and naval aviator in the United States Navy who served as the chief of naval operations from 1967 to 1970, and as the seventh chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1970 to 1974.

You've got to be willing to take orders. You've got to be willing to live in harsh circumstances. As someone has put it, you've got to be able to miss a meal if it's necessary.

QuotesEdit

  • You've got to be willing to take orders. You've got to be willing to live in harsh circumstances. As someone has put it, you've got to be able to miss a meal if it's necessary. And you've got to have a wife that will put up with all these things. My wife has been wonderful. We moved twenty-six times, lived all over the world. When I was away, she was responsible for everything -- for buying houses, for paying the children's tuition, taking them to the hospital, etc., etc. Today, so many of the very young people are getting married, and we have also so many girls in the military. Someone over in the Pentagon told me the other day [when] I asked him what are the main problems now, he says: "Child care and pregnancy." But that wasn't present when I was a young officer.
 
If you want to really get worried, just leap out in the middle of the ocean and let somebody drop a few bombs around you and you can really get worried. It's a matter of relativity.
 
I have predicted for years that Germany was going to reunify. The Germans are going to be the most powerful nation in Europe, both militarily and economically as time goes on. I'm confident of that. I told some of my French friends one time that they could rest easier if they could get the Germans to sleep one hour later.
  • Now, the budgeteers always want to divide your force up into what they call a high-low mix. In other words, you build two kinds of weapons systems, one is highly capable, with advanced technology, and then you build another more or less ordinary group. Of course, in my view that's a stupid idea because you'll never get the Soviet to arrange things so that they send their medium-quality forces against your medium-quality forces, and their high-quality forces against your high-quality forces. What'll happen is, first thing you know, your low-quality forces will encounter the high-quality forces and that'll be the end of it.
 
I tell young people [that] they are, in effect, the leaders in the future. Young people don't realize that they're not going to be young forever. Time marches on, and pretty soon they're going to have the mantle of responsibility. So the first thing they've got to recognize is that in order to be a leader, you must have knowledge. Education is the key to success, and it's becoming more and more so.
 
The only reason to go to war, at any time, uh, is to overthrow a government that's doing something you don't like. And if you announce at the outset that you are not going to overthrow the government, then, so far as I’m concerned ah, you should come home immediately.
  • I have predicted for years that Germany was going to reunify. The Germans are going to be the most powerful nation in Europe, both militarily and economically as time goes on. I'm confident of that. I told some of my French friends one time that they could rest easier if they could get the Germans to sleep one hour later. What I'm really talking about there is the work ethic that they have, which has propelled them along. The same thing for the Japanese. The Japanese have everything in their favor in terms of high technology and production capability, and educated people.
 
The concern I have is the breakdown of the family, which is a basic beginning of a strong nation.
  • The point is [that] in the old days, when you only had a spear or maybe a one-shot rifle or something like that, you didn't have to go to school to learn how to work it. Today, we have tried in the United States to use technology to reduce manpower requirements. But what that does is impose on you the need for very intelligent people that can understand and maintain and operate these complex machines that we have today. So that's what you're up against. Every time the politicians have drawn a line and split a nation that was originally formed by a common culture and by geography and so on, it always results in a war.
 
Every time the politicians have drawn a line and split a nation that was originally formed by a common culture and by geography and so on, it always results in a war.
  • I tell young people [that] they are, in effect, the leaders in the future. Young people don't realize that they're not going to be young forever. Time marches on, and pretty soon they're going to have the mantle of responsibility. So the first thing they've got to recognize is that in order to be a leader, you must have knowledge. Education is the key to success, and it's becoming more and more so. Secondly, you've got to learn about human nature and how to deal with people. You've got to work at it; it doesn't just happen. So, in the first place, surely they know that they have an opportunity, just by virtue of living in the United States, that's not enjoyed by billions of others. Why is it that the pressure for immigration is so heavy in the United States? We don't have any boat people leaving the United States, everybody's coming this way. And why? Because of our freedom and our way of life, and the fact that the Lord has given us an area that's bordered on one hand by the Pacific Ocean, on the other side by the Atlantic Ocean. We have a marvelous climate. We only use less than 5 percent of the population to grow food. If there are no oranges in Florida, there are plenty of oranges in California. If there is no wheat in Montana, there's plenty of rice in Louisiana. In other words, the idea of having a famine never crosses our mind. So the opportunity is here, and the freedom is here, and these young people should realize how fortunate they are.
  • And I must say that throughout this entire Vietnam operation ah, I was appalled at the fact that so many people in and out of the government, and certainly I would put the media at the top of the list, seemed far more concerned about the lives of the people in Southeast Asia than they were the lives of the young men that were fighting for their country. Let me give you an example of this. For instance, when I was ah, describing the torture that was being inflicted on the POW's in ah, in North Vietnam I've actually had the American citizens tell me, "Well it serves them right – they had no business volunteering."
  • Well, the only way, the only reason to go to war, at any time, uh, is to overthrow a government that's doing something you don't like. And if you announce at the outset that you are not going to overthrow the government, then, so far as I’m concerned ah, you should come home immediately.

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