John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks Upon Presenting the Distinguished Service Medal to Adm. George W. Anderson, Jr.

July 30, 1963

We are glad to welcome all of the friends of Admiral Anderson and the friends of the Navy, a good many distinguished officers and former officers. We appreciate them all coming here on an occasion which is very meaningful to all of us.
I would like to ask the Secretary of the Navy to read the citation.

[At this point Secretary of the Navy Fred Korth read the citation. The President then resumed speaking.]

I want to take this opportunity to express my very strong personal appreciation to Admiral Anderson. He has been one of the military advisers to the President during the last 2 years, years which have been very difficult, sometimes dangerous, always challenging. And I have found his loyalty to his country, his good will towards all of us who work in the White House, and his willingness to take responsibility and to take it effectively to be--I know of no superior.

So I want to express my very warm appreciation to him for 2 very valuable years to our country and I think that he should take the greatest satisfaction in his ability, to have played an important part in the naval life of our country and in the general life of our country at a most significant time.

He goes now as our Ambassador to Portugal, a maritime power, a country with which we have had long and intimate relations, an ally in NATO, a country of great importance in the year 1963, and in the years to come. And, therefore, I think in a new field he has a chance to still serve his country in a most significant way.

So we say, thank you, Admiral, for what you have done in the past, an expression of appreciation for your willingness to assume new responsibilities for your country. And I think he is very much aided in his Ambassadorship by--the United States has really gotten two for one in this case--Mrs. Anderson. So we want to thank them both.

Note: The presentation ceremony was held at noon in the Flower Garden at the White House. The text of the citation follows:

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of the second Distinguished Service Medal to Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr., United States Navy, for service as set forth in the following citation:

For exceptionally meritorious service to the Government of the United States in a position of great responsibility while serving as Chief of Naval Operations, Principal Naval Advisor to the President, and Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from August 1961 to August 1963.

Admiral Anderson has displayed superb qualities of leadership and professional competence in one of the most responsible positions in the Department of Defense. Under his skillful and effective guidance, the operating forces of the Navy have contributed significantly to our national posture and have carried out their worldwide responsibilities with a view toward enhancing the prestige of the United States and its objective of world peace.

Admiral Anderson's consummate knowledge and understanding of the complexities of international relations, his recognition of the requirements generated by swiftly paced, changing world situations, and his dedication to high military standards have been applied effectively toward keeping the Navy strong and maintaining the United States in a preeminent position among the maritime powers of the world.

His inspiring devotion to the fulfillment of his extremely important and exacting assignment reflects the highest credit upon himself, represents the ultimate Naval achievement in an already distinguished career and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


John F. Kennedy, Remarks Upon Presenting the Distinguished Service Medal to Adm. George W. Anderson, Jr. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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