Arleigh Burke

by Bob 'Dex' Armstrong

The best part about my days in the diesel boat service was that it afforded me the honored privilege of being able to say,

"I served in Arliegh Burke's Navy. He was the finest CNO, Chief of Naval Operations, we ever had."

We loved him and would have followed him anywhere. '31 knot Burke' was a true hero… A perfect gentleman that housed a tough, fearless armor-piercing sonuvabitch.

He never forgot his bluejackets and his bluejackets never forgot him. All the CNOs who followed Admiral Burke have been small bore in comparison.

If you were not fortunate enough to serve in Arleigh Burke's Navy, you really missed something. You missed manly leadership on a grand scale. You missed leadership by example and you missed a time where it felt great to be a red-blooded American bluejacket.

We owned the seas. We were all 20 feet high… Bulletproof… And could chew our way out of a Mosler safe.