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First Name: Ronald

Last Name: Hays

Birthplace: Urania, LA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Jackson

Date of Birth: 19 August 1928

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1950 - 1988
Ronald Jackson Hays

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1950


Ronald Jackson "Happy" Hays

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Ronald Jackson Hays was born on 19 August 1928 in Urania, LA, a sawmill town which was owned "lock, stock, and barrel" by the Q.T. Hardtner family. In high school, "Happy" Hays worked as the butcher's assistant in the company store. There, Mr. Hardtner took notice and succeeded in gaining a U.S. Naval Academy congressional appointment for "Happy."

Hays graduated from the U.S.Naval Academy in 1950 and served on a destroyer for one year prior to commencing flight training. After a series of operational aviation assignments, including a tour as an experimental test pilot and two combat tours in Vietnam flying the all-weather attack A-6A Intruder, he was ordered in 1969 to the Pentagon, Washington, DC, for duty on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. Between 1969 and 1988 his career path was divided between fleet aviation assignments and resource management positions in the Pentagon.

During this period significant assignments included:

Commanding Officer, Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico

Director, Navy Program Planning

Commander, Carrier Group Four

Director, Office of Program Appraisal

Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Forces

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe

Vice Chief of Naval Operations

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Forces

On 29 April 1983, Hays was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral when he assumed the assignment of Vice Chief of Naval Operations, where he served from 1983-1985.

As Commander-in-Chief Pacific Forces, Admiral Hays commanded all U.S. military forces in the Pacific Theater from 1985-1988. He retired from military service in October 1988.

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3 Awards)
Silver Star Medal (3 Awards)
Distinguished Flying Cross (6 Awards)
Bronze Star with "Valor" Device
Air Medal with Strike/Flight Numerals
Navy Commendation Medal with "Valor" Device


Naval Aviator Badge


• A Doctorate of Humanities title was awarded him by Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA.

• In 2005, he was honored as a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

• He was recognized as a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

• He received personal awards from the heads of government of Korea, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines.

• He was a recipient of the Gray Eagle Award as Senior Aviator.


Admiral Hays is a graduate of the Naval War College, Newport, RI; Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, MD; Federal Executive Institute, University of Virginia; and Flight Safety School, University of California.

In Retirement

After retirement from the Navy, he entered the commercial world as a director on several boards, including civic and non-profit organizations. He also served as a consultant for the Parsons Corporation, a global engineering firm.

His current work is the development of the Pacific Aviation Museum in historic Pearl Harbor, of which he is Chairman of the Board.

Admiral Hays is one of the senior signatories of the 31 March 2009, letter urging the president to maintain the policy excluding homosexuals from the armed forces.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:
He was an always 'happy' person.

Honoree ID: 543   Created by: MHOH




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