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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Long

Birthplace: Kansas City, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Lyman John

Date of Birth: 29 May 1920

Date of Death: 27 June 2002

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1943-1983
Robert Lyman John Long

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1943

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Robert Lyman John Long

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Robert Lyman John Long was born on 29 May 1920 in Kansas City, MO, the son of Trigg Allen and Margaret Franklin Long. He attended Paseo High School, Kansas City Junior College, and Washington University in St. Louis, MO, before enrolling at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Long graduated from the Naval Academy in 1943. He served on the battleship USS Colorado in the Pacific and entered the submarine service after World War II. He saw combat in the Vietnam War and commanded the USS Sea Leopard, a diesel-powered submarine, the USS Patrick Henry and the USS Casimir Pulaski, nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

He also commanded the Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic fleet; Submarines, Allied Command; and Submarine Force, Western Atlantic area. He was Executive Assistant and Naval Aide to the Undersecretary of the Navy; and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.

On 5 July 1977, Long was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and named as Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO). In 1979 he was assigned as Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command (CINCPAC) where he served until his retirement in 1983.

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal

In Retirement

After his retirement from the Navy, Long was active in a variety of governmental and military affairs.

• He served as the principal executive of President Ronald Reagan's fact-finding committee, the Long Commission, that investigated the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing attack that killed 241 U.S. Marines. The Commission's report was widely praised for being tough and direct. The report found senior military officials responsible for security lapses and blamed the military chain of command for the disaster.

• Long participated in the Security Review Commission led by General Richard Stilwell that grew out of the Walker spy case and which was tasked with review of security procedures conducted for security clearances.

• He was a member of an American election observer team sent to the Philippines in 1986 and headed by Senator Richard Lugar to observe the Presidential election contest involving Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino. Long was teamed with the then first-term senator from Massachusetts John Kerry.

• He joined the Defense Policy Board in 1984, and was a part of the Advisory Committee on Command and Control of Nuclear Weapons, chaired by Jeane Kirkpatrick.

• Long served as President of the Naval Academy Alumni Association from 1991-94.

• He also served on several corporate boards, including Northrop, ConTel and GTE.


Long married Sara Katherine Helms on 28 August 1944, in Jacksonville, FL.

Death and Burial

Admiral Robert Lyman John Long died on 27 June 2002 in Bethesda, MD. His wife died 14 May 2004, in Annapolis, MD. They had three children and five grandchildren.

They are buried together at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 587   Created by: MHOH




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