|Birthname||Jeremy Michael Boorda|
|born on||26 November 1939 at 13:10 (= 1:10 PM )|
|Place||South Bend, Indiana, 41n41, 86w15|
|Timezone||CST h6w (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||03°38' 02°13 Asc. 23°01'|
American naval officer, the first enlisted man in the history of the navy to rise to the post of Chief of Naval Operations, an honor he achieved in April 1994. His life was wrapped around the navy, and he cared for his people.
Boorda was an apparent suicide on 5/16/1996 at his home at the Washington Navy Yard, using a .38-caliber pistol that belonged to his son-in-law to shoot himself in the chest. Prior to an appointment for an interview at 2:20 PM, he had gone home to lunch, where he wrote and left two notes.
Boorda, 5' 5", had joined the navy at 16. He once told a crowd of boot-camp trainees that the navy had "replaced alcohol." His parent's marriage was troubled and he was a kid skipping school and drinking beer until the navy gave him a uniform and a purpose. He married the following year and the first of their four kids, David, was born handicapped two years later. Missing one eye and suffering from Goltz syndrome that causes deformed organs and limbs, the boy had 17 operations before his fourth birthday - all paid for by the navy. Boorda refused to put David in an institution and he lived at home for the following 38 years. Two of the children became naval officers.
The navy also gave Boorda ambition. Open and eager to learn, he was picked in 1961 for a "seaman to admiral" program designed to made the promising enlisted men into officers. Among the college grads at Officers' Candidate School, he never quite fit in. An a ebullient man, gentle, with a self depreciating wit, he was also self-contained and reserved. However his organizational skills and self discipline were keen.
With new lieutenant's epaulets, he was sent to Vietnam aboard the destroyer Craig in the spring of 1965. His tour of duty was fairly routine, winning for him a minor award, the Navy Achievement Medal. For a short tour in Vietnam in 1972-1973 as an executive officer of the frigate Brooke, he won a Navy Commendation Medal. However the ship never joined in the naval bombardment of Vietnam and he was not authorized to wear the combat "V." He had been wearing a combat medal to which he was not entitled. Told that the medal was not fitting, he said he had made an honest mistake and stopped wearing it.
Despite his lack of combat, Boorda was by all accounts a superb officer, the "best ship handler in the navy." He was always admired as a good mate, a family man who cared for his own as well as the people under his command. He also served well in the political arenas of the Pentagon to earn his four stars.
The Navy's recent difficulties weighed heavily, even though the Commander was not implicated. It is difficult for a civilian to see why disapproval from wearing an improper medal would be serious enough for a man to take his life, especially as Boorda had seemed cheerful during the days preceding his death. He seemed concerned but not upset. One of his notes expressed concern about recent criticism of the service and said that he "could not bear to bring dishonor" to sailors over questions about whether he had improperly worn decorations given to veterans of combat. It was suggested that he was under enormous pressure and the medal incident was only a trigger.
Dismissing his driver, Boorda drove himself home that fateful day. Made anxious by his superior's uncharacteristic abruptness, the driver followed him. When he arrived, Boorda was already lying in his side yard, mortally wounded, allegedly by his own hand. It was not clear of whether he had time to write the notes or had been contemplating his death for some time.
- Social : Joined group 1956 (Joined the Navy, age 16)
- Social : Begin a program of study 1961 (Started the "seaman to admiral" training program)
- Work : New Job 1965 (Re-assigned to Vietnam)
- Death by Suicide 16 May 1996 in Washington (Apparent suicide by gunshot, age 56)
chart Placidus Equal_H.
B.R. in hand from Steinbrecher, hospital record
- Traits : Body : Size (5' 5")
- Traits : Mind : Education limited (Skipped school, joined Navy at 16)
- Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Alcohol (As a kid)
- Family : Childhood : Family distant (Parents had troubled marriage)
- Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs
- Family : Parenting : Hardship - Little money (One child with Goltz Syndrome)
- Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Four)
- Family : Parenting : Kids - Noted (Two kids became naval officers)
- Lifestyle : Home : Left home early less than 18 (Joined Navy at 16)
- Personal : Death : Suicide (Gunshot to chest)
- Vocation : Military : Honors (Three medals)
- Vocation : Military : Military career (Naval officer)
- Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal)