Friday, February 10, 2017

RIP Admiral Richard Lyon, First SEAL Admiral

Richard "Dick" Lyon, the first SEAL to rise to the rank of Admiral in the U.S. Navy has passed. He was 93 years old.

As a youth, he was selected a member of the United States Olympic swim team for the 1940 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but the 1940 games were canceled due to the outbreak of World War II. Lyon graduated from Yale University in 1944, and received a master's degree from Stanford University in 1953.

Lyon attended Columbia University Midshipmen's School, receiving his commission in the United States Navy in October 1944. He served as a Navy Scout and Raider in the Pacific Theatre and in China as an Intelligence Officer. He was released from active duty in 1946, subsequently joining the Naval Reserve. He returned to active duty in early 1951 he commissioned the "Underwater Demolition Team FIVE" and served in the Korean War until late 1952. Upon release, he resumed his Reserve participation.

In July 1974, Lyon became the first "Special Warfare" (SEAL) admiral in the history of the U.S. Navy, and regulary attended U.S. Navy Special Warfare Center (NAVSPECWARCEN) SEAL graduations.

Lyon was a graduate of both the National War College and the Naval War College. He was the first Reserve officer to be appointed to the Board of Directors of the United States Naval Institute where he served as Chairman of the Editorial Board. He has received decorations for the Legion of Merit, Navy Commendation Medal and Combat Action Ribbon. He returned to active duty as Deputy Chief of Naval Reserve in July 1978, and retired in July 1983 at the rank of Rear Admiral after nearly 41 years of naval service.

Admiral (retired) Lyon served two 4 year terms as Mayor of Oceanside, California. In 2013, Lyon was the recipient of the prestigious Yale University George H.W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award. He was reported to be a avid private pilot and golfer and with his wife Cynthia (Gisslin) who survives him, they have children, 14 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.

Link to the Navy SEAL Foundation

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