C. (Bud) McFarlane was perhaps marked for a superlative career even
before entering the Naval Academy for Plebe summer in 1955. An Eagle
Scout and the son of Texas Congressman, Bud was the third member of
his family to attend the Academy and to serve honorably. These
included his Uncle, Robert McFarlane (’25) and his brother. Bill
(’49). At the Academy Bud excelled in academics, athletics, and
military aptitude; graduating in the top 15% of the class, lettering
twice in gymnastics and attaining leadership positions first as
Brigade Administrative Officer (four-striper) and later as 14th
Company Commander. He also sang in the Chapel Choir.
Following graduation, Mr. McFarlane was commissioned in the U.S.
Marine Corps where he served honorably as an Artillery Officer before
retiring in 1979. As a Marine Corps Officer, he commanded Platoons, a
Battery of Field Artillery Howitzers, and was the Operations Officer
for an Artillery Regiment. He was selected to teach Gunnery at the
Army Advanced Artillery Course, and later (’68-‘71) was the Executive
Assistant to the Marine Corps' Operations Deputy where he was involved
on a continuous basis with preparing the Deputy for representing the
Marine Corps in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During this assignment he
was also the Action Officer in the Marine Corps Operations Division
for Europe/NATO, the Middle East, and Latin America.
He served two tours in Vietnam in combat action against the enemy. In
March 1965, he commanded the artillery battery in the first landing
of US combat forces in Vietnam. After a break for graduate studies as
an Olmsted Scholar he returned for a second tour in 1967-1968 as a
Regimental Fire Support Coordinator for the Third Marine Division
deployed along the DMZ during the Tet Offensive. He organized all
fire support -- B-52s, Naval Gunfire (BB-62 New Jersey), and
artillery for forces deployed at Con Thien, Cam Lo, Dong Ha, the
Rockpile, Khe Sanh and points between. For his courage and exemplary
professionalism during his service in combat, he was awarded the
Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal, both with Combat “V.” In
the course of his career he also received eight personal and unit
While deployed during his first tour, Mr. McFarlane was selected for
graduate studies as an Olmsted Scholar. He attended the Institut de
Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland. His courses were
taught in French. He graduated with Highest Honors and received a
Masters Degree (License) with a specialty in Strategic Studies.
Following his second tour in Vietnam and a tour at Headquarters,
Marine Corps, in 1971 he was named a White House Fellow (the first
Marine Corps Officer so selected) and assigned to the Office of
Legislative Affairs in the White House. At the conclusion of that
assignment, in recognition of his depth in strategic studies and
international affairs, he was selected as the Military Assistant to
Henry Kissinger at the National Security Council. During this
assignment, he was personally responsible for extremely sensitive
intelligence exchanges with China from 1973 through 1976. He
accompanied Dr. Kissinger on his visits to China and delivered
detailed intelligence briefings to China that was perhaps the key
substantive ingredient of our "China Card" vis-a-vis the Soviet
Union. Concurrently, he was involved in virtually every aspect of
U.S. policy -- in the Middle East, US-Soviet Relations, Arms Control,
Because of his extraordinary understanding of foreign cultures and the
historical underpinnings of great power politics, he was appointed by
President Ford as his Special Assistant for National Security Affairs
while only a Lieutenant Colonel.
At the conclusion of almost 5 years of exemplary service to the
President of the United States in 1976 Mr. McFarlane was awarded the
Nation’s highest peacetime military decoration, the Distinguished
Upon leaving the White House Mr. McFarlane was assigned to the
National Defense University where he co-authored a book on crisis
management while concurrently receiving a Diploma from the National
War College. He concluded his distinguished Marine Corps career in
Okinawa as Operations Officer for the 12th Marine Regiment. Although
selected and promoted before his contemporaries for the grade of
Lieutenant Colonel with a promising military career ahead, he elected
to retire in 1979 and began a distinguished career of civilian public
service. During 20 years of active duty, on every fitness report he
received, Mr. McFarlane was ranked first among his peers.
In 1979 he was appointed by Senator John Tower to the staff of the
Senate Armed Services Committee where he was responsible for staffing
Senate consideration of the SALT II treaty from 1979 to 1981.
Concurrently he authored a substantial portion of then-candidate
Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy platform.
In 1981 he was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the U.S.
Senate as Counselor to the Department of State. In that role he was
responsible for sensitive exchanges between the Secretary of State
(Alexander Haig) and Heads of State and Government throughout the
Middle East and South Asia.
In 1982 President Reagan appointed Mr. McFarlane as his Deputy
National Security Advisor where he was responsible for the integration
of the policy recommendations of the Departments of State, Treasury
and Defense. In 1983 he was appointed by the President as his
Special Representative in the Middle East where he was responsible for
sensitive negotiations between Israel and the Arab States.
Following that assignment he returned to the White House and was
appointed President Reagan’s National Security Advisor. In that
cabinet-level assignment he was responsible for the development of
U.S. foreign and our defense policy. Perhaps the contribution to our
– and indeed global -- security for which he is best remembered is as
the architect of the comprehensive set of U.S. policies – including
most notably the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI or Star Wars) –
which so stressed the Soviet economy as to bring it down, and in the
process accelerated the collapse of Marxism in the former Soviet Union
and ended the Cold War.
In 1985, he was presented The American-Swiss Friendship Award for his
contributions to the achievement of greater stability in global
Concurrently he was awarded the first Secretary of State’s
Distinguished Service Award by then Secretary of State George Shultz.
In addition the Secretary of the Navy awarded Mr. McFarlane the
Distinguished Public Service Medal for his extraordinary contributions
to the advancement of America’s national interests.
Following his retirement from government after more than 30 years of
honorable service, Mr. McFarlane founded his own company, Global
Energy Investors (GEl), a developer of energy infrastructure projects
in Asia and South America. Mr. McFarlane serves concurrently as the
Chairman and CEO of Energy and Communications Solutions, LLC (E&CS), a
developer of energy and communications infrastructure projects in
emerging markets, including Eastern Europe and the former Soviet
Union. E&CS is currently advising the governments of Russia and
Ukraine on environmental policy and the establishment of market based
greenhouse gas trading systems.
Apart from his business interests, Mr. McFarlane remains a respected
figure and recognized expert in international affairs, and both the
Executive and Legislative Branches of the U.S. and other governments
frequently seek his advice and counsel. He is a co-founder (with Dr.
Henry Kissinger) and Vice Chair of the America-China Society, serves
on the Board of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the
International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, is the founder and
Director of the U.S. – Japan Leadership Council, a past director of
the White House Fellows’ Foundation, and has been a member of the
Board of Directors of The Travelers, Dillon Read (France Fund), and
Church & Dwight (Arm and Hammer Baking Soda Company).
Mr. McFarlane also received the Navy League’s Alfred Thayer Mahan
Award for Literary Achievement in recognition of his book, Crisis
His outstanding personal contributions were not limited to military
and public service, he was also chosen first as a Deacon, and then as
an Elder of the Presbyterian Church. Early in his career he was also
President of the PTA at his children’s schools. He founded and led a
Boy Scout Troop and devoted his vacation time to take them on extended
cross-country trips. His leadership and Naval Academy- engrained
traits were also passed on to his son, Scott, who graduated from the
Naval Academy in the Class of 1987, where he served as the Brigade
Demonstrated a strong interest in supporting the Navy and the United
States Naval Academy.
Although many of Mr. McFarlane's assignments were extremely demanding
of his time and energy, he always made time available to support his
Class, fellow alumni and his Alma Mater. His conviction that his
moral compass was set while at the Academy made him a strong vocal
supporter and he returned often to publicly display his pride, loyalty
and commitment to the values instilled here.
Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. McFarlane never forgot his
roots and has remained an active member of the Naval Academy Alumni
Association, serving and assisting the Class of 1959 Committee
Officers throughout the years. He is a life member of the
Association. He has delivered numerous presentation, talks and
discussions to fellow alumni and Alumni Chapters. He believes
strongly in sharing his international expertise and sensitizing
Academy alumni to the political “state of international affairs”
through annual briefings to fellow alumni and local Alumni Chapters.
Mr. McFarlane has been a key supporter of the Naval Academy-sponsored
Foreign Affairs Conference. In 1985 he delivered the keynote address
to the Annual Foreign Affairs Conference -- a gathering of students
from throughout the country for 3 days of national security studies.
He also chaired a panel at the same Foreign Affairs Conference during
Mr. McFarlane has been active in assisting young men to get into the
Naval Academy and has mentored four successful candidates seeking
appointment. All have succeeded. He is presently mentoring two more
candidates. In addition, he has also mentored three candidates for
the Marine Corps' Platoon Leaders Class (PLC). Two have succeeded and
the third is likely to enter next year.
He remains active in Naval Academy Alumni Affairs, serving on the
Communications Committee of the USNA Alumni Association Board of
Trustees, making significant contributions to annual fund drives. As
an active leader on the international stage he serves as a role model
for strategic thinking by all Midshipmen.
Provided a lifetime of service to the Nation or Armed Forces:
As outlined above, Mr. McFarlane devoted over 30 years of devoted
service to the United States Marine Corps, and the Executive and
Legislative Branches of our government. Following 4 years of
excellence at the Naval Academy, he completed an exemplary and
well-decorated 20-year career in the United States Marine Corps.
During his service as a Marine Corps Officer, in addition to his
command and staff assignments in peace and war he served with
distinction in the White House as the Special Assistant to President’s
Ford and Reagan for National Security Affairs.
Following his active duty service, he continued to bring credit upon
the Naval Academy and distinguished himself as an acknowledged scholar
of international affairs while serving his nation in a succession of
top level, highly visible positions at the U.S. Senate, the Department
of State, and the White House. The highlight of his public service
was as the National Security Advisor to the President (Assistant to
the President for National Security Affairs).
Following retirement from government service, he continued to
indirectly serve our nation as President and CEO of McFarlane
Associates where he provided strategic advisory services to major
corporations and governmental organizations, both U.S. and
international. Currently he remains indirectly involved in supporting
our national interests by assisting other countries – primarily those
of the former Soviet Union -- to organize, finance, and construct
essential infrastructure projects as a Partner in Energy and
Communications Solutions LLC,
Made significant and distinguished contributions to the nation via
By any measure, Bud McFarlane’s career of public service has been of
demonstrable and uncommon benefit to our country and to the cause of
freedom in the world. Whether one considers his service at the Senate
Armed Services Committee, at the Department of State or in the White
House, he distinguished himself as an original thinker (i.e. Star
Wars), a courageous combat leader, and as a role model in keeping with
the highest moral standards he learned at the Naval Academy.
Secretary of State Alexander Haig called him his “right arm.” Upon
his retirement from government in 1985, President Reagan told Mr.
McFarlane that he was the only man he had ever known that he
considered truly indispensable. If one considers the salient events
of the late twentieth century in international affairs – the end of
the Cold War, the collapse of Marxism, or the reduction of nuclear
weapons – it is not too much to say that Bud McFarlane contributed
substantially to the achievement of all three. He is truly the “Pug”
Henry of his generation. We recommend him for your consideration
without full confidence and without reservation.
The nominee is a living graduate whose character, distinguished
military and civilian services and stature draw wholesome comparison
to the qualities that the U. S. Naval Academy strives for in keeping
with its traditional values of duty, honor, courage and commitment and
“Through Knowledge Sea Power.”
Robert McFarlane is a living and brilliant example of the "Through
Knowledge Sea Power" adage. His lifetime of learning, teaching, and
service in the International arena certainly strengthened our Sea
Power and our Nation's ability to support Freedom everywhere.
Mr. McFarlane is a living graduate whose personal dedication to his
country spanned more than 30 years of military and public service. On
numerous occasions his sense of duty, honor, and his courage were
highlighted in the citations that accompanied his personal
achievements. In both his military and public assignments, his
service was at the highest level of distinction as evidenced by
personal awards of:
Service Medal -- the Navy and Marine Corps’ highest recognition for
service in peacetime,
The Secretary of the Navy’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service,
The Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award,
The Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”
The Meritorious Service Medal,
The Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”,
The Army Commendation Medal,
The Combat Action Ribbon,
The American-Swiss Friendship ‘Man of the Year” Award, and
The Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement.