USS NITZE


Namesake

NamesakeDDG 94's name honors Paul H. Nitze, whose distinguished government career included serving as the 57th secretary of the Navy from 1963 to 1967. During his time as the Navy secretary, he raised the level of attention given to quality of Service issues. His many achievements included establishing the first Personnel Policy Board and retention task force (the Alford Board), and obtaining targeted personnel bonuses. He lengthened commanding officer tours and raised command responsibility pay.

Nitze became a strong advocate for officers' advanced education opportunities and worked to enhance greater integration of senior Navy staff by moving the Chief of Naval Operations' office next to his own. He also worked to ease unnecessary burdens on sailors by relaxing in-port duty section requirements and hiring civilian custodial workers.

Born in Amherst, Mass., on Jan. 16, 1907, Nitze graduated "Cum Laude" from Harvard University in 1928. After working in investment banking where he was known as a Wall Street prodigy, he left in 1941 to enter government service. In 1942, he was chief of the Metals and Minerals Branch of the Board of Economic Warfare, until named director, Foreign Procurement and Development Branch of the Foreign Economic Administration in 1943. During the period 1944-1946, Nitze served as director and then as vice chairman of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey for which President Truman awarded him the Medal of Merit.

For the next several years, he served with the Department of State, beginning in the position of deputy director of the Office of International Trade Policy. In 1949, he was named deputy to the assistant secretary of State for Economic Affairs. In August of that year, he became deputy director of the State Department's policy planning staff, and was appointed director the following year. As director, Nitze was the principal author of a highly influential secret National Security Council document (NSC-68), which provided the strategic outline for increased U.S. expenditures to counter the perceived threat of Soviet armament.

From 1953 to 1961, Nitze served as president of the Foreign Service Educational Foundation while concurrently serving as associate of the Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research, the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. His publications during this period include "U.S. Foreign Policy: 1945-1955." In 1961 President Kennedy appointed Nitze assistant secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and in 1963 he became the secretary of the Navy, serving until 1967.

Following his term as secretary of the Navy, he served as deputy secretary of Defense (1967-1969), as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) (1969-1973), and assistant secretary of Defense for International Affairs (1973-1976). Later, fearing Soviet rearmament, he opposed the ratification of SALT II (1979). He was President Reagan's chief negotiator of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty (1981-1984). In 1984, Nitze was named special advisor to the president and secretary of State on Arms Control. For more than forty years, Nitze was one of the chief architects of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union. President Reagan awarded Nitze the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 for his contributions to the freedom and security of the United States.