HONORING GENERAL THOMAS S. MOORMAN, JR. (House of Representatives - June 26, 1997)

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The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Pease). Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Maryland [Mr. Hoyer] is recognized for 5 minutes.

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Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and applaud the life and labors of my friend, Gen. Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.

The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Wamp], in his suggestion to yield to me, mentioned that I wanted to speak about an American patriot. He was absolutely correct.

Mr. Speaker, it is a very special honor for me to congratulate General Moorman on his retirement. Forty years ago, General Moorman and I attended Suitland High School together. I graduated in 1957 and General Moorman graduated in 1958. I knew then that Tom Moorman was going to achieve great heights.

I had the distinct pleasure of serving as Tom's campaign chair when he ran and won his bid for president of the student council at Suitland High School in 1957. I say to my colleagues, Suitland High School is about 15 minutes from this Capitol building. Even at the age of 17, General Moorman displayed outstanding leadership skills. That foreshadowed his future success.

After graduating from high school, he attended Dartmouth College, and was a distinguished military graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1962. For the past three and a half decades General Moorman has served this great Nation in a number of different and important ways.

General Moorman comes from a rich heritage of service to our military and our Nation. His father was a brigadier general at Andrews Air Force Base, located in Prince Georges County and was then commanding the weather service for the U.S. Air Force. His father retired after completing a tour as superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

His father's example of excellence and service to country propelled Tom to the pinnacle of his profession as a four-star general. En route to his position, General Moorman served in a variety of intelligence and reconnaissance related positions around the world. Our country is particularly indebted to him for his contributions to the growth and exploitation of space as a key element of our national security strategy.

His legacy of involvement in space activities began with the planning and organization for the establishment of the Air Force Space Command which he would later head. His program provided management mobility for the conception and maturation of Air Force surveillance, communication, navigation and weather satellites, space launch vehicles, and ground-based and strategic radars.

Mr. Speaker, his numerous military awards and decorations include, among others, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal.

In addition, he has received other prestigious awards from the aerospace community, including the National Geographic Society's Thomas D. White U.S. Air Force Space Trophy, the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy, the Ira C. Eaker Fellowship Award, and the Eugene M. Zukert Management Award.

Among many accomplishments, General Moorman's greatest contribution has been his leadership related to the space programs. As I have said, he has played a pivotal role in establishing national and Defense Department space policy and developing improved space capabilities.

Mr. Speaker, the scriptures remind us `that he that is faithful with little shall be faithful with much.' This reference epitomizes the energy and work ethic of General Moorman. His early days at Suitland High to his climb as Vice Chief of Staff have included multiple tasks, always pursued with the very same tenacity. He has been faithful to his principles, to his beloved Air Force, and to his country.

The United States, Mr. Speaker, is indebted to Gen. Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., for selfless service. His careful and ceaseless efforts have laid a foundation for the space and Air Force capabilities which will be a vital part of a strong national security in the 21st century.

I am pleased today, Mr. Speaker, to celebrate before this Congress the accomplishments and retirement of my close and good friend, Thomas Moorman. However, I count him as a friend not for the stars on his uniform but for his integrity and his service to his country.

On behalf of my colleagues in the Congress and as a proud friend, I wish General Moorman sincere thanks for a his commitment and his success. Tom, may your retirement be filled with new opportunities and God's richest effort blessings.

Mr. Speaker, a good nation expresses its profound appreciation for a job well done. Our Nation is more secure and stronger for your having served and led the world's finest Air Force.