Rear Admiral J. Stanton Thompson Receives Defense Superior Service Medal

By Petty Officer 1st Class Beverly Allen | U.S. Northern Command Public Affairs | August 26, 2003

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Rear Adm. J. Stanton Thompson recently received the Defense Superior Service Medal for his service at U.S. Pacific Command
during a ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Rear Adm. Thompson was recognized for his dynamic leadership and continuous aggressive pursuit of efficient, effective and doctrinally correct training in the Pacific Command’s 21 joint and combined exercises, which produced lethal, combat ready forces. From 1999-2002 Rear Adm. Thompson served as the Mobilization Assistant to the Director of Operations (J3) at United States Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii, and was responsible for coordinating joint and combined exercises within the Pacific theater of operations.

General Ed Eberhart, the Commander in Chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command and Commander, United States Northern Command, presided at the ceremony and presented the award.

During Gen. Eberhart ‘s remarks highlighting Read Adm. Thompson’s career, Eberhart said “Stanton was on his way to the Naval Academy when he stopped by the University of Missouri to see his older sister, Sally Thompson Borgerson. She eagerly told him the advantages of attending MU. While there he also went to the campus library and re-read the Naval Academy booklet. After looking over the booklet and realizing a military school had many restrictions, he decided to tell his dad that he changed his mind and wanted to attend the University of Missouri.”

General Eberhart went on to say that Rear Adm. Thompson was a member of NROTC during his college years at the University of Missouri so he remained ‘true to his commitment to serve in the U.S. Navy.”

Also in attendance was the Honorable Paul McHale, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Security and Rear Adm. Thompson’s wife Sandra Kirby Thompson of Slater, Mo.

The Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) was established by Executive Order 11904, Feb. 6, 1976. It is awarded by the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after Feb. 6, 1976, rendered superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility.

Adm. Arleigh Burke summed up the meaning of this award when he said, “ We need men and women who by their personal integrity, their sense of moral purpose and their acceptance of the requirement for hard work will exemplify the best in the leadership traditions of the Navy and our country.”

A native of Slater, Mo., Rear Adm. Thompson is the son of Joe E. and Betty C. Thompson. Joe was a naval officer during WW II and served in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. After the war, Joe returned to the farm located between Slater and Marshall, Mo. Betty was a schoolteacher in Marshall.

Rear Adm. Thompson graduated from Slater High School in 1966 and from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science Degree, and in 1974 with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. He was commissioned through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), and served in USS Kilauea (AE-26) as gunnery officer, cargo officer, then First Lieutenant. During two extensive deployment Kilauea supplied ammunitions to Naval Forces conducting combat operation off the coast of Vietnam. He was released from active duty in September 1972.

Rear Adm. Thompson was recalled to active duty in September 1990 in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served as Commander, Port Security Harbor Defense Group TWO, Port of Al Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As group commander he was responsible for the defense of this strategic port from the high watermark seaward.

From 1992 to 1995, Rear Adm. Thompson served as Commander, Inshore Undersea Warfare Group TWO, Williamsburg, Va., which included 14 commissioned hardware equipped Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Units (MIUWUs). As commodore he helped identify forces and provided MIUWU assets to Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
He was promoted to flag rank in July of 1998 and assigned as Vice Commander, Maritime Defense Zone Pacific, Coast Guard Island, Alameda, Calif. He was responsible to the Commander for the seaward protection of vital logistic ports along the western seaboard of the United States.

Rear Adm. Thompson is currently the Special Assistant for Reserve Matters to the Commander, United States Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., and is responsible for the integration of reserves in homeland defense and military support to civilian authorities.

He currently manages the family farming operation in Higginsville, Mo. and serves as the Executive Director of the Lafayette County Missouri Office of the Farm Service Agency, an agency of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.