Skip to main content

Moorer, Thomas

Moorer, Thomas (1912–), Cold War U.S. naval leader; chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), 1970–74.A blunt but affable Alabaman, Moorer was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and saw combat as a naval aviator early in World War II and participated in the postwar Strategic Bombing Survey. Later he commanded the Pacific Fleet (during the Tonkin Gulf incident and the air campaign over Vietnam), and the Atlantic Fleet (during the Dominican Republic intervention). Moorer served as NATO's Atlantic commander (during France's pullout from NATO commands) and commander in chief of the U.S. unified Atlantic Command. Chief of Naval Operations in 1967, his term saw intensive operations in the Vietnam War, the Pueblo incident in Korea (1968), increased public antipathy toward the military, Soviet challenges to U.S. naval dominance, and decline of U.S. naval strength.

As chairman of the JCS (1970–74), Moorer served President Nixon and defense secretaries Laird, Richardson, and Schlesinger. Bombing and mining campaigns against North Vietnam (which he championed), “Vietnamization,” strategic arms limitation talks, conventional force cuts, the end of Conscription, and two Middle East crises highlighted his term.

Following retirement, Moorer remained active in research and industry, notably as senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
[See also Dominican Republic, U.S. Military Involvement in; Middle East, U.S. Military Involvement in the; Navy, U.S.: Since 1946, SALT Treaties.]


J. Kenneth McDonald , Thomas Hinman Moorer, in Robert William Love, Jr., ed., The Chiefs of Naval Operations, 1980.
Willard J. Webb and and Ronald H. Cole , The Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1989.

Peter M. Swartz

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Moorer, Thomas." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . 20 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Moorer, Thomas." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . (February 20, 2019).

"Moorer, Thomas." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.