In Memoriam

USNA Alumni Association and Foundation Mourns Former Chairman, Distinguished Graduate ADM Carlisle A.H. Trost ’53, USN (Ret.)

Distinguished Graduate and former Chairman of the USNA Alumni Association Board of Trustees ADM Carlisle A.H. Trost ’53, USN (Ret.), passed away on 29 September 2020 at the age of 90.

After graduating first in his class, then-Ensign Trost reported for duty aboard the destroyer ROBERT A. OWENS. He married his wife Pauline the following year and entered Submarine School at New London, CT, again graduating first in his class. He was assigned to the nuclear attack submarine SWORDFISH. In January 1968,

Carl took command of SAM RAYBURN, and after a tour on staff Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, he was assigned to the Pentagon, where he served as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. As a flag officer, Admiral Trost distinguished himself in one command after another. In 1980, he assumed command of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, where his leadership earned him special recognition from America’s Pacific allies. In 1986, he became the 23rd Chief of Naval Operations, where he worked to prepare America’s naval forces to prosecute the Gulf War. In retirement, Admiral Trost continued his tireless support of his alma mater as a member of the Naval Academy’s Leaders to Serve the Nation Campaign executive committee. He was also a leader in the Class of ’53 effort to raise funds for the renovation of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. A member of the first class of Olmsted Scholars, he later became chairman of the Olmsted Foundation. From 2003 to 2009, he served as chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees.

ADM Trost’s wife, Pauline, passed away in 2015 and he is survived by four children and many other family members and friends.

ADM Trost was a dedicated officer, inspiring leader and good friend to the entire Naval Academy alumni community. He will be greatly missed by all the entire Naval Academy family. A private burial will be held at the Naval Academy Cemetery, with a memorial service to be scheduled in Spring 2021.

Memories of ADM Carlisle A.H. Trost ’53, USN (Ret.)
by Dennis Murphy ’81

A memorial service for Athletic & Scholarship Program Emeritus Trustee ADM Carlisle A. H. Trost, delayed one year due to COVID-19, took place on 20 September with a keynote remembrance by Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) ADM Mike Gilday ’85, USN. ADM Trost, who served as the 23rd CNO from June 1986 to July 1990, was a recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award and served as Chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees.
After serving as Brigade Commander and graduating first in his class, ADM Trost joined the crew of destroyer ROBERT OWENS (DD-827) and then attended submarine school and was trained in nuclear power, graduating number one in that class as well. He served in nuclear submarines through command of SAM RAYBURN (SSBN-635) and then operational and staff roles of increasing responsibility including Commands of Seventh Fleet and Atlantic Fleet. His career spanned the Cold War as the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test during his plebe year and the Berlin Wall came crumbling down during his tenure as CNO.

ADM Trost was a man of great intellect and humility who was known for his kindness and for caring about people and their families. His Flag Aide from his time as CNO recalled during a eulogy at the memorial service: “His days at the Pentagon would end at 5 p.m. with me carrying two packed brief cases down to his car so he could finish working at home. He knew that none of the senior leaders would leave until he left and that meant their staffs would not be leaving to get home to their families either. He made the sacrifice to work alone in the evening without his staff at his beck and call which made it more difficult on him but better for the families.”

That was Carl Trost.