Appointment of John M. Poindexter as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

December 4, 1985

The President announced the appointment of John M. Poindexter as the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. He will succeed Robert C. McFarlane.

Admiral Poindexter was appointed as the Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs by President Reagan on October 17, 1983. He was promoted to vice admiral on May 15, 1985. Admiral Poindexter first joined the National Security Council staff in June 1981 as military assistant to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Immediately before joining the National Security Council staff, he was Deputy Chief of Naval Education and Training and chief of staff of the Naval Education and Training Command in Pensacola, FL. In 1958 he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at the head of his class. He was a Burke scholar at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, where he earned the degree of doctor of philosophy in nuclear physics in 1964, studying under the Nobel laureate Rudolph Mossbauer. He was on the personal staff of Secretaries of the Navy John Chafee, John Warner, and J. William Middendorf II from 1971 to 1974, and was executive assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. James L. Holloway III, from 1976 to 1978. During his naval career, Admiral Poindexter served aboard a number of surface ships. He commanded the guided missile cruiser U.S.S. England (CG - 22) and later commanded destroyer squadron 31. In this capacity, he was a battle group antisurface and antisubmarine warfare commander on deployments to the western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific. His decorations include the Legion of Merit with Gold Star in lieu of Second Award, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Expeditionary Medal for service in the Indian Ocean, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Admiral Poindexter is married to the former Linda A. Goodwin, has five sons, and resides in Rockville, MD. He was born in Washington, IN, on August 12, 1936.