Admiral Carlisle A.H. Trost
April 24, 1930 – September 29, 2020
Admiral Carlisle Albert Herman Trost, of Annapolis, Md., died on September 29, 2020 from complications related to a fall. He was 90 years old.
Carl was born on April 24, 1930, in Valmeyer, Ill., to Elmer H. and Luella (Hoffmann) Trost. As a child growing up in rural Illinois, Carl didn’t exactly dream about a life at sea. He spent summers helping out on his grandparents’ farm and once built a house with his parents. Though he enjoyed farming, Carl’s true passion was school. He worked several jobs to pay his high school tuition and attended Washington University in St. Louis on a one-year Army ROTC scholarship. At the end of that year, and uncertain the scholarship would renew, Carl applied for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and entered the Academy in July 1949 as a member of the USNA Class of 1953.
Entering the Naval Academy changed the trajectory of Carl’s life more profoundly than he could have imagined. He excelled academically and graduated first in his class, but, perhaps more importantly, he met the love of his life. While serving as Brigade Commander, Carl fell in love with Pauline Louise Haley of Cottage City, Md. They married in May 1954. Together, Carl and Pauline embraced the many challenges of military and family life, raising four children and building lifelong friendships as they traveled around the world for Carl’s flourishing naval career. Of course, Carl never lost his love of learning: he continued his studies in Germany at the University of Freiburg in the first class of Olmsted Scholars and once again graduated first in his class at both the Naval Submarine School and the Advanced Naval Nuclear Power Course.
In his 37 years of commissioned service, Carl served as Commanding Officer of the submarine USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN 635 Blue), Commander Submarine Group Five, Deputy Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet, Commander of the Seventh Fleet, and Commander-in-Chief of the United States Atlantic Fleet/Deputy Commander of the United States Atlantic Command. In 1986 he was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to serve as the 23rd Chief of Naval Operations, a position he held from 1986 until his retirement from the Navy in 1990. To date, he is the only Chief of Naval Operations who also graduated first in his class from the Naval Academy.
Carl remained involved in the Navy community following his retirement in 1990. In 2002, Carl was named as a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He served as Chairman of the USNA Alumni Association and was an active member of the USNA Foundation, Naval Institute, USN Submarine League, Military Order of the Carabao and several others. Outside of the Navy, Carl was Chairman of the Olmsted Foundation, a member of the National Eagle Scout Association, and on the boards of Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, LL&E and GPU, among others.
In the early 1990s, Carl helped Pauline bring to life her vision of helping the families of injured and ill service members. The Fisher House Foundation was established after a conversation with their friends Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, and over the past thirty years, it has provided more than 400,000 families with a “home away from home” near medical centers while their loved ones heal.
Carl often said that he wished to be remembered as a good naval officer and, more importantly, as a loving husband, father and friend. He was devoted to his family and was happiest spending time with his children and grandchildren at his Sandbridge, Va., beach house (when he wasn’t using the house to party with the class of ‘53!). Carl impressed his family with his dedication to the daily crossword and his perfect memory, often recalling meetings with foreign dignitaries down to the exact names, dates, and even times. When asked about his successes, Carl said, “I realized when I was young that I could remember things I was interested in, and fortunately I was interested in a lot of things.”
Carl is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Pauline, and his sister, Mardelle Lou. He is survived by his four children, Carl Michael, Laura Lee Carrico (John), Steve (Gail) and Kathleen, along with six grandchildren, Scott Carrico, Megan Sugrue (Alexander), William Trost (Michelle), Justin Carrico (Arielle), Haley Trost, and Alexa Trost.
Friends may call at the John M. Taylor Funeral Home 147 Duke of Gloucester St, Annapolis, MD 21401 on Sunday, October 4, 2020 from 2 to 4 PM. Burial at the USNA Cemetery is private.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes memorial contributions be made to the Fisher House Foundation (fisherhouse.org/ways-to-give) or the US Naval Academy Foundation (https://www.usna.com/give)
For further information, please visit: https://www.history.navy.mil/news-and-events/news/2020/Trost_23rd_CNO_Passes.html .
10:30 am - 11:30 am
United States Naval Academy Chapel
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Admiral Carlisle A.H. Trost
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
October 27, 2020
To the Trost family members...I was the newly appointed Civil Engineer Corps Officer assigned to the PWC Norfolk Flag Housing Officer billet in late June 1986 as "required" by the Admiral as soon as he became CNO. It seems the ceiling of the dining room of your parents residence at Missouri House (Jamestown Qtrs Naval Base Norfolk) fell down just before the farewell dinner for his CINCLANTFLT staff. Luckily no food was on the table. RADM John Paul Jones (then Chief of the CEC) told the story that if we didn't fix that house, the ADM said even John Wayne could not save our staff CORPS. ADM Trost made sure we got the monies and we went on to renovate Missouri House and the remaining 18 Jamestown Qtrs.
My sincerest condolences with great respect and honor to have served for him. Fair Winds and Following Seas!
LCDR Bruce L. Pierce, CEC USN-Ret, New Bern NC
October 8, 2020
The best officer I worked for in twenty-one years, and the finest man. He did everything well, and everything about him was admirable, including the things that upset him. He has had a great influence on me: for more than thirty years, when facing a decision, I have often asked myself What would Admiral Trost do? Even his last years have been remarkable, and it has been a pleasure to reconnect with him. I shall miss him a lot. What a splendid life! Tom Corcoran (CNO Speechwriter, 1986-1989).
October 5, 2020
I had the privilege and honor of working for Admiral Trost when he was the Chief of Naval Operations. He was an incredible human being, combining humility with leadership, intellect, integrity and humor. He had an incredible knack for remembering names. I and many others marveled at this ability. He loved his family and, of course, his Navy. Quite simply, he was a class act.
October 5, 2020
Thanks to Admiral Trost for his sound and steadfast leadership during the largest Naval Shipbuilding Program under SECNAV Lehman and President Regan. May your soul rest in peace.
Wilbur J (Jim) Mahony
October 4, 2020
Admiral Trost and I were roommates during the last semester we were at USNA. We appreciate that he kept the door of friendship open even after we both retired from active duty. His former Skipper in USS Swordfish, VADM Shannon Cramer, lived near us in Clemson. SC, before passing away, also held him in the highest regard. I cherish the hand written notes he sent from time to time on four-star paper.
October 4, 2020
So happy to have known both you and your gracious wife. RIP! May the Lord's blessings rain on those you have left behind. Loving kind thoughts always.
October 4, 2020
Many thanks to Admiral Carl Trost for his sage advice and sense of humor.
Carl was always available, but never insistent, for a chat, a friendly ear and sound advice based on experience. His remarkable accomplishments as a Navy Officer, Flag Officer and family man are noteworthy. Further, as we continue to study and publish the history of the Cold War, his tangible contributions and leadership in times of crisis will stand out. He served at the highest level with uncommon distinction. Fair Winds and Following Seas to our role model. May your Soul Rest In Peace.
Jon Greenert (ADM, USN (Ret), 30th Chief of Naval Operations)
October 4, 2020
This was a man of honor. Long after his military career, he was a neighbor in Maryland where he befriended my father; after my father's death, he stepped in as a mentor to my youngest brother who then attended the USNA and spent 28 years in uniform. Carl Trost selflessly impacted countless lives just like this. What an honor it was to know him.
October 3, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family. Carlisle was truly an exceptional man and great Naval leader. One memorable encounter with him is still vivid in my mind. I met him early one morning after a hurricane had past thru Norfolk. I was checking for damage to my quarters that was close to his when he called out my name (I only remember being introduced once to him many years before). He also asked about my wife and 2 children by name. Needless to say I was greatly taken back, and wishing that I too might have such a memory. He was an inspiration and mentor to all that knew him.
He will be missed.
Ray Jones, RADM USN (ret)
October 2, 2020
Very honored to have been with the Navy Motion Picture Service while ADM Trost was CNO. His office received movies from us in Brooklyn (NAVSTA New York) and he very likely watched them as CNO as well as serving in the sumarine force. Without question the admiral commanded our respect and we were proud to serve under his leadership. Our motto,"Serving the Fleet", included shore stations, fleet commanders, and every hull afloat and in dry dock. I will miss Admiral Trost as he embodied everything our nation stood for during the Cold War as well as today. My prayers for his soul and his family.
Radm William W. And Mrs Karen Cobb
October 1, 2020
For the Trost family, I had the honor of working for Adm Trost 3 times. As a young LT/Lcdr in Op 96, as Cdr in Op 090 and later when he was CNO. He was the finest Naval Officer in the Navy. As a junior officer, he took the time to teach me the ways of the Pentagon, and Pauline looked after my young wife, as she did for all wives. All his officers worshiped him as a leader but most of all as a mentor and friend. I saw him for the last time some months ago and he told me the he enjoyed his time in Op 96 most of all. Several of us there were lucky enough to reach flag rank, and it was mainly because of his lessons and guidance to us: always take care of your people and maintain a positive attitude. We will not see his like again soon. Thank God we had the privilege to have known him.With great respect and admiration. Radm and Mrs. William W. Cobb Jr. USN (retired)