As a retired Navy captain, George Thibault is no stranger to the Navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment. On active duty, he lived those values while serving in cruisers, destroyers, and amphibious ships as a surface line officer and holding several important staff positions. But it is in retirement (hardly an appropriate word in this case) that George Thibault became the personification of one of those core values.
In June 1972, Vice Admiral Stansfield Turner took the helm of the Naval War College with a mandate for change from then-Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt. In the wake of the Vietnam War, Zumwalt believed there clearly was a need for new ways of creating strategic thinkers. In response, Admiral Turner instigated what has often been called the “Turner Revolution,” making sweeping changes and giving the college a new sense of purpose. To accomplish that, he assembled a team of innovative thinkers—many of them hand-picked—and tasked them with developing a new curriculum, one that would combine academic rigor with real-world applications to “look beyond the shrinking boundaries of right and wrong answers.”