Donald L. Pilling

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Donald L. Pilling
Donald L Pilling.jpg
Admiral Donald L. Pilling
Born (1943-06-04)June 4, 1943
Bayside, New York, U.S.
Died May 26, 2008(2008-05-26) (aged 64)
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1965–2000
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held Sixth Fleet
USS Dahlgren
Awards Legion of Merit (5)
Other work President & CEO, Logistics Management Institute
Member, Defense Science Board
Member, Council on Foreign Relations

Donald Lee Pilling (June 4, 1943[1] – May 26, 2008) was a retired four-star United States Navy admiral who served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations from 1997 to 2000.

Military career[edit]

A 1965 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Pilling's sea experience concerned destroyers. He commanded USS Dahlgren (DDG-43), was Commander of Destroyer Squadron 26, Commander, Cruiser Group 12, Commander, Saratoga Battle Group, Commander, United States Sixth Fleet and Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces Southern Europe.

Ashore, Admiral Pilling was assigned to a variety of defense resources and planning billets. From 1973 to 1977, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (PA&E) where he was responsible for the resource analysis of all U.S. and foreign tactical aircraft and missile programs. From 1980 to 1983 he was on the personal staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, responsible for monitoring trends in the international environment and their implications for future naval forces.

As a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution (1985–1986), he studied defense acquisition and national security issues. From 1986 to 1988, Admiral Pilling was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations where he was responsible for the development of the Navy Five-Year Defense Plan (FYDP). A member of the National Security Council staff from 1989 until July 1992, Pilling had broad responsibilities in foreign policy and national security issues. From 1993 to 1995, he was the Director for Programming (N80) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Resources, Warfare Requirements and Assessments (N8) from July 1996 to November 1997. He assumed duties as the 30th Vice Chief of Naval Operations in November 1997.

Pilling was awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1970, with a dissertation titled The Algebra of Operators for Regular Events.[2] He has published articles in both mathematical and professional journals and is also the author of a monograph, Competition in Defense Procurement, published in 1989 by the Brookings Institution.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Surface Warfare Officer Insignia.png
Bronze oak leaf cluster
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg 1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png NATO Medal Yugoslavia ribbon bar.svg
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg
US - Presidential Service Badge.png
Surface Warfare Officer Pin
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with four gold award stars Meritorious Service Medal with two award stars Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two award stars
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Armed Forces Service Medal Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with three service stars NATO Medal for the former Yugoslavia
Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge
Presidential Service Badge

Post military[edit]

On January 1, 2002, Pilling became President and Chief Executive Officer Logistics Management Institute, a government consulting firm.[3] He was also a member of the Defense Science Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the White House Fellows Commission. He was on the Board of Trustees/Advisors at the Naval War College, the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University, and the National Defense Industrial Association. He was also a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.[3]

Admiral Pilling lived in Bayside, New York, and was married to Barbara Pilling (née Orbon).

Donald Pilling died from leukemia on May 26, 2008.[4] Funeral services took place on May 30, 2008, at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "U.S. Naval Academy bio".