18 Nov 00 17:00 EST

Naval Representative
1949 - 1990

Rogues Gallery NavRep History NavRep Chronology NavRep Profile


The Naval Representative (NavRep) was an institution unique to USMLM.  Paragraph 2 of the Huebner-Malinin Agreement established the position and granted both sides the right to assign NavReps to their respective Missions, but the Soviets elected not to do so at SMLM-Frankfurt.  Neither the Robertson-Malinin Agreement nor the Noiret-Malinin Agreement contained an analogous provision.  Thus, BRIXMIS and FMLM performed naval-related taskings using Army and Air Force personnel. 

In all, sixteen individuals served as the NavRep.  From 1949-62 five Navy officers held the billet, after which – at the recommendation of two of the incumbents based on the nature of the tasks – the Marine Corps assumed responsibility for it.  From 1962-90 eleven Marines filled the position; most often they were Russian FAOs or officers with similar backgrounds.  Additionally, from 1978-80 two Marines served in other permanent capacities in the Mission.  Numerous Navy and Marine Corps personnel, both active and reserve, also performed periods of temporary duty at USMLM.

Functionally, the NavRep advised CUSMLM on naval matters and served as a “versatile” tour officer.  Notwithstanding his title, the NavRep actually focused on combined arms rather than strictly naval matters; geography, the nearly routine inclusion by HQ GSFG/WGF of the Baltic Coast in a Permanent Restricted Area (PRA), and Soviet and NVA order of battle in the GDR dictated this concentration.  While touring, he performed about 70% Ground, 25% Air, and 5% Naval taskings. 

The NavRep participated fully in both Ground and Air Team operations yet enjoyed an independent organizational status, reporting directly to the Chief of Mission.  Frequently he counted among the most senior officers in USMLM.  Depending upon individual backgrounds, qualifications, seniority, personalities, and the needs of the Mission at the time many NavReps also performed significant supervisory or collateral duties (see NavRep Profile below). 


Mar49-Jun51 LT Frederick A. Yates USN LCDR
Jun51-Dec52 LT Owen Lovelace USN University professor (deceased)
Jan53-Aug56 LCDR Paul A. Gray USN LCDR
Aug56-Jan57 TBD .
Mar57-Jun60 LCDR Frederick A. Yates USN LCDR 
May60-Jun62 CDR John A. Fahey USN CDR
. ******** .
May62-Jul65  Maj John W. Clayborne USMC Col 
Jul65-Jul68 Maj Dave Obuhanych USMC Col 
Jun68-Feb71 Maj William R. Ball USMC Col 
Jan71-Mar74 Maj Dominik G. Nargele USMC LtCol 
Jan74-Jul77 LtCol John J. Guenther USMC LtCol/SIES-5
Jul77-Aug80 LtCol Jim Reilly USMC Col 
Aug78-Feb80 Capt Jack D. Mathis USMC * Maj
Jul78-Apr79  MSgt John H. Diehm USMC ** MGySgt
Jun80-Jul82 LtCol Gerald F. Huml USMC Col 
Jul82-Oct82 Capt Thomas M. Vanderhoof  USMC LtCol 
Jan83-Jul86 LtCol Lawrence G. Kelley USMC Col
Jan86-Jul89  LtCol Michael E. Ennis USMC  BGen
Jun89-Oct90 Maj James Rickard USMC LtCol 
Assistant NavRep
** NCOIC, Joint Section


1. Numbers: Sixteen individuals served as the NavRep: five Navy officers (1949-62) and eleven Marines (1962-90).

2. Grade: NavReps varied in grade from Navy LT to CDR, and from Marine Captain to Colonel-select.  On average, the NavRep was a LCDR or senior Major-junior Lieutenant Colonel.

3. Career status: The NavRep was nearly always a career officer.  One ultimately made Brigadier General, and six retired as Colonels.  While in military retirement, another NavRep reached Senior Intelligence Executive Service Grade 5 (general officer equivalency) in the federal government.

4. Tour length: Typically two-three years for Navy officers and three years for Marines, though extensions were common.  LCDR Frederick A. Yates served two tours in the Mission; he was the only NavRep to do so.  Three NavReps saw their tours end prematurely.

5. Warfare Specialties: The Navy officers hailed from the aviation (blimp), intelligence, ordnance, and surface line communities.  The Marines – from a spectrum of combat arms and combat support MOS’s: armor, artillery, aviation, infantry (including reconnaissance), intelligence, and radio-electronic combat.

6. FAO experience: Six (of eleven) Marines held Russian FAO designations.  Two other Marines and one Navy officer possessed similar training/experience but did not hold that designation.

7. Relevant foreign languages: Ten Marines spoke Russian.  Many also spoke German, one – French, and one – German, Lithuanian, and Polish.  Navy officers generally spoke German; two also spoke Russian.

8. Combat experience: About 80% of the NavReps served in combat: in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and/or Operation Desert Storm.  Some had multiple combat tours.

9. Additional duties at USMLM: About half of the NavReps performed supervisory or additional duties on a permanent or temporary basis: as Deputy Chief of Mission, Chief of the Joint Division, Mission Operations Officer, Intelligence Liaison Officer, interpreter for CUSMLM, OIC of "Project Metered", and Potsdam House OIC.

This page  was made possible thanks to the generous research and contributions of
L. G. Kelley.
Feedback/comments to 



A private, not for profit organization

 Copyright © 1999-2000 USMLMA, Inc. All rights reserved