By Cooper, Womack

Substituted for: House Bill No. 2709

By Phillips

AN ACT To designate a certain segment of State Route 50 in Lincoln County as the "Admiral Frank B. Kelso Highway".

WHEREAS, Since the birth of our great nation, hundreds of thousands of brave American men and women have served their country in the armed forces and many continue this legacy of service today, defending the most inviolate principles of human freedom and democracy; and

WHEREAS, Perhaps no one in this state's storied military history exemplifies this time-honored tradition of Tennessee volunteerism better than Admiral Frank B. Kelso II; and

WHEREAS, Admiral Kelso is most assuredly one such outstanding citizen, the very epitome of a person devoted to his country and the ideals of freedom and liberty; he is the only Tennessean ever to become Chief of Naval Operations, as the Navy's Commanding Officer and highest official; and

WHEREAS, A native of Fayetteville, Admiral Kelso was born the son of Benton and Wista Kelso and attended Fayetteville and Lincoln County Schools; he also attended the University of the South at Sewanee prior to entering the United States Naval Academy; and

WHEREAS, Upon his graduation from the Naval Academy, Admiral Kelso attended Submarine School and the Naval Nuclear Power School, and subsequently established himself in the Naval chain of command through his distinguished service as commanding officer of the USS Finback and the USS Bluefish, both nuclear-powered submarines, prior to attaining Flag Rank, Rear Admiral in 1980; and

WHEREAS, For his estimable record of service to the Navy, Admiral Kelso was appointed Commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet from 1985-86; Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet from 1986-90; Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic Fleet from 1988-90; Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Command from 1988-90; and Chief of Naval Operations from 1990-94; and

WHEREAS, Admiral Kelso has received numerous awards during his meritorious tenure with the Navy, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit; and

WHEREAS, He also received the Legion d'Honneur rank of Commander from France, Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, Norway's Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, Sweden's Royal Order of the Polar Star and Thailand's Most Noble Order of the Crown; and

WHEREAS, His numerous honors and accolades aside, Admiral Kelso is most appreciative of the love and support he shares with his devoted wife, Landess McCown Kelso, whose parents were originally from Lincoln County; and their four children: Lieutenant Commander Thomas B. Kelso II, MC, U.S. Navy; Lieutenant Commander Robert D. Kelso, U.S. Navy; Mrs. Mary Kelso Kearns, wife of Lieutenant Commander William E. Kearns III, U.S. Navy; and Kerry L. Kelso of Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, Admiral Kelso has served with merit during his exemplary service with the U.S. Navy, and in the process has achieved the prestigious rank of Full Four Star Admiral, joining Admiral David G. Farragut and one other as the only three Four Star Admirals from Tennessee to ever attain such a lofty rank; and

WHEREAS, Men of his stature do not often walk among us, and it is most appropriate that we should provide a lasting tribute to his life of purpose and commitment to the greater good of this nation; now, therefore,


SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, that segment of State Route 50 in Lincoln County from State Route 64 to the Moore County line is hereby designated the "Admiral Frank B. Kelso Highway" as a tribute to this distinguished Tennessean and his many outstanding achievements.

SECTION 2. The Department of Transportation is directed to erect suitable signs or to affix suitable markers designating such segment of State Route 50 as the "Admiral Frank B. Kelso Highway".

SECTION 3. The erection of such signs or markers shall be within the guidelines prescribed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.

PASSED: March 9, 1998

APPROVED this 19th day of March 1998