Arland W. Kuester, CAPT USN (ret)(D)
Captain Kuester was a native of Madison WI and attended the University of Wisconsin prior to receiving a Congressional appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy. He graduated with distinction in 1961 and later earned a Master’s in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1973.
Following submarine school in 1962 he reported to the USS Bonefish and was selected for nuclear power training in 1964. He served aboard the USS John Adams; the USS John C. Calhoun, where he possibly set a submarine service record for longest tour as Chief Engineer (just shy of 5 years). His Executive Officer tour was on the USS Vallejo and his first command was Gold Crew for the USS Von Steuben.
He then was assigned to SubGroup 2 in New London as training officer after which he was selected to be the precommissioning commanding officer of the USS Georgia, the fourth Trident submarine. Upon commissioning, he commanded Blue Crew through sea trials, shakedown and first patrol. Subsequent assignments were to the Joint Strategic Targeting Planning Staff in Omaha and OpNav in DC, retiring in the fall of 1990.
His personal decorations included the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (twice), Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Joint Meritorious Unit Award (twice), Navy Expeditionary Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy “E” Ribbon and National Defense Service Medal.
After retirement from the Navy, he accepted a position at the Rocky Flats Environmental Site in Colorado as the Associate General Manager for Performance Based Training. He retired from Rocky Flats in November of 2001 only to return a month later to work for a contractor for whom he was working at the time of his death.
Arland was the vice president of the Colorado Chapter of the USNA Alumni Association and also served on the board of directors for the Denver Council of the Navy League and Share-A-Gift, a Boulder County charity providing toys for impoverished children. His interests included fly fishing, reading, hiking, traveling and following both the Colorado Avalanche and his beloved Green Bay Packers.
Arland is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Barbara, and by three daughters, Karen Rossler of Washington DC, Nancy Morris of Kensington MD and Linda Thompson of Cumming GA. He would have loved knowing the precious grandchildren, Maddie (born the day after his passing), Sophie and Craig.
Arland will be remembered as a man of faith, a committed, loving husband and father, a loyal and trusted friend, mentor, classmate, shipmate and a true patriot.
“Fair winds and following seas” to his John C. Calhoun shipmates!