Military expert has Ebensburg ties

Letter No. 277 | December 16, 2001

On national television we frequently view Department of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld briefing reporters about the progress of the war in Afghanistan. Beside him is Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem, 49, who responds to the military details of the operation. Admiral Stufflebeem's title is deputy operations director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The November 28 edition of the Ebensburg Mountaineer Herald reported that Adm. Stufflebeem's face and name are familiar to many Ebensburg residents as he is married to a former native, Nan Mulvehill. His in-laws still reside there.

He is a 1975 graduate of the US Naval Academy where he played football, mainly as a punter. Following graduation, Stufflebeem played three seasons for the Detroit Lions while continuing to serve in the Navy. Forced to make a decision, he opted to pursue a career as a Navy fighter pilot aboard aircraft carriers and was involved in air operations over Bosnia and Iraq.

He frequently draws on his fighter pilot background when briefing reporters. The press reportedly admires him for his willingness to admit that he doesn't know the answer to a question. He is popular among his contemporaries who describe him as "personable" and "very smart."

In Ebensburg, many townsfolk recall his days as a White House military aide during George Bush "Sr.'s" presidency and as a top assistant to the chief of naval operations.

Frank Charney


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