Admiral Frank Bowman
Engineer , and Awarded the Medal of " Officier
de l'Ordre National du Merite " by the
Government of the Republic of France
The French Ambassador Honors American
and French Former and Present Servicemen
Admiral Frank L. Bowman
We are gathered here today to honor Admiral Frank Bowman of the United States Navy and present him with the "Ordre National du Mérite". As you know, this medal is one of two French National Orders which are given to reward military or civilian personnel for their dedicated efforts for the benefit of the French Republic.
On some occasions, it can be awarded to foreign dignitaries, which is the case tonight.
Admiral Frank Bowman was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on December 19, 1944. He is the current Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Directorate at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters.
Admiral Bowman was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy upon graduation from Duke University. Subsequently, he earned two Master of science degrees in nuclear engineering from the very prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His brilliant career as a submarine officer includes many operational assignments aboard nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN Simon Bolivar, SSBN Daniel Boone) as well as aboard nuclear attack submarines (SSN Pogy, SSN Bremerton, SSN City of Corpus Christi and SSN Holland as commanding officer).
He also served in numerous staff positions including the Staff of the Commander, Submarine squadron 15, on the island of Guam, on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations' Strategic Studies Group in Washington, as Navy's Nuclear Program Manager and Head Submarine Detailer and on the Joint Staff as Director for Political-Military Affairs.
But it is in his capacity as Chief of Naval Personnel from July 1994 until September 1996 that Admiral Frank Bowman had the opportunity to develop close and durable ties with the French Navy. His remarkable professionalism associated with his knowledge of the common interests that exist between our two navies contributed in no small measure to the establishment of a productive, dynamic and very promising cooperation in the field of personnel.
In recognition of his outstanding personal values, his high esteem for the French Navy and French technology in general, and his unflinching contribution to a closer French-American military cooperation, Admiral Frank L. Bowman has been awarded the medal of "Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite" by the Government of the Republic of France.
Dr. Maurice Sevik
We are here to honor Dr. Maurice Sevik with the French National Award of "Ordre National du Mérite".
Dr Maurice Sevik was born on March 9, 1923, in Istanbul, Turkey. He studied in Turkey, Great Britain, and finally came to the US where he got his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 1963.
From 1963 to 1969, he assumed several positions, including teaching and researching at Pennsylvania State University, as well as finally becoming the Director of Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel and Assistant Director of the Applied Research Laboratory. He would later spent 2 years back in England, at the Churchill College in Cambridge.
After this career with the university, he joined one of the most prestigious facilities for naval research, the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center. It was here that he provided leadership as well as technical advice in the field of acoustics and silencing.
In this position, he was a key element in setting up a cooperation program between France and the US in this very sensitive field, at the same time France was developing our new SSBN "le Triomphant".
During his career, the talents of Dr. Sevik were recognized by many awards. Today, in recognition of his role in the Franco- American defense cooperation, I am pleased to present Dr Sevik with the rank of Officer of the Ordre National du Mérite, an honor awarded by the President of the Republic of France.
Mr. Pierre-Jean Patran
We are here today to honor Mr. Pierre-Jean Patran with the rank of officer of the "Ordre National du Mérite", which has been awarded to him by the President of the Republic of France.
Pierre-Jean Patran was born on February 24, 1941 in Paris, France. He came to the United States of America in 1947, when his parents immigrated there, and lived in Queens, New York. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, he began working for the Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey, as a junior engineer. Pierre-Jean Patran was involved with aircraft testing of Launch and Recovery equipment for US Navy Aircraft Carrier.
During his career, he received several promotions, including senior Project Engineer, Supervisory Aerospace Engineer and Program Manager. While working he also received a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1976.
He was again involved with France as the Program Manager for Foreign Military Sales dealing with the French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle and the Carrier Foch. The purpose of this FMS cases was to provide the French Navy with launch and recovery equipments, as well as various systems used in aircraft operation on the French carriers.
Furthermore, Pierre-Jean Patran was in charge of test campaigns for the Rafale aircraft in the United States. As you may know, the new French fighter Rafale underwent four campaigns in the US, in Lakehurst, New Jersey, as well as Patuxent River, Maryland, in order to check its compatibility with Launch and recovery equipment and to study its handling quality and performances in these flight phases. A major part of the success of these campaigns must be attributed to the efforts of Pierre-Jean Patran.
In recognition of all this I am very pleased to award you with the rank of officer of the Ordre National du Mérite.
Remise des Insignes d’Officier de la Légion d’Honneur au
Général de brigade aérienne Jean-François Louvion.
Mesdames et messieurs,
Le général Louvion fait partie d’un petit groupe de français qui portent sur notre pays un regard particulier. Ils ne sont pas très nombreux, en effet, ceux qui ont eu le privilege de voir, de regarder notre territoire de si haut, aux confins de l’atmosphere, de la ou deja l’on peut apercevoir la courbure de la terre; pour ceux-la, grande serait la tentation de trouver la France petite. Et pourtant, je sais que cette pensee est loin de l’esprit du Général Louvion qui, dans ses fonctions d’Attaché de défense, représente dignement la France auprès des Forces armées américaines.
General Louvion, your career followed the classic route in every respect bar one. You were born in the north of France and joined the Air Force at the age of 20. You attended the Air College and on graduating in 1969 began a career in operations as a fighter pilot. This gave you the chance to fly all the French combat fighters, including the Mirage 2000; in fact, you helped prepare the Air Force to deploy the new fighter in 1984 and 1985 and were the first officer to command the Mirage 2000 squadron. As I said, your career was absolutely classical--except that you did something that others in your situation didn’t: you attended classes at the Air War College at Maxwell Base in Alabama where, in addition to acquiring a sound knowledge of English, you got to know your American counterparts and so gave yourself solid preparation for your present mission.
Turning briefly to your career in operations, I'd just like to mention the two occasions on which you took part in operations in Chad, specifically the time from 1988 to 1989 when you were joint forces chief of staff for Operation Epervier in that country.
Before being appointed to your present post, you held a staff position at the National Defense General Secretariat where you took a keen interest in technological issues and the transfer of technologies.
Mon Général, si votre formation vous est venue de l’Ecole de l’Air et des 3.800 heures de vol que vous totalisez, je sais que les ailes vous sont poussées à la lecture de Saint-Exupery et de Closterman. Entre les livres devores a l’adolescence et les fonctions d’Attache de Défense à Washington, vous avez en toutes circonstances servi respectueusement et fidelement ce pays qu’aux commandes de votre appareil il vous est arrivé de traverser en quelques dizaines de minutes. C’est donc avec un reel plaisir que j’ai aujourd’hui le privilège de vous remettre cette décoration.