May 21, 2020

TAPS: Dr. John B. Chomeau, CAPT, USNR-Ret RIPacross an

CHOMEAU John B. Chomeau (Age 85) Passed away on April 21, 2020 at Harmony of Falls Run in Fredericksburg.

He was a beloved husband to his wife of 62 years, Maria Diamandis Chomeau and he was a strong and loving father to his four children, Mary Faha (Tom), John Chomeau (Gayle), Anne Kifer (Rob), and Jay Chomeau (Vinni). He was an exuberant grandfather to his eight treasured grandchildren, Matthew, Patrick, John, Alex, Britton, Mikayla, Sarah and Taylor. John is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Mary Chomeau of Kirkwood Missouri; his sister, Molly Chomeau; and brother Richard Chomeau.

John grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri and found great joy in birding, sailing, scouts and teaching swimming. He attended St. Louis University High School and the University of Notre Dame finishing with a doctorate in Russian studies. He served in the Navy for six years, stationed in Morocco and Norfolk and remained active in the U.S. Naval Reserve finishing as a captain. He completed the U.S. Naval War College and served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. He served in the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst for 24 years and was a specialist in Soviet/Russian military affairs.

John and Maria raised their family in McLean and belonged to the PAX Catholic community. They later moved to Colonial Beach, Virginia. John found great joy in helping others throughout his life and he actively volunteered as a soccer coach and referee, ski patroller, Colonial Beach Rescue Squad, Coast Guard Auxiliary and a past president of the Association for Rescue at Sea.

John had an open heart and if he looked at you right away you were his friend. His kids will confirm that he stopped for every flat tire and car accident. He will be greatly missed and remembered for his great energy and big heart. In his desire to help others he lived in the spirit of Saint Francis. "Preach the gospel and if you have to, use words."

A private funeral will be held on May 8, 2020 and a memorial gathering will be held at a later date. Donations can be made to the Colonial Beach Rescue Squad. Online guest book is available here

Published in The Washington Post on May 3, 2020.

--------------My rememberance of John Chomeau------

In the late 1970s, John Chomeau helped to form the ONI Estimates Naval Reserve Unit, serving first as XO and then as CO. The elite unit employed experienced, foreign language-qualified intelligence analysts who carried out focused all-source analyses of the Soviet and certain other foreign navies. These analysts specialized in the use of the writings of foreign naval leaders and thinkers (among them ADM Sergei Gorshkov), from open-source to very sensitive acquisitions, to shed light on the future course of naval services and their thinking on strategy and tactics. With a doctorate in Russian studies and an established reputation as an analyst exceptionally informed on the Soviet Navy, John led and inspired his unit to some unique insights informing intelligence estimates and enriching other naval intelligence analytical efforts. The unit initiated and published the classified ONI Intelligence Quarterly to circulate some of its work.

John was warm and enthusiastic; an insightful and inspiring leader who identified and recruited exceptional intelligence analysts. With a well-developed network of analytical contacts across a number of agencies and offices, he was often able to cut through the usual barriers to connect with all the information available on the subject at hand. This was notable at a time when some strong differences between agencies impaired sharing. With a forceful and positive presence and enthusiasm for the subject at hand, John was a joy to work with and a caring mentor for his analysts. One of the notable naval intelligence professionals that I was privileged to know.

Bill Horn