As a distinguished soldier, airman, public servant and author, The Honorable Barry M. Goldwater has rendered a lifetime of outstanding service to the United States and to its citizens. Through his extraordinary contributions to our nation’s decision-making process as well as to its aeronautics and national defense programs, he has exemplified the ideals of West Point expressed in its motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.”
Beginning with his commissioning in 1930 as a Reserve officer in the Army and continuing with his subsequent decade of service with Reserve units, his active duty with the Air Transport Command during World War II, his service organizing and directing the Arizona Air National Guard from 1947 to 1952, and his subsequent service with the Air Force Reserve until his retirement as a major general in 1967, Barry Goldwater wore his country’s uniform with great distinction throughout 37 years of continuous service.
In more than thirty years of responsibility as a United States Senator, Barry Goldwater established an unsurpassed national reputation for honesty, candor, and love of country. He consistently demonstrated strong support for our Armed Forces, urging the nation to build a strong defense while advocating a balanced national budget, a healthy and free economy, and the greatest possible freedom for individual action and achievement. During the 1974 crisis in our Presidency, he was a leader in seeking its resolution and, in so doing, earned the gratitude of the American people. His effective leadership, legislative skill, and wise counsel throughout his career as a United States Senator exemplified dedicated service, high integrity, and strong patriotism in the finest traditions of American public service.
As a prolific speaker and author of numerous books and articles, Senator Goldwater addressed major questions of American national strategic interests, national defense, the economy, and the social problems of our times. Always he demonstrated the moral courage to face difficult issues candidly and with the highest ethical standards thus winning the respect and admiration of his fellow citizens.
Through his long and selfless service to his country, Barry Goldwater has made a significant and lasting contribution to the security and welfare of the United States. His willing and continuous response to his country’s call to duty clearly symbolizes the values expressed in the motto of West Point. Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy hereby presents the 1987 Sylvanus Thayer Award to The Honorable Barry M. Goldwater.