George E. Thibault Jr.


Captain George E. Thibault Jr. of Alexandria, Virginia, and Edgartown died in Alexandria on November 4, 2012, after a short illness. He was 79.

He leaves his wife, Sally, of 56 years and two daughters, Sara Beth Thibault of Alexandria and Suzanne (Thibault) Payne, son-in-law Rear Admiral Tilghman Payne; and two grandchildren, Tilghman Jr. and Sara Payne, presently assigned to Guam.

He was born in Massachusetts in 1933 and grew up in Lexington, graduating from Tufts University in 1955. He held Masters degrees from Boston University and George Washington University. He served 30 years in the United States Navy as a line officer. In addition to sea duty, he taught at the French Naval Academy in Brest, France, and served as special assistant to the Director, Central Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency, to the Commander Second Fleet and to Commander in Chief, Central Europe. He served on the staffs of Supreme Allied Command Atlantic and the United Nations Command, Korea. He was Chairman of the Military Strategy Department at the National War College, Ft. McNair.

Following his Navy career, he was affiliated with Booz-AIIen Hamilton as Director of Business Strategy and War Gaming and Director of the firm’s first Senior Leadership Development Program. For the past 25 years he has been a professor of the Naval War College Distant Learning Program, retiring this past June. He was the author of “The Art and Practice of Military Strategy” and “Dimensions of Military Strategy.” He was named professor emeritus of the National War College and the first adjunct professor to be named professor emeritus from the Naval War College.

During his career he was a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London. He was a member of the Corporation Board of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a member of the New York Yacht Club. He was an accomplished artist and musician, spending many hours at the piano entertaining his family and friends.

Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, or the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society. Services will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.