Vince Crawley's Africa Blog

AFRICOM Founder & First Deputy, Robert Moeller, Passes Away in Washington, D.C.

Posted in Uncategorized by Vince Crawley on March 31, 2011

STUTTGART, Germany - Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller in April 2010. U.S. Africa Command's first deputy to the commander for military operations passed away in Washington, D.C., March 28, 2011. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Vince Crawley)

I posted this yesterday on our main website,

STUTTGART, Germany, Mar 30, 2011— Retired Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller, a founder of U.S. Africa Command who led early planning efforts, served as the director of the U.S. AFRICOM Transition Team and then as the first deputy to the commander for military operations, traveling to dozens of nations to coordinate partnerships between African and U.S. militaries, passed away March 28, 2011, in the Washington, D.C., area following a nearly two-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Moeller turned 60 in February and served 36 years in the United States Navy.

A memorial for friends and family was scheduled for April 1 in Alexandria, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to be made to the ALS Association of Greater Washington.

Moeller called his work with U.S. AFRICOM “the highlight of my career.” In an interview shortly before he departed the command in April 2010, Moeller said it was an honor “to have been involved in this since the earliest days and to see the command mature to where we are now and, more importantly, see the progress that we’re making with our African partners in … working with them to develop their capability and capacity to meet their challenges.”

In late July 2010, days before his retirement from the U.S. Navy, Foreign Policy magazine published a lengthy article by Moeller. In it, Moeller wrote: “As we conduct our daily and weekly activities across Africa we believe we share a long-term vision with our African partners: Sustained security programs can, over time, help support the conditions for economic development, social development, and improvements in health — so that people will continue to see progress in their lives and growing prosperity in their communities.”

In August 2006, the Defense Department directed U.S. European Command (EUCOM) to advise on establishing a new command arrangement for U.S. military interests in Africa. In September 2006, EUCOM recommended creating a new command for Africa.

Moeller at the time was serving as special assistant to the commander of U.S. Central Command when, in the early fall of 2006, he was asked to be executive director to the U.S. Africa Command Implementation Planning (more…)