Vice Adm. Philip M. Quast '61
1991 Distinguished Alumnus Award
Vice Adm. Philip M. Quast '61 entered the Naval Reserves on his 17th birthday. After graduating from Carroll with a degree in history, he intended to fulfill his three-year requirement for active duty and return to graduate school to become a teacher. While he never became a teacher as originally planned, he has continued to be involved with education throughout his career with the Navy, serving numerous tours as both a student and an instructor.
Vice Adm. Quast served as the 20th commander of the Navy’s Military Sealift Command, the Department of the Navy’s single manager for military ocean transportation. In his role, he became one of 20 three-star flag officers in the Navy’s senior ranks. Quast controlled more than 140 ships which provided underway replenishment services to Navy combatant ships, specialized in oceanographic military support, and transportation of material and supplies over the world’s waterways.
Quast distinguished himself from the onset of his military career. After two tours in Vietnam he was awarded two Bronze Star Medals with Combat V for his superlative performance under enemy fire. He later became the commanding officer of the USS Benjamin Stoddert and was elected by his peers for the first Admiral James Stockdale Leadership Award for the Pacific Fleet.
It was during numerous tours in Washington D.C. in the personnel field that Quast relentlessly pursued and promoted people-oriented programs. He was an active participant in charitable activities and Navy organizations that assist sailors and their families, and has been involved in Catholic parishes as a speaker in Navy awareness programs and family service center programs. He received the Humanitarian Service Medal for direct participation in the Hurricane Elena Relief Operation and also received a Legion of Merit, a Meritorious Service Medal and a Navy Commendation Medal during his career.
Quast lived in Carmel, California with his wife Peggy of 55 years until he passed away in 2019.