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September 4, 2015
Oroville Mercury Register
September 24, 2011

Toney Dedicates his life to service, helping minorities
by Barbara Arrigoni
OROVILLE- Retired Navy Rear Adm. Robert Toney is a 1952 graduate of Oroville High School who established a long career in the military and a lifetime of helping young people, particularly minorities. On Sept. 24, he will be honored with induction into the 2011 Oroville Union High School District Hall of Fame. “I feel very good about it,” said Toney in a recent phone interview. “The reason is, I have a great deal of admiration for the school I attended and graduated from.” Toney was born in Monroe, La., His family first moved to Oakland in 1948, and when he was in the seventh grade, they moved to Oroville. He attended Oroville High from 1949 to 1952, and was both a scholar and athlete. His main sport was basketball, which he played all four years. He also participated in track and baseball, and earned Block O for three years. For his athletic endeavors, Toney was awarded a scholarship to Youngstown University in Ohio. Academically in high school, Toney was a member of the California Scholarship Federation for three year. He also participated in California Cadets Corps., where he was an officer for two years. Toney was also a musician, playing during football games, and a radio disc jockey during his high school years. During his college days, Toney played basketball at Youngstown University for a year. He then attended Chico State University, where he graduated in 1957 with a pre-law bachelor’s degree. Although Toney originally planned to become a lawyer, he ended up spending almost 35 years in the military. He got a glimpse of the difference between being an enlisted person or an officer, and was advised while attending Chico State to apply to Officer Candidate School. Toney entered the U. S. Navy Reserve in October 1957. In 1977 he completed NATO Defense College in Rome, and in 1990 he completed the National and International Security Course at Harvard. During his 34 ½ years as a Navy officer, Toney arose to the rank of rear admiral, the position he held when he retired in 1994. As commander of the Navy base in San Francisco, he managed more than 60,000 people, from Monterey to the Northern California border, and a payroll at the time of $2,6 billion. In addition to his commands as an admiral, Toney also served as Director of Logistics and Security Assistance, U.S. Pacific Command. Toney said that besides becoming an admiral, one of his most significant achievements in life came during the late 1960s, when he was on a tour of duty in Washington, D.C., and spear headed a program to place more minorities into the ranks of officers. “There were lots of good seamen, but nobody knew them,” he said. Toney was responsible for bringing many minorities into officer positions, and is proud that a list of 27 recommendations, including one to place Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps units at two predominantly black colleges. His list was approved in its entirety by then Chief of Naval Operations and now retired Adm. Elmo Zumwalt. The number of minority officers rose significantly afterward, he said.
(to be continued)

Stu’s Notes:
The above article about Retired Admiral Robert Toney was okayed for me to use before the upcoming 7th annual Oroville Union High School District Hall of Fame Dinner by Ray Sehorn, chairperson. I’m so proud that I’m listed as the “Nominator” of Corporal Arlin Rhine, OUHS Graduate who was killed in Action on Iwo Jima, WWII. I have written about Corp. Rhine before you can see this on our website - Thank you Daryl our Webb master. The dinner will be September 26 at 5:00pm at Gold Country Casino $35 per person. The tickets are going fast. See Paula at the OUHS District Office on Washington St. Look for the Yellow Busses. Arlin’s sister, Jacquelyn Marshall is coming from the East Coast. Soon articles of all the Recipients will be in our wonderful, must read, Oroville Mercury.

Important events:
“The Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee For All of Butte County, Lest We Forget! The Annual P.O.W./M.I.A. Remembrance Service will be held, including the “Missing Man Table” Eleventh Anniversary Friday, September 18th, 2015 7:00 P.M. – Oroville Veterans Hall 2374 Montgomery Street Light Refreshments Following.” By who else but Sherry Morehouse, Chair of committee

“Motorcycle Rally I Ride n’ Shine”
All proceeds benefit the Veterans Memorial Park Fund, Saturday, September 19th, $25 Singles*$15 Passenger 7am-11am Registration 8:30am Poker Run, 1:30pm Show ‘n Shine 2:00pm Slow Ride 4:00pm Awards For more information Contact James Townsend pjtownsend@att.net or call at (530) 589-5748.