In early 1923, when Ron was twelve, he and his family moved to Seattle, Washington, where his father was stationed at the local naval base. He joined the Boy Scouts and that year proudly achieved the rank of Boy Scout First Class. The next year he became the youngest Eagle Scout ever, an early indication that he did not plan to live an ordinary life.
At the end of that year, young Ron traveled to the nations capital via the Panama Canal, meeting Commander Joseph C. Thompson of the US Navy Medical Corps. Commander Thompson was the first officer sent by the US Navy to study under Sigmund Freud, and took it upon himself to pass on the essentials of Freudian theory to his young friend. Although keenly interested in the Commanders lessons, Ron was also left with many unanswered questions.