2010 National Convention Coverage
Navy League’s 108th National Convention in Jacksonville Devotes Agenda to
Honoring Distinguished Sea Service Men and Women
Event Draws Military Leadership, including Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead,
And Waterfront Attractions from Nearby Military Bases
Arlington, VA—The Navy League of the United States wrapped up its 108th national convention late last month following a four-day series of events in the Jacksonville area, one of the nation’s busiest naval military hubs. Several hundred Navy League members attended meetings and handled Navy League business during the convention while also having an opportunity to interact with Sea Service leadership and engage in a week’s worth of military, maritime and cultural activities.
Central to the Navy League’s 2010 convention was the presentation of 18 Sea Service awards to distinguished members of the Sea Services, including the U.S Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine. The event was also the setting for the presentation on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy and Coast Guard of five distinguished public service awards to outstanding Navy League members in recognition of their work on behalf of the Sea Services.
Among the highlights of the week-long event included a keynote speech at the convention dinner on Oct. 23 by the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, USN.
Other featured guests, panelists and attendees at convention events included: Rear Admiral Victor Guillory, Commander of the U.S. Fourth Fleet, USN; Rear Admiral Mark Buzby, Commander, Military Sealift Command, USN; Rear Admiral William Baumgartner, Commander of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District; Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities Division, USN; Captain Anthony Cooper, Deputy Chief of Information, USN; and, James Caponiti, deputy maritime administrator of the Maritime Administration (MARAD).
The convention included a panel discussion, entitled, “The Decade Ahead,” with Buzby, Watson and Caponiti offering insights as to the outlook on U.S. port security, commercial shipping, and the state of the nation’s Maritime Transportation System. The panel was moderated by Rear Admiral Robert Sutton, USN (Ret), Navy League national vice president for sea service liaison.
At the Hall of Fame luncheon, the keynote speaker, Cooper, spoke at length about the Navy’s forthcoming public outreach programs and efforts to raise public awareness about the Navy, especially in landlocked communities and among younger audiences; Klunder, who spoke at the Sea Service Awards Luncheon, focused on the Navy’s long term vision as the world’s “global force for good.”
Diane Wright, a member of the Navy League’s Mayport Council, served as chairman of the convention, and local efforts were largely supported by members of the Navy League’s Mayport, St. Augustine and Camden Kings Bay Councils. Wright, along with local Navy League members George Huchting of the Mayport Council and William Dudley, Florida region president and St. Augustine Council member, hosted a number of activities such as a tour of the Kennedy Space Center; an historic tour of St. Augustine, Fl.; a special concert by the Jacksonville Symphony; and, a dinner cruise on the Princess II. Huchting also helped coordinate the various Color Guards and military music ensembles for the convention’s official events.
Maritime attractions were equally abundant along the Jacksonville riverfront, where a number of visiting military ships arrived so that convention attendees could tour the vessels. Among the ships were the USNS Apache (T-TAF 172), FFG7 Class from Mayport and the U.S. Coast Guard HITRON.
“The Navy League’s National Convention this year was a comprehensive effort,” said Dan Branch, national president of the Navy League. “We accomplished a fair amount of important Navy League business in the many meetings we held, but we also managed to educate our members time again through an outstanding Sea Service panel of military leaders and through our terrific line-up of keynote speakers from across Navy leadership. But, best of all, we took the time to recognize our sea service men and women, the unsung heroes honored during our 2010 Sea Service awards ceremony, who unerringly serve today on the front lines, preserving and protecting our military maritime strength.”
Among the many highlights and memorable moments of the week-long event were:
- The presentation of the Secretary of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award to J. William Middendorf, for 37 years as an active Navy League member, and for helping steer the rigorous selection process carried out by the Navy League’s Awards Board for more than 33 years. Middendorf, 86, served as Secretary of the Navy from 1974 to 1977. Traveling to Jacksonville for the event, he attended the Sea Service Awards Luncheon to help present the awards, and also attended the Convention dinner, where Roughead honored him personally with a public service award. Middendorf’s daughter, Dr. Amy Givler, also attended the dinner.
- Special guests during opening ceremonies included Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-Fl.), a member of the House Appropriations committee and a long-time maritime military champion on Capitol Hill, and Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton. In what was a surprise during opening ceremonies, Branch honored Navy League member Jack Ritter, of the Greater Austin Council, for his outstanding leadership in legislative grassroots efforts on behalf of the Navy League.
- Numerous awards were given to Navy League members during Convention meetings, including the Honors ceremony on Oct. 22, and at the annual meeting of members on Oct. 23. A memorable moment involved recognition by Branch of two distinguished Navy League members at the annual meeting of members, past national presidents Morgan L. Fitch, Jr. and John J. Spittler. Also recognized during the honors ceremony was New Mexico Council member Richard Brown, who received the Navy League’s 2010 Distinguished Service Award, for his many years of service to the Navy League and for his noteworthy work as chairman of the USS New Mexico Commissioning Committee, for which he raised $155,000.
- At the Hall of Fame luncheon, two Navy League members, Glen Huber of the Imperial Valley Council, and Lou Kriser, national director emeritus, were recognized by fellow Navy League members for more than 25 years of service to the organization.
- The aide to Buzby, Lt. Grant Greenwell, warmed the hearts of many Navy Leaguers when they learned that he was a former Naval Sea Cadet. Greenwell, after completing his years of service as a Sea Cadet, he entered the U.S. Nava Academy and graduated in 2006. He arrived at Military Sealift Command in 2009, where he was assigned to serve as the aide to Buzby.
The Navy League named 21 Sea Service awards recipients, and 18 traveled to Jacksonville to receive the awards. Branch and Buzby presented all the Navy and Marine Corps awards with the help of Middendorf, Caponiti on behalf of MARAD, and Watson representing the U.S. Coast Guard. The following were selected as this year’s recipients:
- The John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership – Captain John Cordle, USN
- The Admiral Claude V. Ricketts Award for Inspirational Leadership (E-7 and Above) - Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Joseph Molina, USN
- The Admiral Claude V. Ricketts Award for Inspirational Leadership (E-6 and Below) – Special Warfare Operator First Class James Purdy, USN
- The Captain Winifred Quick Collins Award for Inspirational Leadership (Officer) – Major Lauren Edwards, USMC
- The Captain Winifred Quick Collins Award for Inspirational Leadership (Enlisted) – Command Master Chief Cheri Inverso, USN
- The Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement – Commander James Kraska, JAGC, USN
- The Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune Award for Inspirational Leadership – Major Frank Chawk, USMC
- The General Gerald C. Thomas Award for Inspirational Leadership – Staff Sergeant Timothy Tardif, USMC
- The Rear Admiral William S. Parsons Award for Scientific and Technical Progress – Lieutenant Commander (Select) Brian Barrick, USN
- The Stephen Decatur Award for Operational Competence – Lieutenant Commander David Payne, USN
- The General Holland M. Smith Award for Operational Competence – Captain Freddy Morales, USMC
- The Robert M. Thompson Award for Outstanding Civilian Leadership – Mr. Michael Hiles
- The Honorable J. William Middendorf II Award for Engineering Excellence – Gas Turbine Systems Technician Electrical First Class Jose Carrillo, USN
- The Admiral Ben Moreell Award for Logistics Competence (Officer) – Captain Joshua Onuska, USMC
- The Admiral Ben Moreell Award for Logistics Competence (Enlisted) – Logistics Specialist Senior Chief Beryl O’Connor Jr., USN
- The Naval Intelligence Foundation Award for Exceptional Leadership in Intelligence Support to the Fleet – Captain Carl Inman, USN
- The Vincent T. Hirsch Maritime Award for Outstanding Leadership – Mr. Thomas B. Crowley, Jr.
- The Captain Arthur L. Johnson Award for Inspirational Leadership – Mr. Victor M. Martino
- The Able Seaman Oscar Chappell Award for Outstanding Maritime Stewardship – Mr. Ricardo V. Bautista
- The Captain David H. Jarvis Award for Inspirational Leadership – Commander Matthew T. Meilstrup, USCG
- The Douglas A. Munro Award for Inspirational Leadership – Boatswains Mate First Class John F. Costabile, USCG
The Coast Guard and Secretary of the Navy 2010 Public Service Awards were presented to the following individuals:
- U.S. Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award – Joseph R. Millsaps, awarded posthumously
- U.S. Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award – Keith F. Post
- The Secretary of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, Individual – The Honorable J. William Middendorf
- The Secretary of the Navy’s Superior Public Service Award, Individual – Don Giles
- The Secretary of the Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Award, Individual – Keith F. Post