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Former US, NATO commander named Brookings Institution president 7 October 2017

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By: Armin Haracic < Caution-https://www.defensenews.com/author/aharacic@mco.com >

Gen. John R. Allen (ret.), , is set to become the Brookings Institution’s next president. (Susan Walsh/AP)

WASHINGTON — The Brookings Institution has named a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan as the think tank’s next president.

John R. Allen replaces Strobe Talbott, who steps down after more than 15 years with the nonpartisan, public policy-based think tank. He will remain with the organization as a senior foreign policy fellow.

Allen currently holds the Brookings chair of security and strategy and is a distinguished fellow in residence. During his 38-year military career, he was a senior adviser on Middle East security to the secretary of defense, helping lead security dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli authorities. Between July 2011 and February 2013, he commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. He recently served as a presidential envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

Notably, the retired officer notably moved Afghan National Security Forces into a combat operations leadership role and helped transition NATO forces from conventional combat forces to an advisory command unit.

Talbott said in a news release that Allen “has impressed those with whom he worked with his expertise, initiative, collegiality and collaboration. He has been a boon to our Foreign Policy program, bringing his experience, intellect, and high standards to our scholarship. He is a superb choice to lead Brookings into its second century.”

Allen added in the release that “Brookings is home to some of the brightest minds addressing the most pressing issues we face today, including economic and domestic challenges, as well as foreign policy and national security matters, and I am looking forward to working with them to advance the mission of the Brookings Institution.”

Allen is a 1976 military honors graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy and holds master’s degrees in national security studies, strategic intelligence and national security strategy.

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Shipmate: November/December 2017 1 October 2017

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by Mark Hubbard

As I write this column, Navy has just won their 4th game of the football season making them 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and 4-0 overall. This, in spite of sportswriters predicting a mediocre season for Navy. I attribute the success thus far to the dauntless coach, Ken Niamatololo, who continues to get the most out of his players year-after-year. We face Air Force in Annapolis next weekend (our Mini-Reunion) as Navy begins their quest to regain possession of the Commander-In-Chief Trophy. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the Showtime Series, “A Season With Navy Football”, to get an in-depth, behind the scenes look at the Navy Football Team throughout the 2017 season. I just ordered Showtime so I can watch all of the episodes to date as well as the future shows – so far, so good: CHECK IT OUT!

From Jim Taplett (25th Co.):

My wife, Katie, and I had the pleasure of attending ADM Jim Stavridis’ forward looking and thought-provoking presentation regarding his relevant new book Sea Power at the Washington, DC National Book Festival on Saturday, 2 September 2017. It was a real thrill to see and catch up with Jim “The Accidental Admiral” [the title of another book authored by Stav – he has several!] at his book signing following the presentation. Think everyone should go out and get a copy of this quick read; makes a nice companion to the Potter/Nimitz “Sea Power” from our Plebe year studies!

Jim Stavridis and Jim Taplett in Washington D.C. at Jim’s book signing event for his book, “Sea Power”

Jim Stavridis and Jim Taplett in Washington D.C. at Jim’s book signing event for his book, “Sea Power”

We also have another author in our Class: Jordan B. Smith (17th Co.) whose book, Annapolis Creed: The First African American Color Company Commander at the United States Naval Academy was released for publication on July 2, 2017. Jordan led the 17th Company from 12th to 1st place in the spring of 1976. He is a Marine Corps Veteran (Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm) serving 20 years both active and reserve achieving a final rank of Major. After graduating from USNA with a BS in Mathematics, he went on to earn his Masters of Arts in Education in Secondary Education in 2006 and his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2015. Jordan is currently finishing a second Masters of Education in Administration and Services. He has been a public-school teacher for 14 years, a teacher leader & district level professional development instructor and is presently a teacher in the San Jacinto Unified School District in California. I believe Jordan and I were in some of the same classes before I switched my major from Math to Physical Science after Youngster Year.

Jordan Smith’s book covers and a “then and now” picture of him

Jordan Smith’s book covers and a “then and now” picture of him

✉ In July, Joelle and Wayne Jakubowski, Chris and Bill Ostendorff, and Randy Pinetti (whose wife Kara could not join us as she was studying for the California bar exam) made the trek to the Dunoon Peninsula of Scotland to visit a fellow Seventh Company Seadog, Terry Perlich. Terry met his Scottish born wife Kate while both were serving in the Military Sealift Command in Germany in the early 1980’s. Following the birth of their son James, and tours in Naples, London and Washington DC, Terry and Kate retired to the small village of Tighnabruaich with just thirty residents where Kate grew up. The adventure to get there was all part of the experience. Single lane roads (with pull offs for on-coming traffic) through mountain passes were thankfully survived. We hit our share of curbs, coordinated gasps as buses and hedges left little room, and somehow Bill’s driving skills saved the day. On a sad note, Kate died from a sudden illness in late 2015 while Terry lives with a significant heart condition. That said, it was great to spend time with Terry, to meet his son James and his wife and son and to see his lovely home in the Scottish countryside. The memories and high spirits of living together in Seventh Company on 5-0 certainly have not faded.

L to R: Randy Pinetti, Terry Perlich, Joelle and Wayne Jakubowski, Bill and Chris Ostendorff

L to R: Randy Pinetti, Terry Perlich, Joelle and Wayne Jakubowski, Bill and Chris Ostendorff

L to R: Wayne Jakubowski, Randy Pinetti, Terry Perlich and Bill Ostendorff in front of Terry’s cottage

L to R: Wayne Jakubowski, Randy Pinetti, Terry Perlich and Bill Ostendorff in front of Terry’s cottage

Kevin Stone has an update on our annual Leadership Awards:
✉ We presented our annual “Class of 1976 Leadership Awards” to two members of the USS HIGGINS (DDG 76) in August at the ship’s summer picnic in San Diego. Ike Owens and Dennis DiLucente represented us and made the presentations. This year, in addition to the $250 check we added a pair of “76” cuff links to the award. The awardees were ENS Jeremy Adams and CS1 Damieon Colvin. The awardees, selected by the crew, are the best JO and senior enlisted whose professionalism, moral courage, and sound leadership are the embodiment of Colonel William R. Higgins, the ship’s namesake. The photo shows Ike Owens, CDR Dave Taft (XO), CS1 Colvin, ENS Adams, Dennis DiLucente and the skipper, CDR Marc Deltete.

Ike Owens and Dennis DiLucente pose with the winners of this year’s Class of 1976 Leadership Awards

Ike Owens and Dennis DiLucente pose with the winners of this year’s Class of 1976 Leadership Awards

Gary Stark writes about a mini-reunion for 34th Company in Hawaii:

✉ During Memorial Day weekend, 34th Company held a mini-reunion in Waikiki, Hawaii. Linda & Gary Stark served as hosts, and the reunion was attended by (in alphabetical order) Mary & Nick Flacco, Michelle & Jim Francis, Sandy & Scott Goodson, Martha & Mark Nesselrode, Kim & JB Parrett, Esther & Bruce Smith, Annie & Dick Spencer, Barb & Kevin Stone, Linda & Al Turk, and Pam & Zeek Zimmerman. In addition, a guest appearance was made by Maurice Hutchinson, who started out in 34th Company, but graduated in 1976 from the University of Rochester under the ROTC program. Saturday’s activities included placing flags on Veteran’s graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, taking a scenic drive on Tantalus Road (which afforded unobstructed views of Diamondhead), touring the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, followed by a luscious dinner at Duke’s Canoe Club on Waikiki Beach. On Sunday, the group attended Mass at St. Elizabeth’s Church, where the Samoan Choir surprised the attendees by singing the Navy Hymn as the recessional song—reminiscent of our old days at Canoe U. That afternoon, the ladies attended a High Tea at the Moana Surfrider Hotel (one of the most historic hotels in Waikiki) while the gents enjoyed adult beverages poolside at the Hale Koa Hotel. All in all, it was a great weekend, spent with great friends and we all look forward to our next opportunity to get together and reminisce, to see how the stories change from this year’s version.

Collage of the 34th Company Reunion in Waikiki, Hawaii, over Memorial Day Weekend

Collage of the 34th Company Reunion in Waikiki, Hawaii, over Memorial Day Weekend

Some of you know that Jim “Doc” Doherty’s daughter, Bobbie, is already an experienced actress (see for yourself – Google search “Bobbie Celine Doherty”. During the summer, Bobbie performed in the musical, “The Music Man” in the role of Amaryllis at Bill Hanney’s Theatre By The Sea in Wakefield, Rhode Island. In a review by the local newspaper, The Independent, journalist Brad Hevenor wrote, “‘The Music Man’ also features a couple of scene stealing moments from little Amaryllis (Bobbie Celine Doherty) …”. Doc and Melanie are very proud parents, indeed!

Tiffan Borelli (Marian Paroo) and Bobbie Celine Doherty (Amaryllis) in THE MUSIC MAN at Theatre By The Sea (Photo by Steven Richard Photography)

That’s it for the news! Hope to see many of you during the Mini-Reunion weekend when Navy faces the Zoomies of Air Force at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.✉

Navy vs. Cincinnati 2017 1 October 2017

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Navy vs. Tulane 2017 16 September 2017

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Shipmate: September/October 2017 31 July 2017

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by Mark Hubbard

Dave Winters sent me his annual “Winter’s Tale” early this year and I found this story of his good friend, Bronze Star recipient Robert Wayne von Hawker USA (Retired), particularly intriguing and of wide interest.

My old pal Wayne died February last.

Wayne was, and remains, an especially memorable guy. He had suffered “health issues” for decades, not that any of them kept him down, for right up to the end you could regularly find him at the YMCA lifting enormous bar-bells, wearing out the treadmills, and sweating out the saunas. Yet these health issues played a large part in making him who he was. Wayne was a retired Army man, mid-seventies, acute intellect, skilled operating room technician, world-class weight lifter, and inexcusably good looking in his prime (see photos). Further, a bit incongruously, he was known as a capable sniper should occasion demand. I guess that skill was closely related to his extra clear vision. Wayne was always sharp of eye and mind, with an uncanny knack for seeing directly to the heart of any matter, physical or conceptual. It was as if he had an X-ray vista vision whereby he could bore right through all the obfuscation and BS in which much of our day to day lives are immersed. However, around twenty years ago, Wayne experienced some sort of a brain stroke thingy. Even after that event, our boy remained unquestionably sharp with the same clear truth or nonsense discriminator he had always possessed. But, the little filter that people generally have in the backs of their minds, the one that monitors the conduit from brain to action, the one that warns us against speaking too much truth; for Wayne that filter was gone. After the “brain stroke thingy,” Wayne quickly became known for off-the-cuff comments that could one-up and embarrass even Donald Trump. Whatever was factual, that was what Wayne blurted out. Whatever was honest, that was what Wayne did. Whatever Wayne thought, he said or acted upon, leaving little room for confusion as to where he stood on any matter. His response was always immediate, brooking no delay to edit for eloquence. That was Wayne’s world. I sincerely believe he was incapable of telling, or living, any sort of lie. Where others laid smoke screens, Wayne cleared the air. Where most might fume but silently tolerate, Wayne shined a spotlight. To Wayne, it was always “better to light one small flame thrower than curse the darkness” (quote stolen from Terry Pratchett GNU). Some term it lack of impulse control. I call it obsessive honesty. In this he resembled the old Biblical prophets. Wayne recognized the truth and assumed the obligation to speak it, no matter whom or what tried to get in the way. Now that I consider this, perhaps a “prophet” is what Wayne was, simply an old style warrior prophet. (“When all this proves true, and it surely will, they will know that a prophet has been among them.” Ezekiel 33). A couple of days before Wayne’s funeral (a sad though simultaneously laughter filled ceremony, liberally seasoned with hilarious “Wayne stories”) I was missing my late pal and pondering his virtues while attending an “oldie moldy music” review in a local theater. Admission was free and some hip flasks were flowing nearly as freely. All were in a jovial mood and most were enjoying themselves unimpeded but for the obnoxious antics of one inebriated woman in my general vicinity. She was about two rows forward and to the left. As soon as the theater lights were dimmed, this frowsy drunk, apparently mesmerized by what was to her, amazing new-fangled smart phone technology, switched on her digital super bright screen pocket processor and began holding it over her head to shoot and broadcast videos to other potential observers not in attendance, thereby ruining the view for several layers of folks around her. We anticipated that she would eventually settle in to actually watch the show as were the rest of us. But this human broadcast studio was no quitter. On the contrary, she even stepped up her game, glaring the high powered phone photo-flash in surrounding eyes. By continued overtly rude conduct she gradually made it clear that her mission was not to see the performance, but to demonstrate the many ways that she could validate her freedom and self-worth by interfering with the experience for everyone else. A real crowd pleaser, this gal. Several spectators directly behind our aspiring member of the Cinematic Guild got up and stalked out in disgust. Another departed to fetch alleviation assistance from theater staff. But their efforts proved ineffectual as our human light-house feigned inability to understand the usher’s gestures to deactivate her cellphone. Observing all this while I finished chomping my theater popcorn, I mentally recounted things I had admired in my old pal, Wayne. As I folded the popcorn bag into a tight and compact package, heftily augmented by the un-popped seeds that remained inside, I deliberated as to how Wayne would have responded to this fool’s folly. As I gauged the range and bearing to the offensive miscreant’s ear, I pondered how to best honor the memory of my recently absented friend. The answer was obvious. My projectile trajectory was hot, flat, and unobstructed. Never in all the history of wickedly ballasted, super-sonic, hand-launched paper bag wads has there been a better executed ordinance delivery. And in the blackness, blinded by the glare of her cell phone, our well deserving recipient had absolutely no chance of identifying the source of this sharp, precision, covert, surgical strike. “One shot, one kill.” That is the sniper’s motto. Target neutralized; Squawking mad as a bantam hen in a bucket of ice water, but neutralized.

Wayne old buddy, that one was for you.

Wayne von Hawker then, and then more recently

Wayne von Hawker then, and then more recently

I finally connected with Fred Johnson who had been trying to send me an update for months and got lost somewhere in the ether:

Update from Virginia Beach: On March 31st I completed my second career at AIRLANT and joined the ranks of the fully retired. On the immediate agenda is to clean out and fix up the house, and in the first closet I attacked I came across two shoe boxes of old pictures. Attached is one of me, on the left, and Brad Barth ’77 manning the cannon at a football game on 27 September 1975 (thank goodness for the intel scrawled on the back of the picture!). Easily the luckiest, best thing that ever happened to me at Navy was being picked by Craig Dawson ’73 and Dennis Gillespie ’73 to be a Cannoneer. My companymate Mark Trenor was the other ’76 Cannoneer. Cannoneer good deals were abundant: We got to wear cool retro uniforms that didn’t include a hat; we didn’t march on; we drove the cannon to games in a big Navy truck (who doesn’t like independent steaming??); we got to fire a big gleaming brass howitzer which made an impressive BOOM (not like the popgun used these days) that attracted the attention of various and diverse personnel attending the game, most importantly girls. Giggidy. The last time I saw the cannon, years after it was retired from use, was on display in the Visitors Center fronting the field house, I think. All the best to you and yours…Fred.

Cannoneers Fred Johnson and Brad Barth in September 1975

Cannoneers Fred Johnson and Brad Barth in September 1975

And now an update from Craig Thomas:

Not sure if you know this, but I am the President of the Bay Area Tailhook Ready Room. We hold events about once a quarter on the USS Hornet Museum ship located at the old NAS Alameda. Yesterday, we were blessed to have our classmate, Rob Weiss, who is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Advanced Development Programs, better known as Skunk Works for Lockheed Martin as our guest speaker for a luncheon event. Another classmate, Chuck Rader, also was in attendance. Attached are a couple of pics that we took—I’m on the left, Rob is in the middle and Chuck is on the right. Rob did a great job of giving us a little background and history of the Skunk Works, what they are currently working on and some cool stuff that is on the drawing board so to speak. Believe he may have the best job in the Defense contracting business!

Craig Thomas, Rob Weiss, and Chuck Rader (Inset Picture: Rob speaking on Skunk Works)

Craig Thomas, Rob Weiss, and Chuck Rader (Inset Picture: Rob speaking on Skunk Works)

Proud Papa, Kevin McNamara, has a son who is now a Plebe!

My son Brian was sworn in as a Midshipman with the class of 2021 on 29 June just about a week short of 45 years after we all took the plunge. Are we feeling old yet? This may be ‘76’s last direct legacy link between our class and current Brigade. Peter Varsanyi joined us for the big event. I also bumped into Chet Moeller who addressed the families of the new Mids at a picnic on Hospital Point. As it turns out he also has a great nephew, Duncan Morris, who is a member of the class of ’21 as well. We also saw Dave Papak in T-Court in passing, just long enough to shake hands and say hello.
Once we turned Brian over to the “Detailers” (that is what they call the 1st and 2nd class in charge of Plebes during the summer) at 0615 we next saw him at the Swearing in Ceremony at 1800 dressed in white works and minus a lot of hair. Had the privilege of swearing him in a second time in Smoke Hall before saying goodbye for the next 6-½ weeks. They get to make calls home during 3 windows throughout the summer but that is it aside from letters. They even take their watches away. The next morning, I was on Farragut Field for PEP, watching not participating. It is actually much more fun that way. I could have sworn I heard someone yelling “Bounce ’76!” in the background.
It was a great few days mixed with a little sadness and a lot of pride. While all of the new Mids look so young, it was very clear to me how extremely well qualified and motivated this newest generation of leaders is. Glad I didn’t have to complete with them for an appointment, wouldn’t have been pretty. The future of the Naval Academy and our Navy is in very capable hands. Looking forward to Parents Weekend in mid-August along with a few home football games in the fall.

Collage of Kevin McNamara’s son’s (Brian) Plebe Induction Day 2017

Collage of Kevin McNamara’s son’s (Brian) Plebe Induction Day 2017

I attended the service and burial at Arlington National Cemetery of Dave Marra ‘74 (aka “Bear”) on 25JUL17. Bear was a firstie in my company (26th Co.) youngster year. He was a great guy and will be missed by all who knew him.

On a final note, I received news of another Classmate who has passed: Charles “Chick” Tower (15th Co.), 62, of Lansing, Michigan passed away, surrounded by his family on June 11, 2017, at Sparrow Hospital Hospice from metastatic adenocarcinoma. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Chase Prasnicki 6 July 2017

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In this last few days, Chase Prasnicki’s valor has been making the rounds of the internet on the 5th anniversary of his death.  He was killed by an IED in Afghanistan June 27, 2012.   Scott Strasemeier, the Athletic Director for Sports Information, circulated this link which shares Chase’s story:   Chris Prasnicki – Bleacher Report .

Mark Hubbard added this commentary, which reminds us how linked our Military Academies and our Services are:

Scott Strasemeier, Navy Sports Information Director, sent out an email today with a link from 2012 about former Army football player, Chase Prasnicki, who was killed when his vehicle was hit by an IED in Afghanistan on June 27, 2012. My son-in-law, Jared Marinos USMA ’05, was the Casualty Assistance Officer for Chase’s wife, Emily. He was assigned to Emily for 6 months, providing her comfort and assistance in planning the funeral; assist with claim and benefits forms, etc. Jared and my daughter, Meghan, accompanied Emily to Italy to meet with Chase’s platoon as they were returning from Afghanistan. His Army coach, Rich Ellerson, was our former classmate and a 26th Company mate of mine (he left after Plebe Year). Emily and her new husband (Chase’s best friend, Michael Gann) are very close friends with Jared & Meghan (Emily came down to visit my daughter in Leesburg, VA, over this 4th of July weekend).

Besides Chase being a member of the Army football team, so was Michael Gann. He was a starting Defensive Tackle while Chase was moved from backup QB (to Trent Steelman) to Defensive Back his senior year and got a lot of playing time. Michael Gann’s father is Mike Gann Sr., who played for the Atlanta Falcons!

Chase Prasnicki - Army #17

Chase Prasnicki – Army #17

Emily & Chase Prasnicki on their wedding day Nov 26, 2011

Emily & Chase Prasnicki on their wedding day Nov 26, 2011

 

Michael & Emily Gann join Meghan & Jared Marinos at Central Park for the annual SHAPE Women's Half Marathon April 30, 2017

Michael & Emily Gann join Meghan & Jared Marinos at Central Park for the annual SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon April 30, 2017

 as

Shipmate: August 2017 Spotlight on Jack Kelley ’76 11 June 2017

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John F. Kelley Award for Bioscience
Spotlight on Jack Kelley ‘76
By Mark Hubbard ’76

Not only is he my USNA ‘76 Classmate, Dr. John “Jack” Kelley also shares another common thread with me: He is a fellow NASA civil servant. However, Jack’s day job is as the Program Executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., overseeing the Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), with some additional infrastructure development work at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) located on Wallops Island, Virginia. Jack states, “This month we marked the final installation of the new platforms for the Exploration Mission-1 in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB. It’s a big deal! The installation of the final topmost level completes the 10 levels of work platforms, 20 platforms halves altogether, that will surround NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft and allow access during processing for missions, including the first un-crewed flight test of Orion atop the SLS rocket.”

New platforms for the Exploration Mission-1 ready for use in the VAB

New platforms for the Exploration Mission-1 ready for use in the VAB

Jack Kelley in the VAB High Bay 1 at Kennedy Space Center

Jack Kelley in the VAB High Bay 1 at Kennedy Space Center

 

Recently, Jack participated in Commissioning Week at the Naval Academy and presented the John F. Kelley Award for Bioscience, which is awarded each year to the top medical program selectee in the graduating class. The recipient this year was Midn. Jessilyn Laney ’17. If the name of the award sounds familiar, it is because it is in honor of Jack’s father who was a faculty member of USNA since 1947 and rose to be the Associate Dean in 1970. Among his notable accomplishments, Dean Kelley (a veteran of WWII as an engineering officer in the Navy) was a significant contributor to the establishment of an academic Majors Program and the Premedical program at the Academy. In the words of a past Superintendent, “Above all, (Dean Kelley) was the rock of integrity upon which much of the Naval Academy’s reputation as an academic institution stands.” For his leadership at the Academy he was awarded the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award in 1983 and in 1991, and in 1992, the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the sea service’s highest civilian award.

Jack Kelly presents Midn. Laney the Bioscience award while Prof. Joe Urban looks on approvingly

Jack Kelly presents Midn. Laney the Bioscience award while Prof. Joe Urban looks on approvingly

Background on John F. Kelley Award for Bioscience

The John F. Kelley Award for Bioscience is awarded each year to the top medical program selectee in the graduating class.  This award has been sustained throughout the years by the generosity of the navy medical doctors, classmates, alumni and matching corporate donors.   The Class of 2017 awardee is Midn. Jessilyn Laney.  She will attend the University of Texas McGovern school of Medicine.

Information pertinent to the John F Kelley award

He continued to serve after his retirement as Dean Emeritus, focusing on the Academy Premedical Program for midshipmen seeking admission to medical schools and careers as Navy physicians. At the time of his death, over 300 graduates had served as career officers in the Navy Medical Corps. His working life was dedicated to the Brigade of Midshipmen, serving them and acting as their mentor and counselor. Many midshipmen and alumni have paid tribute to him as the person most responsible for mentoring their early years and success as officers in the Navy.

Some background on Professor Kelley:

In civilian life, he was a faculty member of the U.S. Naval Academy and rose to the position of Associate Dean. Among his notable accomplishments was his significant contribution to the establishment of an academic Majors Program and the Premedical program at the Academy.

Dr. Kelley was the oldest of six brothers. He graduated from Cathedral High School in 1938. He was awarded a full scholarship to Boston College and graduated with a B.S. in 1941. After the war, he returned to Boston College in 1946 to achieve a Masters in Chemistry and in 1950, completed his doctoral work at Georgetown University with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. During World War II, Dr. Kelley entered the U.S. Navy as an engineering officer aboard the USS New Mexico. He served in the North Atlantic campaign. He entered the Pacific with New Mexico to help reinforce the fleet then crippled at Pearl Harbor. He continued to serve on USS New Mexico for the duration of the Pacific campaign participating in the several Pacific Island invasions.

During early 1945, he participated in the capture of Mindoro and Luzon in the Philippines. He distinguished himself during the Okinawa campaign through his efforts to counter the damage sustained by his ship after a kamikaze attack. He returned to Boston Navy Yard in October of 1945 where he transitioned to the Naval Reserve and civilian life. He retired from the Naval Reserve as in 1968.

Professor Kelley began his teaching career at the United States Naval Academy in 1947 when he became an instructor of Chemistry. Soon after, he took a major role in counseling midshipmen. In the 1960s, he was called upon to develop a detailed academic policy and planning for the establishment of the academic majors program. In 1970, he was selected as the first Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. As Dean, he was responsible for instituting many important academic procedures. In the words of a past Superintendent of the Naval Academy, “”Above all, (Dean Kelley) was the rock of integrity upon which much of the Naval Academy’s reputation as an academic institution stands.”” For his leadership at the Academy he was awarded the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award in 1983 and in 1991, and in 1992, the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the sea service’s highest civilian award.

Shipmate: August 2017 5 June 2017

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by Mark Hubbard

On Memorial Day, I had name tags on the small flags around the front of my townhouse that are the fallen heroes I honored at the Goddard Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony on Thursday, May 25th. They included my Uncle Robert Hubbard USMA ‘37; our 11 USNA ’76 Classmates who are honored in Memorial Hall; Tony Bilotti ’77 and teammate on the Bishop O’Dowd High School (Oakland, CA) Varsity football team as well as Navy Varsity 150’s football team; Otis V. Tolbert Jr., son of my 26th Company Officer who was a victim at the Pentagon on 9/11; Ron Vauk ’87, a fellow resident of Mount Airy and parishioner at St. Michael’s Catholic Church who was USNR on his two week active duty tour at the Pentagon on 9/11; fellow 26th Co. mate Steve Thorne ’75, an Astronaut candidate who died in an airplane accident that we was a passenger in; and finally, James Gaiser USMA ’68 who was killed in Vietnam by enemy mortar fire in Nov. 1969. He was the brother of my wife Barb’s coworker, Carol St. George. We remain a grateful nation for all of our blessings, and especially grateful to those who did what was required, some even sacrificing their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we possess as citizens of this great country.

I received an update from Greg Vaughn (36th Co.):

Starting with Easter, April was a pretty busy month for interactions with our classmates, so I thought I’d share a few of them before input for the next Shipmate is due.

Susan and I attended Easter services at the USNA Chapel. The Chapel was impressive as usual and packed with folks. We met Debbie and Jim McKee (11th Co.) there as well as Lisa and Chris Alberg (33rd Co.) and their grown children, Alexandra and Nathan. Chris and Lisa were kind enough to host all of us at their lovely home in Millersville, MD, for an Easter feast following the services. We had great food and a fabulous time and we got a chance to talk about what we all seem to ask each other about these days – how long are we going to continue to work and where are we going to ‘really’ settle down?

The next week I was on a business trip to San Diego (my favorite city as a JO!) and ran into a number of classmates. Had a chance to have dinner with Randy Large (fellow 36th company mate) and his wife Kris who live in Scripps Ranch, near Miramar. They both had successful military and civil service careers and have now retired, retired, but are still very active. They live in a beautiful home in a beautiful part of the country, but they are constantly planning and taking trips in a huge motor yacht that they use to travel the rest of the country. Randy served as a SEAL on active duty and still stays extremely active with swimming, water sports and cycling. Life is good for the Larges and it was great to see them. (Randy and Kris no longer have any questions about when to stop working or where to settle down!)

Also, while in San Diego, I worked with Wayne Jakubowski (7th Co.) chairing a National Defense Industrial Association Undersea Warfare Technology Conference. Wayne had brought me into the NDIA organization many years ago to assist with the conference which is held in San Diego every spring. This was our last year in running the conference and NDIA was kind enough to recognize Wayne and me with awards for our service (receiving their awards from Paul Normand ’74). I’ve attached a couple photos of the award presentations. Wayne and his wife Joelle live in Norfolk, although Wayne commutes back and forth to Manassas, where he is president of a small defense firm called Assett – a spinoff from Lockheed Martin with roots in the old IBM Federal Systems organization. Wayne and Joelle have two lovely daughters, both married, and are now proud grandparents as well.

On the last day of the San Diego conference I also got a chance to briefly catch up with Brad Speer, my 36th Company roommate at USNA. Brad and his wife, Janet, also live in San Diego. After working for a couple other firms in the high-tech laser area, Brad now works for General Atomics, of Predator fame, on a number of advanced technology projects. Brad and Janet also have two (grown) children and are (also) proud grandparents.

Hopefully Susan and I will be able to start traveling more frequently and get a chance to see the rest of our good friends and classmates all over the country. As Judy and Chris Earl’s (36th Co.) financial advisors have said, we’re in our go-go years and we need to make the most of it while we are able. (I get a chance to see Chris when he leaves Scottsdale and visits DARPA headquarters in Arlington every few weeks.) Best wishes to everyone for a happy, fun and safe summer! Go Navy!

The Alberg Family at the Naval Academy Chapel for Easter Service

The Alberg Family at the Naval Academy Chapel for Easter Service

Jim and Debbie McKee outside the USNA Chapel

Jim and Debbie McKee outside the USNA Chapel

Susan and Greg Vaughn smiling brightly on Easter Sunday

Susan and Greg Vaughn smiling brightly on Easter Sunday

The Alberg Family at home - Lisa, Chris, Alexandra, Nathan

The Alberg Family at home – Lisa, Chris, Alexandra, Nathan

Flanked by Paul Normand and Frank Michael, Wayne Jakubowski and Greg Vaughn proudly display their NDIA awards in San Diego

Flanked by Paul Normand and Frank Michael, Wayne Jakubowski and Greg Vaughn proudly display their NDIA awards in San Diego

San Diego Waterfront photo by Greg Vaughn (suitable for framing!)

San Diego Waterfront photo by Greg Vaughn (suitable for framing!)

Pat Tracy continues sailing around the world as Captain in MV LOGOS HOPE. From June through August 1st he will be sailing from Montego Bay, Jamaica to Nassau and Freeport, the Bahamas.

Logos Hope is currently on her second tour of the Caribbean since her launch in 2009, affording many opportunities for crewmembers to make a difference in the lives of local people, most of whom live in stark contrast to the luxurious resorts normally associated with the Caribbean! With plans to visit 19 ports in the region this year, opportunities to once again share knowledge, help and hope abound. Her ports of call over the summer saw Logos Hope in Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica, followed by stops in Nassau and Freeport, the Bahamas. Kingston has always been a place of significant interest for the vessel known as “the book ship” locally. Crewmembers enjoyed a busy and fruitful visit there, including over 120 events aboard and ashore; volunteers welcomed school visits totaling over 20,000 students. With over 5,000 titles of quality literature available on board at a fraction of the retail value, thousands more came aboard each day, often waiting for two or three hours in the heat for the opportunity to get some great books. At the same time, many outreach events take place on board and on shore for all sectors of society, to encourage and provide practical help.

Captain Pat Tracy on board MV Logos Hope

Captain Pat Tracy on board MV Logos Hope

That’s all for now. I hope you all enjoy your summer and see you at the ’76 Tent for the Navy Tailgaters!

Mark Hubbard’s Observations at Goddard – Memorial Day 2017 31 May 2017

Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in News.
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Mark shared some thoughts at the Goddard Memorial Day Commemoration at Goddard Space Flight Center on May 25, 2017. The flags surrounding his front yard are have the names of those he honored including our 11 Classmates whose names appear in Memorial Hall at the Naval Academy.

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This year’s Memorial Day Commemorative Event has given me the opportunity to reflect on and remember family, friends, Classmates, and others who I have known or have learned about over the years who died while serving in our nation’s military. Growing up as a child, my Dad informed us early on that he lost a brother in a tragic plane crash while he was training to be a military pilot. Dad never really went into any details other than that my Uncle Robert had died during Holy Week in April 1938 on Holy Thursday. My siblings and I were reminded of this every year at Easter time. Fast forward to present day, I had the opportunity to spend time researching the details behind my Uncle Robert’s life and death. I was amazed about what I learned. Robert Bronson Hubbard was a bright young man who showed leadership and a desire to excel as a teenager growing up in High Point, North Carolina. He was intensely interested in the Boy Scouts and was one of the first Eagle Scouts in the local council. An excellent student and athlete, he entered the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at age 17 in 1933 and spent four years matriculating at that fine University and competing as a Varsity cross country and track runner for the Tarheels. As a senior at Carolina, he applied to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and received his appointment just before he graduated from UNC. At West Point, he continued his athletic success, especially outrunning his Navy opponents as he had as a Tarheel. Not only in athletics was he admired at West Point. A Classmate wrote of my Uncle Robert, “Hub was a man in the highest sense of the word. Because he took good fortune and bad alike in the same easy manner, many of us did and still do receive inspiration to go on to do our work and our service. I believe I never saw him once ruffle that clean-cut facial expression in anything but a smile. Hub was a true gentleman, a great officer. Though his career was suddenly ended, he packed into his five years of service to the country a condensed effort and enduring worth which few will equal in their whole thirty years. Above all, I know that with those who knew him his memory will live on to inspire and set standards of high example”. My paternal grandmother wrote of Robert in his obituary, “The September following graduation, he reported for duty at Randolph Field, Texas, entering the Air Corps. His interest in flying, and the progress he was making in his work were marked. His career was all too short as, on the morning of Maundy Thursday, April 14th, 1938, while practicing landings in one of the outlying fields, he crashed and was instantly killed.” My Uncle Robert is buried at the Post Cemetery at West Point.
I often think about another hero, Tony Bilotti. Tony was my center on the Bishop O’Dowd High School Varsity football team in Oakland, California, when I was the quarterback. He was a year behind me at O’Dowd and followed a year behind me at the Naval Academy. Coincidently, Tony and I were teammates on the Navy Varsity 150 lb. football team where again, he was my center and I was the quarterback. Years later, while I was jogging at lunch time at the Destroyer & Submarine piers in Norfolk, Virginia, Tony pulled his car over to say hello to me. I got caught up on what he was doing and found out that he was a bombardier/navigator (BN) on an A-6 Intruder getting ready to deploy to the Mediterranean aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The following spring I was attending Tactical Action Officer school in Point Loma, California, and was jogging at lunch time with a fellow alum who was a Classmate of Tony’s. I mentioned to him the names of my Classmates who had died since graduation. He then proceeded to rattle off a few names from his Class and then mentioned Tony Bilotti. I was shocked. I learned that Tony and his pilot (my Classmate), Mark Gontkovic, were both killed when their A-6 was destroyed during descent by impact into rocks on a mountain/hillside on the Island of Crete after running out of fuel.

Another 150’s teammate and Naval Academy Classmate, Marine Captain Vince Smith, was killed in the 1983 Beirut bombing of the Marine Barracks. Classmate and 26th Company Mate, LCDR Dave Carlson, perished in the crash of his Navy Seasprite helicopter he was piloting while alongside the USS Reid (FFG-30). LCDR Ron Vauk USNR, USNA Class of 1987, was on his two-week active duty tour at the Pentagon when the plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. Ron lived in Mount Airy with his wife and son and attended the same church I did, St. Michael’s in Poplar Springs, MD. My wife’s coworker, Carol St. George, lost her brother, 1LT Jim Gaiser USA, a distinguished graduate of West Point, in Vietnam when he was hit by enemy mortar fire in 1969. Like my Uncle Robert, Jim Gaiser is also buried at the West Point Post Cemetery. All of these heroes left behind anguished mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives and children. We honor their sacrifice and offer our thoughts and prayers to their surviving family and friends. Abraham Lincoln, at his second inaugural address over a century and a half ago, succinctly captured the obligation every American has in the responsibility to support the care of the loved ones killed in action – one of our oldest and noble traditions. He stated:
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

Shipmate: June/July 2017 7 May 2017

Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Shipmate.
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by Mark Hubbard

As I write this, we’ve just passed the halfway point before the start of another exciting Navy football season with all of the anticipation & high hopes, as we look forward to another successful bowl-bound team and the great times to be experienced at the ’76 Tent for the home games. Speaking of which, our 13th Annual Halfway Dinner was held for the 11th time at Theismann’s Restaurant in Alexandria, VA. Derwood Curtis brought his daughter, Ensign Peri Curtis ‘16, to the dinner. While no one told her to brace up (she probably wouldn’t know what that meant anyway), she was asked what she did in the Navy. When she said that she was a SWO, someone asked how long she had been onboard her ship and how she qualified so quickly. When she said that she just got to her ship and wasn’t qualified, one of our old SWO classmates said, so you’re just a SWO want-a-be! You aren’t a SWO yet. Proves that there is no such thing as a free dinner! Hopefully she went on to have a great evening and we all wish her well on her SWO quals.

Happy times at the Halfway Dinner (Clockwise from top left: Mike & Nancy Willy, Mark & Barb Hubbard, Mike & Vanessa Seifert, Kevin Stone, Mary Lou McEwan and Linda & Doug Schaus, Towanda & Derwood Curtis with youngest daughter, Peri

Happy times at the Halfway Dinner (Clockwise from top left: Mike & Nancy Willy, Mark & Barb Hubbard, Mike & Vanessa Seifert, Kevin Stone, Mary Lou McEwan and Linda & Doug Schaus, Towanda & Derwood Curtis with youngest daughter, Peri

Let’s get started with an update from our Class President, Kevin Stone:

John Allen recently spoke at a Forrestal Lecture that coincided with the annual Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAVFAC). After introducing himself as a “former inmate” he offered a sobering appraisal of the global outlook he went on to deliver an inspirational exhortation to the Brigade about their upcoming roles in leading our naval forces and the nation. After beating up on the folks who run the lectures, which are restricted to midshipmen and staff, we were able to get a last minute invitation extended to our Class to attend and a handful were able to make it: Leroy Sparr, Barbara & Kevin Stone, John McEwan, Pat Tracy, David Desilva, Calvin Langford, Kathy Allen, Jeff Neufeld, Chris & Bill Ostendorff, and Ted Achorn. An interesting footnote to John’s lecture is that Jim Stavridis was a Forrestal Lecturer last year; it’s not often that a class can claim Forrestal Lecturers amongst their members, let alone two years in a row.

76’ers join John Allen for the Forrestal Lecture (L to R: Leroy Sparr, Kevin Stone, John Allen, John McEwan, Pat Tracy, David Desilva, Calvin Langford)

76’ers join John Allen for the Forrestal Lecture (L to R: Leroy Sparr, Kevin Stone, John Allen, John McEwan, Pat Tracy, David Desilva, Calvin Langford)

Kevin also attended the semi-annual Council of Class Presidents (COCP) meeting in Annapolis on May 1st. He is pleased to report that our class got a BZ from the Foundation: we blew past our $800K goal for our recently completed class project campaign to support the Naval Academy and hit $952K! Thank you to each and every one of you who gave so generously to the campaign. Your funds are going to support the Academy’s nascent Cyber program, Athletic Excellence and the Superintendent’s initiatives. The Supe reported that the Cyber program is alive and well: once again the midshipmen Cyber students have excelled in national and international competitions. Our funding was used to beef up the technology needed for their “hacking defense team” that came in second in a national NSA sponsored competition against professionals and other academic institutions.

Hockey fans, breaking news: Chet Gladchuk announced at the COCP meeting that the NHL’s annual “Winter Classic” outdoor hockey game in 2018 will be played at the Navy & Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on March 3rd, 2018 between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

My twin brother from a different mother, Mark Haas, provided a tribute to Jim Conti (Jim passed away in Hawaii from the complications of sarcoma cancer on 11/11/2016):

Hey Mark Tigner,

I thought I would drop a few lines as a tribute of sorts to another one of our fallen classmates: Jim Conti (whose passing was noted in the April Shipmate but with no further information). [Scribe note: Jim’s obituary can be found at http://obits.staradvertiser.com/2017/01/15/james-matthew-conti-aka-big-jim-conti/]. Back at the reunion in Sept one of our classmates mentioned he was in “bad shape”, but I don’t recall any further details. Jim was a member of “Frat 28”, having arrived on July 6, 1972, as a tall, young (age 17) fellow from Bermuda. He did not even have a driver’s license at the time (had to be 18 in Bermuda). Although he did not choose to stick around until June 2, 1976, he was fun to have around for a couple of years (pretty sure he left after Youngster Year). Jim was a very smart guy who was also a barrel of laughs. He roomed mainly with John Chin and was always having battles (water, mattresses, you-name-it) with the Class of ’75 Youngsters in our never-to-be-forgotten Plebe Year. On one such occasion I recall his mattress being thrown out of a window on 6-4 one night all the way to the ground———and watching Jim slowly drag it up the stairwell. I would see him pass by the window as he made the slow trek, level by level. My funniest recollection, though, had to be the day when one of Dan “Stump” Burns’ Class of ’74 mates described Dan’s marching (while coming back from a P-rade) as “walking like he had a pole up his ___”. Jim, marching behind “Stump”, cracked up upon hearing that description. When asked “What was so funny?” by the upper classmen, Jim noted that “it was a very appropriate description”. Needless to say, Jim was “coming around” to the “Stump” for some time after that. I can also still recall in Spring of ’74 walking to our Navigation Final Exam and Jim telling me that “the gouge was out” on the exam. I commented to him that “there is always gouge out and about”. He said “No, I mean it is REALLY OUT!”. Voila, shortly thereafter the world heard about the Class of ’76 Navigation Final Exam scandal! Other than that, I am still playing church softball and Phyllis and I will soon be heading down to pick up our son, Chris, following his 1st year at Christopher Newport University. Thank goodness—–our aging softball team needs his youth and power to stay competitive!

Thank You to Mark Hubbard for being our great Class Secretary. In closing, I will note that my wife and I are only 7 grandchildren behind Mark & Barb! Looks like a great race, however, between the Hubbards and Hepburns (Rick & Debbie) as to the grandchildren count!
[Scribe comment: Thanks for the kind words, Mark Haas – from the other MH]

Big Jim Conti with his wife, Noelle, and son, Samuel

Big Jim Conti with his wife, Noelle, and son, Samuel

The supreme world traveler for our Class, Gary Greenfield, reports from the high seas on another journey to faraway places:

While I am writing this Donna and I are on a cruise from Tokyo to Honolulu. It is about nine days altogether and we got in an extra Wednesday as we crossed the date line. Been the smoothest sailing we have ever experienced in a crossing. Though a little rock ‘n roll right now, the last several days have been as if we were on a lake. Each time we come on board the technology has made unbelievable strides. Mobile phone access all the way across (although I tell people I can’t be reached) and higher and higher speed of internet access. Not quite like being on land, but vastly improved.

We chose this trip because we both love the quieter days at sea, but also because we both enjoy Tokyo. We kept it easy this time around while visiting a few days in advance of the cruise, just enjoying the good spring weather, the sights and, of course, the varied cuisine. We stayed just across from the grounds of the Imperial Palace where the moat still surrounds it. Though the Cherry Blossoms were gone, we did have a chance to experience them in Washington, DC.

A postscript: I finished up in Honolulu where I am got off of the ship since I have a long-term commitment, though Donna is continuing on to Los Angeles. We have known much of the crew for almost twenty years, so she is comfortable traveling alone. Before I left we grabbed lunch at the Hau Tree Lanai restaurant and sat under the hau tree where Robert Louis Stevenson in 1893 sat writing what he described as some of his best literary works. In the picture, you see a part of the tree – it is actually interconnected with another tree providing a natural awning or what is called a lanai hau. The tree dates back about 150 years at least!

The Greenfields high above east gardens of the Imperial Palace

The Greenfields high above east gardens of the Imperial Palace

Donna & Gary Greenfield on the Crystal Symphony overlooking the site for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Donna & Gary Greenfield on the Crystal Symphony overlooking the site for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Donna and Gary having lunch with Roland Schett, a senior member of the ship’s crew, under the Hau Tree

Donna and Gary having lunch with Roland Schett, a senior member of the ship’s crew, under the Hau Tree

That’s all for now. Enjoy the warmer weather and see you at the tailgaters in September!

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