Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Midshipman Receives MLK Drum Major Award

By MC2 Brianna Jones

Naval Academy Midshipman 1st Class Megan Rosenberger, chief of staff for the Midshipman Action Group (MAG), received the 2017 Drum Major Award for her distinguished service at the 29th Annual Anne Arundel County Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner Jan. 13.

Rosenberger is the first midshipman to receive this prestigious award as well as the youngest recipient in Anne Arundel County.


Founded in 1988, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee was designed to honor Dr. King’s legacy in Anne Arundel County. The MLK Drum Major Award is a way to celebrate those who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment but seldom receive recognition.

The award was inspired by King’s famous sermon about the drum major instinct. According to King, people with this trait desire to be out front, leading others. 

King asked to be remembered as one who tried to live his life serving others. He implored his congregation to remember his attempts to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort prisoners.

‘‘Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice,’’ said King in a 1968 sermon. ‘‘Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."

Through MAG, Rosenberger has been involved in  numerous outreach projects for Annapolis and surrounding communities including the Harvest for the Hungry food drive, the Arbor Day Park Clean-up, 9/11 Day of Service, Toys for Tots, Linda’s Legacy, Asbury Methodist Church Food Pantry, Saint Luke’s Church Clean-up, and Special Olympics.

“To me, Harvest for the Hungry was the most memorable and the most inspiring event of 2016 because of the amount of midshipmen that got on board and wanted to help,” said Rosenberger. “I was honored to be there and just watch all of it happen.”

Rosenberger has been a member of the Harvest for the Hungry team all four years she has been at USNA and has overseen the collection efforts the past two years as project manager. Since she became involved with the program in 2013, USNA has collected more than 250,000 pounds of food for the Anne Arundel Food and Resource Bank. This past fall, Megan and her team collected a record-breaking 80,000 pounds of food for Harvest for the Hungry. 

Even with a rigorous course load and the military demands of being a midshipman, Rosenberger has always made giving back to the community a priority. Growing up, her grandfather was involved in his local community in any way he could be, which instilled a sense of service in Rosenberger from a young age.

“Growing up and seeing him be so selfless brought about a culture of service in our family,” said Rosenberger.  “To come to the Naval Academy and continue different service projects and get involved in MAG just seemed right, because my family always made that a priority.”

“From her very first days at the Naval Academy,  Megan has been caring for our greater Annapolis communities by tirelessly doing for others and by building hope with every step of her impactful community engagements,” said Miriam Stanicic, USNA community relations director and former recipient of the MLK Drum Major Award. “We could not be prouder of her resounding leadership.”

Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others.”

For Rosenberger, the answer to this question is impacting and encouraging peer leadership, teamwork and goodwill towards others through her tireless devotion to her local community.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Midshipman Awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism

A U.S. Naval Academy midshipman received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal Jan. 10 in front of the entire Brigade of Midshipmen assembled in Alumni Hall.

Midshipman 3rd Class Jonathan Dennler received the medal, the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism by the U.S. Department of the Navy, for heroic actions while leading a Boy Scout troop in July 2016.


While camping in Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, the troop experienced a major storm with up to 80 mile-per-hour gusts and lightning strikes. Two trees fell on the campsite, killing a scout and an adult volunteer and severely injuring others.

When Dennler couldn't contact anyone on the radio for help, he canoed more than 1.5 miles at night in 60 mile-per-hour winds to a ranger station to bring back help and medical supplies.

The Navy and Marine Corps Medal falls in order of precedence just below the Distinguished Flying Cross and above the Bronze Star. It was first bestowed during World War II, to then Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy. Only about 3,000 have been given since. To win this award, there must be evidence that the act of heroism involved very specific life-threatening risk to the awardee.

The award came as a surprise to both Dennler and his classmates, who listened in silence while academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter read the award citation then gave him a rousing standing ovation.


“It was an incredibly humbling and unexpected experience,” said Dennler. “I'm very thankful to everyone who helped to make that happen and for the support of my family and friends.”

The award wasn’t a surprise to his parents, who also attended the award presentation. Dennler’s mother, Monica Dennler, described her son as “persistent and tenacious.”

“He knows how to persevere and has a kind heart,” she said. “He was the only one who knew what to do back in high school when a classmate broke their leg at a basketball game, because he was an Eagle Scout.”

“He is a quiet young man who would not want a big fuss, but rightfully deserves it,” said 20th Company Senior Enlisted Leader Chief Electronics Technician Nicholas Howell. “Out of his classmates, he is the one who has the level head to think clearly and decisively act to contain the situation and help bring about the best possible solution.”

Dennler is a political science major and member of 20th Company. He completed two years of college at George Washington University before transferring to the Naval Academy.

“USNA has taught me how to work and think in environments where many things are out of my control, and I think the academy helps to create mindsets that put others first,” said Dennler. “I am incredibly thankful for those lessons.”

An active member of the academy's Semper Fi Society, he hopes to serve in the Marine Corps after graduating from the academy in 2019.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Send us your Army-Navy photos!

Friends,

Now that we've all had some time to recover from the pain of loss ... we're looking for your Army-Navy photos!



Over the next few weeks, while the midshipmen are on winter break, we'd love to feature your A-N photos on our social media sites! Please submit your photos to jlclark@usna.edu with caption and credit info and we'll post as many as we can!

Happy holidays, everyone, and here's to beating Army next year!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Naval Academy Awarded Third Meritorious Unit Commendation

The Naval Academy received its third Meritorious Unit Commendation from the secretary of the Navy Dec. 8.

The Honorable Ray Mabus presented the citation to the Brigade of Midshipmen, faculty and staff during a ceremony held in Mahan Hall on the Naval Academy Yard.


"I thought it was important to recognize you all in a formal way," said Mabus. "I don't give many MUCs ... but you have earned it as much as any of our forward-deployed forces, as much as any of our warriors have, out protecting this country - as you made possible."

The award recognized the academy's significant achievements from Aug. 1, 2013 to Oct. 1, 2015. The Meritorious Unit Commendation recognizes superior mission accomplishment and is comparable to achievements which would merit the presentation of a Bronze Star Medal to an individual.

The award, signed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, specifically cited the establishment of the academy's "flagship cybersecurity" program, including required cyber courses for all midshipmen and the development of the cyber operations major.

The award also recognized the Naval Academy's U.S. News and World Report rankings during that time period as the "#1 Top Public School," the "#9 Liberal Arts School," and the "#5 Best Engineering School."

According to the citation, the academy "increased its applicant pool by 60 percent, while admitting the highest number of female and minority candidates in its history. In addition, the academy won a record number of league titles, earned numerous national awards for athletes and coaches, and was awarded the Patriot League President's Cup for the best school in conference for the third time in four years."


During the presentation, Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter invited a number of faculty, staff and athletic coaches to the stage.

"This is a complex organization," said Carter. "There are so many people here who make our mission run. These are critical leaders in every element of the Naval Academy.

"We are very honored that the Navy has recognized the Naval Academy with such an award on behalf of this incredible group of professionals," Carter continued. "I am so proud to be a very small part of of this institution and lead everyone from our faculty to our staff to those who take care of the midshipmen to those who run the ships and sailboats - to every aspect of this Naval Academy."

The last time the Naval Academy received the Meritorious Unit Commendation was in 2008.