Friday, October 30, 2015

USNA '78 Grad VADM Tidd Nominated for 4th Star

Congratulations, VADM Kurt W. Tidd (USNA '78), who was officially nominated for his 4th star and assignment as commander of U.S. Southern Command yesterday!

Once confirmed, that will give the great class of 1978 four active duty admirals:

ADM Kurt W. Tidd
ADM Mark E. Ferguson
ADM Cecil D. Haney
ADM Harry B. Harris Jr.

Only four other classes in USNA's history have had four or more 4-star admirals serving on active duty. (While other classes had more than four, many of them were meritorious promotions at the time of retirement.)

Class of 1897
ADM Orin G. Murfin
FADM William D. Leahy
ADM Arthur J. Hepburn
ADM Harry E. Yarnell
ADM Thomas C. Hart

Class of 1927
ADM George W. Anderson Jr.
ADM Charles D. Griffin
ADM Ulysses S. G. Sharp Jr.
ADM John S. Thach

Class of 1933
ADM Charles K. Duncan
ADM Ignatius J. Galantin
ADM Thomas H. Moorer
ADM Waldemar F.A. Wendt

Class of 1973
ADM John C. Harvey
ADM Eric T. Olson
ADM Gary Roughead
ADM Robert F. Willard

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Naval Academy Commissions Donated Schooner

The Naval Academy Sailing Center commissioned the donated schooner SummerWind in a ceremony Oct. 28 at the Robert Crown Sailing Center.

The Naval Academy's donated schooner, the SummerWind

SummerWind is a 1929 model 100-foot John G. Alden Schooner and was donated by James Grundy of Oxford, Md.

At the academy she will be used by the Varsity Offshore Sailing Team and by the Off Shore Training Squadron during summer training blocks. SummerWind can hold 12 midshipmen along with a skipper and an executive officer vice the Navy 44’s which hold eight midshipmen, a skipper, and an XO.

MIDN 1/C Alex Cinq Mars christens USNA's donated schooner
with the traditional bottle of champagne.

After long service as a privately owned vessel and commercial charter craft both stateside and abroad, SummerWind was purchased in Spain in 2006 and transported to Palm Beach, Fla., where a massive restoration was undertaken.  

Almost entirely replanked, every structural element was evaluated and either restored or replaced, her engineering systems redesigned, and her sailing rig updated.  The total cost of the restoration is rumored to have been in excess of $8 million.

In most every way SummerWind is a museum piece, the finest example of a classic schooner. However, she is also, in all probability, the “newest” 1929 vessel afloat due not only to her extensive rebuild and modernization of equipment from 2006-2009, but also to continuing meticulous care and upgrades, including replacement of the entire rig (both masts and booms) in carbon fiber by Grundy.

The Naval Academy's donated schooner, the SummerWind

She was chartered to the Merchant Marine Academy in 2009 for three years. The craft was used extensively for sail training of midshipmen in various events: racing events, local navigation training, overnight and offshore voyages and indoctrination training of first-year midshipmen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You Don't Have to Be An Admiral: Scott Schuetter (USNA '00)

As a prior-enlisted yeoman, Naval Academy graduate and Annapolis realtor Scott Schuetter (USNA ’00) spent a couple of years in the Navy before he ever heard about the academy.

Serving in the Navy wasn’t part of the original plan. Schuetter attended the University of Arkansas out of college, but couldn’t afford to continue after losing his academic scholarship. He didn’t let that mistake set him back. He enlisted in the Navy – largely to pay for college – and found that he enjoyed it.

"You worked hard, you got rewarded for it,” said Schuetter. “It was pretty straightforward."

Scott Schuetter (USNA '00) with pro golfer Lee Trevino
(Photo courtesy of Scott Schuetter)

But he was still looking to get his college degree, and when he saw the Navy message come through about applying to the academy, he was interested. He put in his application, got picked up and headed straight to Annapolis. After four years studying political science by the Severn, he was commissioned as a naval flight officer and went on to serve on E-2Cs.

He was stationed back at the Naval Academy as a lieutenant when he decided to get out of the Navy. He and his wife were in the process of adopting a son, and he didn't want to stay in the Navy and deploy once he had children.

"I wanted to be a very involved dad," he said.

Schuetter started building his real estate business while still on active duty, working full time at the Naval Academy as an instructor in the Leadership, Ethics and Law Department. He didn't think he'd enjoy real estate when his wife first suggested it, because he didn't think of himself as a salesman.

"I'm just very honest and hardworking, but that's what ended up being successful," he said.

One of the key characteristics he learned as a midshipman that has contributed much to his current success is self-discipline, he said.

"You have to wake yourself up in the morning and go do the work that needs to be done. Most people underestimate the real estate world and what a realtor is,” he said.

Essentially, as a brand new realtor, Schuetter had to build his business from scratch, something that required a lot of behind-the-scenes work and a lot of different skills.

"In the real estate world, someone is usually good at one thing, but there are a hundred other things you have to be good at,” he said. “The whole concept of attention to detail really came through in being your own boss. You have to pay attention to every single detail."

Ultimately, it all came down to communication and taking care of people, something the Naval Academy stresses in its development of future leaders.

“That becomes a part of who you are because of the school you went to and the belief system there,” he said. "You're not working for yourself. Your whole goal is to serve and provide superior service - very similar to the traits learned at the Academy and in the military.  Also similar is that the rewards from that will come without you having to grab or seek them. If you work hard and take care of people, everything else will work itself out."


The mission of the Naval Academy is graduate leaders who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

In the "You Don't Have to Be an Admiral" blog series we feature Naval Academy graduates who have, after their military service, gone on to excel in various ways outside the military.

Monday, October 26, 2015

County Executive Recognizes Midshipmen’s Service to Local Community

By MC2 Jonathan Correa

Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh visited the U.S. Naval Academy Oct. 23 to present a certificate of appreciation to the Brigade of Midshipmen during noon meal in King Hall.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Certificate from the state of Maryland was presented to the brigade on behalf of the governor for their community outreach throughout Anne Arundel County.

“The brigade’s selfless support and mentorship of so many of our county’s young people through Mids for Kids, Big Brother Big Sister, and Young Engineers and Scientists is truly commendable,” said Schuh. “I cannot tell you how proud the citizens of this county are to be hosting an institution of such importance to the national security of the United States of America.”

Midshipmen perform their community outreach through the Midshipman Action Group (MAG). MAG manages more than 50 projects and 500 midshipman volunteers throughout the year, and their work covers a variety of areas. They mentor and tutor local students; help conserve the environment conservation; organize food drives to help fight hunger, poverty, and homelessness; and promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs.

MAG contributed more than 26,000 of community service hours during the 2014-15 academic year and is on track to exceed that number this year.

“Right now we are collecting food for the Anne Arundel County Harvest for the Hunger food drive and hoping to collect more than we did the year before,” said Midshipman 1st Class Zachary Dannelly, MAG president. “We are continuing to help out the youth in the local community with Mids of Kids, the Big Brother Big Sister projects, and we are hoping to be able to do a joint community project with the cadets from West Point during Army-Navy week.”

The citation was a way for county and state leadership to show the brigade of midshipmen just how important they are to the community.

“It is a really humbling honor to have somebody of his standing come and speak to us,” said Dannelly. “I think for the brigade to see the support of the City of Annapolis from the highest levels, it will more encourage more MAG participation and bolster the individual project leaders to help them understand that what they do makes a huge impact with outreach to our community.”

MAG is dedicated to assisting members of the brigade in becoming active servants of the community by facilitating community relationships through organized service projects, and to recognize midshipmen accomplishments in community service as they occur throughout the brigade. MAG is dedicated to creating a positive and lasting impact on the lives of the citizens they serve.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Help Mids Support the Anne Arundel County Food Bank

Every October, food drive collection boxes fill up throughout the hallways of Bancroft Hall. Midshipmen are taking the initiative to help an important program - Harvest for the Hungry.

4th Company midshipmen collected 2,770 pounds of food last year.

Harvest for the Hungry, a Midshipman Action Group (MAG) project, impacts lives across Anne Arundel County. The program, a partnership with the Anne Arundel Food Bank and Anne Arundel Public Schools, began seven years ago. Since that time, the Brigade of Midshipmen has collected more than 250,000 pounds of non-perishable food for the county’s food bank.

MIDN 1/C Zac Dannelly, fall semester MAG president

One in seven Anne Arundel families face a constant struggle against hunger, leaving one in three kids in Anne Arundel County food insecure. Hunger impacts many aspects of a child’s life including learning. The Brigade of Midshipmen hopes to make an immense impact on these statistics by providing hope for a better life.

As residents of Anne Arundel County will soon start preparing for the holiday season, the Midshipman Action Group would like to invite the entire Naval Academy community to join our initiative. Food boxes have been placed at six locations around the Naval Academy: MacDonough Hall, Dahlgren Hall (outside of Drydock Restaurant), the Naval Academy Chapel, the Jewish Chapel, Michelson Hall (1st Floor), and the Visitor’s Center.

Food drive collection will end Nov. 5, and all the food will be delivered to to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank by midshipman representatives.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Powerboat Designers Talk Entrepreneurship, Innovation at USNA

The U.S. Naval Academy’s Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering Department hosted senior members of Malibu Boats for its fall semester Bock Memorial Lecture in Mahan Hall Oct. 21.

Malibu Boats CEO Jack Springer, Vice President of Product Design Danny Gasper, and Director of Engineering Cory Dugger spoke to ocean engineering and naval architecture majors about innovation and teamwork.

“Part of why we tried to present innovation as a theme today is because in the private sector, to survive you have to innovate,” said Springer. “You have to offer something new, something that is compelling for the customer and especially something that the others don’t have. As a team, we come up with brand new ideas and solutions.”

Malibu Boats is the world’s largest manufacturer of performance sport boats, known for leading the industry with major innovations, including the first onboard computer system in 1993.

The innovation and entrepreneurship of Malibu Boats is something Lt. Michael Hightower, senior instructor in USNA’s Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture Department, believes is a universal trait for leaders.

“The entrepreneurial spirit in general is not just about owning your own company,” said Hightower. “You can be an entrepreneur in any large organization. It’s about innovation and making things better. It’s about identifying a problem, addressing the problem, finding a solution and making that solution as efficient as possible. All those lessons absolutely apply to our Navy.”

Midshipmen ate lunch with Malibu Boats staff, viewed a newly-revealed boat model and spoke with the staff during a question-and-answer session, where they discussed the possibility of future summer internships with the company.

“Growing up, my father owned multiple Malibu boats and worked for a company affiliated with them,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Alexandra Hoiles. “I was really excited when someone asked about interning, because I would love to work with a company that is cutting edge, constantly innovating and bringing new ideas to the market. I would love to see how that is accomplished.”

Springer said he couldn’t have been happier to be at USNA revealing Malibu’s newest model and interacting with the midshipmen.

“It’s an honor and an privilege to be able to speak with these midshipmen here today,” he said. “USNA and the midshipmen are amazing. It’s actually kind of hard to even put into words.”

For 21 years the Bock Lecture has been bringing a wide variety of military and civilian guests to present ideas, innovation, methods and education to midshipmen.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Brigade Commander Focused on Positive Peer Leadership

When Naval Academy Midshipman 1st Class Margo Darragh’s company officer recommended her for a brigade staff position, she wasn’t expecting to become the brigade commander.

“You just try to be the best midshipman you can be and do what you're supposed to do and look out for other people,” she said. “If an opportunity like this presents itself, you welcome it with open arms.”

As brigade commander, Darragh takes on the role of the most senior midshipman at the academy, leading more than 4,500 of her peers and liaising between them and the commandant of midshipmen and his staff.

With both a new commandant and a new deputy commandant, Darragh sees her job as making that transition as smooth as possible.

“A personal goal for me was to do the best job I could at making that communication clear and helping that transition along so that the brigade benefited from it,” she said.

When Darragh spoke to the brigade at the beginning of the academic year, she stressed the importance of looking out for each other.

“So far I think everyone has been doing really well at it,” she said. “You absolutely can't get through this place without asking for help and without helping other people. I would not have this position at all if I hadn't gotten a lot of help.”

Being in this position gives her the opportunity to use some of the lessons she feels she’s learned about peer leadership while attending Leatherneck training in June and serving as a detailer during Plebe Summer.

“The one big thing I took away from both those trainings was how important it is in those situations to maintain the realization you're working with your peers,” she said.

Having watched her classmates work together under stressful situations when everyone was exhausted, she observed that it’s often easy to take friendship for granted and fail to treat someone with necessary respect when in a position of authority.

“I think as military leaders that is going to be key – having a sense of professionalism and mutual respect when dealing with people in tough situations,” she said.

She also talked to the brigade about maintaining a good attitude even when things are hard.

“I was really looking for positivity. We have a great opportunity here and a lot of great things going for us,” said Darragh.

Those opportunities are what attracted Darragh to service academies and the Naval Academy especially. As a high school student, she wasn’t interested in attending a civilian college.

“They all seemed the same to me,” she said. “The service academies are definitely not the same.”

She remembers visiting the academy and walking down Stribling with the midshipman she was shadowing thinking, “This feels really right. A year from now, this is what I’d want to be doing.”

Once she got the idea of attending the academy, she didn’t want to do anything else. She applied to only two schools – the Naval Academy and West Point, “as a back up,” she said.

"This was the only place I wanted to be.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

USNA Hosts STEM Workshop for Middle School Girls

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyler Caswell

The U.S. Naval Academy’s Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Center for Education and Outreach hosted a girls-only STEM workshop for middle school-age girls Oct. 17.

More than 230 girls from surrounding counties and neighboring states attended the day-long workshop.

Parents, midshipmen and faculty worked with the girls to provide hands-on activities in subjects such as aerospace engineering, biology, and physics. The goal was to empower students through confidence-building team exercises and present the opportunities and possibilities in STEM careers.

"Research shows that 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls are particularly affected by their environment and peers," said mechanical engineering Professor Angela Moran, director of the STEM Center for Education and Outreach. “In many cases, they are not presented with all the opportunities that are available to them as they get older. We are trying to make sure they know of all those possibilities."

The STEM Center reaches 8,000-9,000 girls each year through a variety of programs. Its faculty wants to make sure those girls are left with a lasting impression that is continually reinforced.

"It has to be a three-way message," said Moran. "We engage the girls, we speak with the parents, and we interact with about 1,000 teachers a year, trying to ensure the sustainability and encouragement of STEM inside of the classroom.

"Our events are always a very rewarding experience, we see these young girls go from saying 'I can’t do that' to an hour later saying 'I didn’t know I could do that,'" she said.

The workshop consisted of hour-long modules testing various student-built designs. Midshipmen and faculty oversaw and demonstrated hands-on projects that showcased rocket design, meteorology, mathematical computation for music and more.

"From a young age, I feel like there can be some discouragement for girls to work in a STEM field," said Midshipman 2nd Class David Dedios, a mechanical engineering major and STEM volunteer. "It’s really important for them to get these experiences because these fields should be as diversified as possible."

The introduction or reinforcement of STEM fields as future career paths can help young girls decide earlier in what direction to focus their high-school and college studies.

"When I was young, I was very interested in math and science," said chemistry Professor Sarah Durkin. "When I went to college, I met freshmen who were engineering majors, and I had never even heard of engineering as a major. I wondered how they even knew what an engineer was at the age of 17. We want to prevent that. I think it’s great to inspire girls at this age, and if you don’t know something exists, you can’t work towards that as a goal."

USNA STEM events are sponsored by the Security of Defense, Office of Naval Research, the Naval Academy Foundation, the Northrop Grumman Foundation and The Bauer Foundations.

For more information about STEM at USNA, visit

Monday, October 19, 2015

Naval Health Clinic Annapolis Construction On Track

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) personnel and Turner Construction Co. engineers are over the half-way mark in the construction phase of Annapolis’ new naval health clinic at Naval Support Activity Annapolis.

Upon completion, currently scheduled for spring 2016, the new 101,598-square-foot facility will replace the current clinic, which is located on "Hospital Point" on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy.

While providing world-class care to Midshipmen, USNA staff, families and retirees, the current building and parking limitations no longer meet integrated health care facility requirements.

“Service members and families can expect the same safe, high quality standard of care that they are receiving in the current facility,” said Lt. Cmdr. Shanda Avent, Navy Senior Health Facilities project & planning officer. “The only difference is that the care will be delivered in a more modern and efficient health care environment.”

The new facility will include all currently available services, including primary care, orthopedics, physical therapy, dental, optometry and mental health clinics, lab, pharmacy, and radiology support, and administrative and logistic spaces. It will also incorporate modern heating and cooling practices, an update from the current facility which was converted into a hospital in 1907.

“The energy conscious design aims to achieve a LEED Silver rating with optimized daylighting of interior spaces with glare and heat reduction features on windows, solar thermal hot water heaters and roof mounted photovoltaic panels,” said Tiffany Monaco, NAVFAC Washington.

Despite delays caused by inclement weather, the new health facility is on track to welcome patients in the summer of 2016. Initial outfitting and transition is planned for spring 2016, after construction is complete.

The current clinic staff is hard at work, conducting numerous planning activities in preparation for the new facility, such as taking inventory, reviewing equipment lists, validating furniture and equipment placement in the new spaces, and planning the opening ceremony, said Avent.

“These planning activities are crucial to the overall outfitting of the clinic to ensure that it meets the staff's requirements in support of their operations,” said Avent.

The project design began in 2011 with RLF Architects and Engineers of Orlando, Fla. The design phase was led by NAVFAC Headquarters Medical Facilities Design Office and NAVFAC Washington with collaboration from many other entities including Navy Medicine East, the Health Clinic Annapolis staff, and Naval Support Activity Annapolis supporting departments.

The construction contract was awarded to Turner Construction in December 2013, and construction on the new clinic officially began with a ground-breaking ceremony April 18th, 2014.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Naval Institute Hosts History Conference at USNA

The United States Naval Institute held its 6th Annual History Conference at the U.S. Naval Academy Oct. 14.

This year’s theme “Actions Shaping History” focused on the U.S. Marine Corps. Speakers included retired Gen. John Allen; retired Gen James F. Amos; Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Bailey; and retired Gen. Alfred M. Gray Jr.

The institute’s aim was to tie the Marine Corps’ past with its present and educate midshipmen through experiences of former and current leaders.

“We wanted to take a close look at the Marine Corps’ leadership and history,” said April Parrico, USNI director of conferences and events. “We try to look at it like an applied history conference. In the morning we started with history and throughout the day, the topics became more current, eventually looking toward the future.”

The speakers used personal experiences while in command and performing their duties to give the audience insight into leadership qualities.

“Remember that people are the center of gravity in our organization,” said Bailey. “When you take care of your people, they will take care of you. That is essential to my leadership philosophy.”

Midshipmen and other audience members heard leadership perspectives from wartime scenarios dating from Vietnam to current conflicts with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“When I commanded our forces in Afghanistan, that was a mature coalition in a mature theater of war," said Allen. "We relied on our authorities to wage conflict. We relied for international recognition on a United Nations security council to be able to wage war.

“We didn’t have time for either of those when the ISIL emergency broke this time last year,” Allen continued. “We quickly formed the 60-nation coalition, bound together with a common set of values and a common sense of purpose to confront the danger at hand.”

For the hundreds of midshipmen who attended the conference throughout the day, the opportunity to engage with senior military leaders provided a valuable experience.

“To be able to interact with this level of leadership personally really helps me see what characteristics I should continue to develop and hone,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Benjamin Machen. “It’s a great opportunity, and I hope we can continue to have these types of events.”

The Naval Institute plans to continue its yearly conference to help educate and inform midshipmen through a historical and speaker-based forum.

“We already talking about next year’s conference and celebrating women in the military services,” said Parrico. “I feel like these events can be so inspiring and really help the midshipmen during their years here at USNA.”

Established in 1873, the U.S. Naval Institute is a resource for anyone who is interested in our nation’s sea services.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Charting a New Course: Celestial Navigation Reinstated at USNA

By Lt. j.g. Devin Arneson

Picture this: A naval vessel is navigating the high seas thousands of nautical miles from land. Suddenly all navigation systems become inoperable. What happens next? What does this mean?

The Navy looks to its past to chart its future. With today’s technology rapidly advancing, the Navy realized that many basic techniques are still relevant to safe operations at sea.

Celestial Navigation (CELNAV) is one skill that has not been formally taught to Navy officers, depending on one’s commissioning source, for more than 15 years. Officer Candidate School did not teach CELNAV, NROTC stopped teaching it in 2000, and the Naval Academy removed it in 2006.

Based on direction from the Chief of Naval Operations, CELNAV has been reinstated into the navigation curriculum and is a requirement in the Officer Professional Core Competencies Manual. This administrative change ensures the instruction will be an enduring requirement.

The Naval Academy resumed classroom instruction during the summer session of 2015. The class of 2017 will be the first in many years to graduate with a basic knowledge of CELNAV.

During their junior year, all second-class Midshipmen currently take Navigation 310: Advanced Navigation. This course has been adjusted to contain three hours of celestial familiarization, providing students basic principles and theories of CELNAV. It includes PowerPoint presentations along with homework and tests based on Chapter 20 from the 15th Edition of Dutton’s Nautical Navigation by Thomas J. Cutler.

“It is a core competency of a mariner,” said Director of Professional Development Cmdr. Adan Cruz. “If we can navigate using celestial navigation, then we can always safely get from point A to point B.”

The Midshipmen also take two cyber classes during which they learn about the vulnerability of electronic navigation systems and how they can be affected by cyber threats. The classes include how information moves, jamming, the RF spectrum, and many other topics in cyber security.

“Teaching CELNAV is just one thing necessary to learn in order to get ready for the battlefield that’s already out there. Cyber affects all battlefields to include sea, land, air, and space,” said Director of Center of Cyber Security Studies Capt. Paul J. Tortora.

Cyber threats aren’t the most likely reason electronic navigation systems might fail. System degradation, electrical failures, satellite malfunctions – there are any number of reasons GPS might be rendered unusable on board a ship.

Outside the classroom, the academy’s Varsity Offshore Sailing Team uses CELNAV for the Marion to Bermuda race. GPS is used until the sailboats are 50 miles offshore. Prior to the race, the team members used the planetarium in Luce Hall for exposure to what kinds of stars and constellations they would be able to shoot to celestially navigate.

“Everyone is reliant on technology, but celestial navigation is very self-sufficient.  There’s not a more basic way than to use the sails and the stars,” said Midshipman 1/C Jared Valeske, skipper and tactician for the race in summer 2015.

Midshipmen are also exposed to CELNAV during summer training cruises on USNA’s Yard Patrol Craft and Offshore Sailing Training Squadron sailboats. By the end of the summer, the nearly 600 Midshipmen who participate in these two programs have a practical understanding of the benefits of CELNAV and what encompasses a day’s work in navigation.

The bottom line is that even with technological advances, the basics still apply.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Annapolis Celebrates Navy’s Birthday with USNA

City of Annapolis officials and U.S. Naval Academy leadership and midshipmen came together Oct. 13 for a breakfast celebrating the U.S. Navy’s 240th birthday.

Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides, Maryland Senator John Astle, USNA Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter, and other community leaders were in attendance to recognize the close relationship between the academy and the City of Annapolis.

“USNA is an integral part of our community,” said Astle. “In the minds of visitors and in our community, the two are synonymous.”

Through organizations like the Midshipman Action Group (MAG), the midshipmen are a constant presence in the local community. In the last year, MAG has contributed more than 26,000 hours of community service. They tutor local students, clean up local parks, and shovel snow for residents.  

“That benefits all the residents of Annapolis,” said Annapolis City Mayor Mike Pantelides. “They reach out to different parts of the community, even those that can sometimes be overlooked.”

USNA also celebrated its Founders Day Oct. 10. On that day in 1845, then Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft established the Naval Academy – then called the Naval School – at Fort Severn on the shores of the Severn River.

“The Navy and Marine Corps were founded to define us as a maritime nation, to protect our borders and free trade,” said Carter.  “We have performed those tasks our entire time as a nation. We have done that all of our history.”

The heritage of USNA and Annapolis are linked, said Carter, who said he believes the future of the two will continue to prosper on that path together.

“As you think about the future of our services, you can’t help but think about Annapolis and USNA,” said Carter. “The midshipmen here are the future leaders of our Navy, Marine Corps and our nation. Those future leaders are being prepared, right here, right now.”

Friday, October 9, 2015

USNA Supe Tours Chicago's Rickover Naval Academy

The U.S. Naval Academy superintendent toured Chicago’s Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy during a trip to the area Oct. 9.

Vice Adm. Ted Carter joined Rear Adm. Stephen Evans, commander of the Naval Service Training Command, in meeting the students and administrators of the school.

The Rickover Naval Academy, located in the north side of Chicago, is a college preparatory school that uses the NJROTC program to prepare students to become leaders.

Carter was in the area in advance of Saturday's football game between Navy and Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.  Carter also met with alumni at the Chicago Yacht club, but the opportunity to visit fellow educators and students was the priority.

"This is about learning service above yourself," said Carter to an assembled group of students. "I am encouraged to see so many students embracing the importance of education. That tells me a lot about your character."

The Rickover Naval Academy was created in 2005 with 120 students. The high school program now has a student body of 582 and boasts a 100 percent college acceptance rate for all graduating seniors.

The school provides a unique public school opportunity for students from underprivileged neighborhoods and backgrounds. A majority of the Rickover students travel over 90 minutes to attend the program because of the benefits and discipline.

Carter addressed many of those students, toured the classrooms and facilities and talked about the opportunities available to the students at the Naval Academy, as well as its summer seminar and summer STEM camps.

The Rickover Naval Academy motto is "Learning to lead in order to serve."  Carter discussed those basics of leadership and service in his discussion with students.

"I'm appreciative of the exposure you're getting to the military lifestyle," Carter told the students. "This school is all about opportunity. Embrace that opportunity to lead and make a difference."

Carter also discussed the changing demographic of the Naval Academy, the rising number of female applicants and the growing diversity of each incoming class.

"The talent of the Naval Academy is on display with a growing cross section of young people, just like there is in this school today," said Carter. "I see a lot of what I have at the Naval Academy in Annapolis mirrored in the faces I see here in front of me in Chicago."

NY Islanders Gain Leadership Insight at USNA

The New York Islanders professional hockey team visited the Naval Academy Oct. 6 for leadership and team-building exercises on and off the ice.

 The Islanders practiced at the Brigade Sports Complex ice hockey rink before touring the Naval Academy Yard. Last year, directly before playoff season, the team visited USNA and came away with a valuable experience.

“Last year before we played the Washington Capitals in the playoffs, we stayed at USNA, and our players loved it,” said NY Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano. "The guys and I went to our general manager and told him we wanted to come back.”

During the tour, the team received leadership insight from Marine Corps Capt. Charles Poulton, 12th Company officer. Poulton emphasized leadership is a trait that both military and professional sports teams must embody to be successful.

“Leadership is what we do here at USNA. How a person handles adversity, having the courage to do what’s right, and being humble enough to look at what you can do better is what we instill in these midshipmen,” said Poulton. “Whether you lead a hockey team, or Sailors and Marines, the good qualities of leadership will help you win.”

Guided by USNA’s hockey team, the Islanders spent the afternoon eating with midshipmen and getting to know how the midshipmen live day to day. The time with the NY Islanders brought insight into the midshipman experience.

“I think the Islanders recognized the unique experience we have here,” said Midshipman 1st Class Matthew Caine. “We are surrounded by great leaders, and we are working at it constantly as midshipmen. As Captain Poulton said, the Islanders players wouldn't be where they are if they hadn't been leaders at some point in their lives. Coming to the academy for them was about picking up a few more tools they could apply to their profession.”

The NY Islanders start their 2015-2016 season Oct. 9, and Coach Capuano said this visit is the right way to begin.

“It’s sacred ground here,” said Capuano. “We get caught up in our lives, and then are able to see this place and how fortunate we are. To be able to come here and see the lives of the people who will soon be protecting us - the discipline and the structure - it’s just a great opportunity for us before the season.”

Thursday, October 8, 2015

USNA Participates in Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation Signing

Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) Annapolis hosted a Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamation signing and tree dedication ceremony at the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation pavilion at NSA Annapolis Oct. 6.

The event brought together leadership from four Annapolis area commands: Vice Adm. Ted Carter, superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy; Capt. Logan Jones, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Annapolis; Capt. Michael McGinnis, commanding officer of Naval Health Clinic Annapolis; and Cmdr. John Downes, commanding officer of  the Navy Operational Support Center in Baltimore, Md.

“You are actually watching a little bit of history today,” said Carter. “Not only as we talk about raising the awareness of domestic violence, but four commands are represented here and are going to sign this proclamation to raise the level of awareness. I am very proud and happy to be representing as one of those four.”

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is intended to inform the community about the damage caused to individuals, children, long-term health care, work productivity, and community safety from domestic violence and engage the community in preventing domestic violence.

“Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of their race, culture, or socioeconomic background. It harms our communities and hurts the ones we care about and love,” said Frances Bell, domestic abuse victim advocate at FFSC Annapolis.

The Navy community lives by core values which are reflected in their everyday professional and personal practices to include becoming actively involved in domestic violence prevention efforts.

“When you really get down to it, this month is truly about understanding how we evolved as a community, as a Navy, and as a Navy and Marine Corp team,” said Carter.  “It is really about raising the level of total dignity and respect for each other. It is great to have a month dedicated to domestic violence awareness but this is a topic that should have a 365 day a year, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day level of awareness.”

Domestic violence harms the victims, negatively impacts children who witness or listen to the abusive behavior, and causes long-term health issues if unaddressed.

“We are willing to be here, stand in front of you and put our name on this proclamation. This is just another way to say this is an important topic that we should all understand,” said Carter.

Fleet and Family Support Center staff are dedicated to engaging and encouraging Sailors, their families, and the whole Navy community to nurture healthy relationships while providing programs and services to prevent domestic violence.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

From Enlisted to Academy: One Midshipman's Journey

Prior-enlisted Midshipman 1/C Anna Wade recently wrote an article about her experience applying to the academy from the Fleet. Read "From Enlisted to the Academy" on the U.S. Navy's All Hands blog.

"I fell in love with the military and what it had to offer, but I also felt
like I wanted something more." - MIDN 1/C Anna Wade (right)

For more information about applying to the Naval Academy as an enlisted Sailor, check out the ALNAV 065/15.

USNA Women's Club Hockey Takes on USA Warriors

When you look at the Naval Academy Women’s Club Ice Hockey team’s busy 30-game schedule, you would think that they would have little time to themselves let alone adding extra scrimmages to their already packed schedules.

However, when the women found out they were slated to scrimmage the USA Warriors Standing Ice Hockey Team, all sticks were on ice ready to take on an incredible group of wounded veterans.

The USA Warriors are comprised of wounded military veterans who are eager to get back on the ice and play against hockey teams from around the country. On Sept. 26, the Women’s Club Ice Hockey team had the privilege and honor to host the USA Warriors in a pre-season scrimmage.

With fans filling the seats, the USA Warriors looking sharp in their American flag-inspired jerseys, and the women’s club team proudly skating a “Don’t Give up the Ship” flag, a great sense of pride, country, and camaraderie was filling the air.

As soon as the puck dropped, it was not your average hockey game. With the USA Warriors telling short stories of their military careers as they skated by the women’s bench, to the women’s club team joking around on the ice with the veterans, it created a fun and light-hearted atmosphere amongst two military hockey teams.

“Having the opportunity to compete with the next generation of Naval leadership was fantastic," said USA Warriors captain Michael Davis in a post on Facebook. "The women's team was fast, tenacious and played sound fundamental hockey.”

The women’s team could not have been more honored to scrimmage with men that have proudly served our country and continue to inspire through their hockey endeavors. Even though the Women’s Club Ice Hockey team lost to the USA Warriors, 6 to 5, it was not the score that mattered but the camaraderie and opportunity to play alongside such inspirational wounded warriors.

170 Years By the Severn: Celebrating USNA's Founders Day

The U.S. Naval Academy celebrates its 170th birthday Oct. 10th.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

USNA Midshipmen Selected for "It's On Us" Student Advisory Committee

The "It's On Us" Campaign announced today its Student Advisory Committee, a new initiative to provide exemplary student leaders with a larger role in bringing the the "It's On Us" message to campuses and communities across the country.

Out of more than 100 applicants, 17 students were selected, including Naval Academy MIDN 2/C Shaquil Keels.

"I truly believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect," said Keels. "Ending sexual assault won't happen over night, but stepping up and encouraging others to do the same will have a domino effect that will eventually create a society where everyone has the courage to intervene in these situations and make the world a much better and safer place."

Keels, a history major, is a member of 7th Company. He participates in USNA's Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Education Program, better known as SHAPE, and the Men’s 1-in-4 Program.

On Sept. 19, 2014, Generation Progress partnered with the White House to launch the "It's On Us" Campaign to help fundamentally shift the way we think about sexual assault. More than 230,000 people around the country have signed the pledge, and the campaign hosted more than 800 events around the country. The campaign is a rallying cry inviting everyone to step up and realize the solution begins with us.

Visit the "It's On Us" website to take the pledge.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Naval Academy Names Building in Honor of Former Superintendent

The Naval Academy held a ceremony Oct. 2 to rename the Administration Building “Larson Hall” in honor of two-time Superintendent Adm. Charles R. Larson (USNA ’58).

The Naval Academy renamed the Administration Building in honor of two-time
Superintendent Adm. Charles Larson.

Larson Hall, built in 1907 and renovated in 2014, serves as the headquarters of the Naval Academy superintendent and immediate staff.

“When you think about his hands-on leadership style, what an appropriate building to bear his name,” said Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Larson, who passed away July 25, 2014, served as superintendent from 1983-1986 and 1994-1998. His vision led to the foundation of what is now the Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and refocused the Naval Academy curriculum on developing leaders of character.

Senator Barbara Mikulski gives remarks at the dedication ceremony
for Larson Hall.

“His leadership was value driven,” said Mikulski, who praised Larson for his efforts to build character development into the academy curriculum. “In the end, it’s character that counts. He was an outstanding man.”

He established the academy's Character Development Division to provide character and honor instruction to the Brigade of Midshipmen and was instrumental in the development and construction of Alumni Hall.

“He inspired the brigade to take ownership of our mission,” said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter. “Our formalized leadership and character development curriculum today owes everything it does to the foundation Admiral Larson laid, and our Navy and Marine Corps team has continuously reaped the benefits of his vision and leadership.”

Vice Adm. Ted Carter gives remarks at the dedication ceremony
for Larson Hall.

He also established the master's degree program for incoming company officers and the senior enlisted leader program that brings non-commissioned officers into Bancroft Hall to work hand-in-hand with company officers and midshipmen.

“The Larson name is one that deserves to be recognized, memorialized and remembered by all,” said Carter. “The naming a prominent building in his honor is a fitting and proper way to inspire our next generation of officers to remember what our nation requires and what is expected to become leaders of character and consequence – young men and women who exhibit excellence without arrogance.”

A native of Sioux Falls, S.D., Larson graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, a class that included Senator John S. McCain. His 40-year career included service as an aviator and submarine officer and command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. He was the first naval officer selected as a White House Fellow, serving as special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior in 1968. He also served as naval aide to President Richard Nixon.

Senator Barbara Mikulski, Mrs. Sally Larson, and Vice Adm. Ted Carter
cut the ribbon during the dedication ceremony for Larson Hall.

In 1979, at the age of 43, Larson became the second-youngest admiral in U.S. Navy history. He retired in 1998.

His major military decorations included the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, seven awards of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, three awards of the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal. In addition, he received decorations from the governments of Japan, Korea, Thailand and France.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

USNA Alumni Support STEM Outreach at First Robotics Regionals

By Brian Horais (USNA '71)

More than 30 USNA alumni from five chapters staffed college representative booths at five FIRST Robotics Regional Competitions across the United States during March and April 2015.

Three FIRST Robotics student competitors with USNA alumni
CAPT Chris Cassidy (USNA '93), LT Mike Seymour (USNA '09),
Marine Capt. Alan Cortes (USNA '04), and LT James Dietle (USNA '06)
(Photo courtesy of John Kendall)

This alumni support provided the USNA Office of Admissions with new resources and venues to augment their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) outreach activities.

The nationwide FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is considered the "varsity sport for the mind" and combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources and time limits, teams of 25 students at the high school level are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.

Over 73,000 students, comprising more than 9,300 teams competed at 56 regional competitions, five district championships and 48 district events on their way to the championship event in St. Louis, Missouri, April 22-25.

The 2015 quarterfinal Peachtree Regional FIRST Robotics Competition
(Photo courtesy of Ed Brownlee)

With the emphasis on STEM-related degrees at USNA (nearly two thirds of the degrees awarded at USNA are in STEM fields), the FIRST Robotics Competitions offer the USNA Office of Admissions an ideal outreach opportunity to get the word out about educational and career opportunities at USNA. Based upon the success of a pilot program conducted in 2014 by Brian Horais (USNA ’71), member of the USNAAA Board of Trustees, and alumni from the Knoxville/Oak Ridge chapter, the Office of Admissions approved expansion of the Alumni outreach activities to five targeted regional events in 2015 where they wanted to have increased emphasis on STEM outreach.

Use of alumni to staff the college representative booths provided the Office of Admissions with a motivated volunteer resource to augment their activities. The five alumni chapters and regional events that supported the outreach were the Alamo Chapter, San Antonio Regional; Atlanta Chapter, Peachtree Regional; Chicago Chapter, Midwest Regional; Knoxville/Oak Ridge Chapter, Smoky Mountain Regional; and the Houston Chapter, Lone Star Regional.

Principal points of contact at each of these regionals were:  Dave Driskell, (USNA ’63) from the Alamo Chapter, Ed Brownlee (USNA ’81) from the Atlanta Chapter, Fred Weber (USNA ’75) from the Chicago Chapter, Brian Horais (USNA ’71) from the Knoxville/Oak Ridge Chapter, and John Kendall (USNA ’64) from the Gulf Coast Chapter.

Marcus Greenspan (USNA '93) and Alan Cortes (USNA '04) talk with a
STEM Robotics participant.
(Photo courtesy of John Kendall)

All of the more than 30 alumni who supported these outreach events thoroughly enjoyed their interactions with the students and stated that they would volunteer again.  Many alumni who participated were surprised that a large number of students were not aware of the U.S. Naval Academy or its STEM-focused academics.  These outreach events offer a template for similar support to the USNA Office of Admissions activities in the future.

A tip of the hat to Ms. Marti Kwon and Mr. Everett Marshall in the Strategic Outreach Department of the Office of Admissions for their support and dedicated involvement.