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Category Archives: Commemorations & Celebrations

SECNAV International Women’s Day Forum

March 5, 2020

Welcome to the official blog of the International Women’s Day Forum, hosted by Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly at the Army-Navy Club in Washington, D.C. The event features a panel of women speakers moderated by Courtney Kube of NBC News, as well as a panel discussion from government and military officials, along with remarks from Sec. Modly.

Revisit this blog regularly for the livestream of the event, as well as photos and other content.

Event Background

The global observance of International Women’s Day (March 8) provides an opportunity to reflect on progress made, to advocate for continued change, and to celebrate acts of courage, determination and achievement by women who contribute to their communities, countries and international society.

Official observance of International Women’s Day by the Department of the Navy provides an opportunity during Women’s History Month to acknowledge, celebrate and promote the role of women in defense and national security (to include our Navy-Marine Corps-Civilian team), as well as the U.S. strategy to grow women’s participation in national security.

The Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, signed into law by President Trump on October 6, 2017, recognizes the critical link between women’s participation and peace, and mandated the creation of a government-wide strategy to increase the participation of women in security processes. Reflecting a growing global movement to advance women’s inclusion in the security sector, observance of International Women’s Day provides an invaluable platform to demonstrate the achievements and importance of women’s contributions in this regard, and give voice and inspiration to generations of men and women on the value of inclusivity and diversity of thought and participation.

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2020/03/02/secnav-international-womens-day-forum/ U.S. Navy

Best Job I’ve Ever Had

(New Year’s Day 2020 Deck Log Entry)

By Quartermaster 3rd Class Sara Nevison,
Deployed at Sea on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

NOTE: The New Year’s Day deck log is a longstanding U.S. Navy tradition, in which a Sailor on watch pens his or her reflections in verse, which the watch stander on duty at midnight then enters into the deck log. For more on this tradition, see this article from Naval History and Heritage Command.

As another year comes to an end,
Sailors reflect on the past
And how it all began.

COMPTUEX was the first chapter
Of our long extended adventure.
Countless Surprise GQs and neverending
EMCON conditions
Were the ship’s main ambition.

But together through it all
All the Sailors stood tall
With acceptance of the fate
The ship was soon going to face.

‘Twas the night before deployment,
And all through the base,
Every Lincoln Sailor packing
Their sea bags and suitcase.
Saying goodbye to families
Because it’s the last day.

6th Fleet was our first stop.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain,
Made our mouths drop.
Such a beautiful place to see—
We wondered what the next port would be.

Duqm 1, Duqm 2, Duqm 3,
Arabian Sea.
Swim call, swim call—
Happy birthday, USS Abraham Lincoln!
The water is welcome to all.

Six short blasts are sounded:
Man overboard man overboard!
The chem light bandit still isn’t found yet.
Extensions upon extensions—
The ship was very much needed.
Missing holidays with family
Everyone felt defeated.

Good morning, Lincoln Nation!
We finally got some information.
We are headed to 7th Fleet,
But first we to clean
Your filthy pollywog feet.

We crossed the equator
And to become a shellback was in favor.
Covered in green slime
And drenched in saltwater of course,
We were accepted into King Neptune’s Court.

As we start off a new year,
Lincoln Sailors are in joy and glee
To what we leave behind in 2019.
Lots of memories and lots of fun,
But what comes next in 2020 has begun.

200101-N-ME568-1001 PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 1, 2020) Quartermaster 3rd Class Ryan Gouger, from Newberg, Ore., enters the ship’s coordinates in the ship’s position log while standing Quartermaster of the Watch on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dan Snow/Released)
200101-N-ME568-1003 PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 1, 2020) Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Kayla Whitcomb, from Springfield, Ill., rings in the new year with 16 bells while standing Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dan Snow/Released)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/12/31/best-job-ive-ever-had/ U.S. Navy

Best Job I’ve Ever Had

(New Year’s Day 2020 Deck Log Entry)

By Quartermaster 3rd Class Sara Nevison,
Deployed at Sea on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

NOTE: The New Year’s Day deck log is a longstanding U.S. Navy tradition, in which a Sailor on watch pens his or her reflections in verse, which the watch stander on duty at midnight then enters into the deck log. For more on this tradition, see this article from Naval History and Heritage Command.

As another year comes to an end,
Sailors reflect on the past
And how it all began.

COMPTUEX was the first chapter
Of our long extended adventure.
Countless Surprise GQs and neverending
EMCON conditions
Were the ship’s main ambition.

But together through it all
All the Sailors stood tall
With acceptance of the fate
The ship was soon going to face.

‘Twas the night before deployment,
And all through the base,
Every Lincoln Sailor packing
Their sea bags and suitcase.
Saying goodbye to families
Because it’s the last day.

6th Fleet was our first stop.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain,
Made our mouths drop.
Such a beautiful place to see—
We wondered what the next port would be.

Duqm 1, Duqm 2, Duqm 3,
Arabian Sea.
Swim call, swim call—
Happy birthday, USS Abraham Lincoln!
The water is welcome to all.

Six short blasts are sounded:
Man overboard man overboard!
The chem light bandit still isn’t found yet.
Extensions upon extensions—
The ship was very much needed.
Missing holidays with family
Everyone felt defeated.

Good morning, Lincoln Nation!
We finally got some information.
We are headed to 7th Fleet,
But first we to clean
Your filthy pollywog feet.

We crossed the equator
And to become a shellback was in favor.
Covered in green slime
And drenched in saltwater of course,
We were accepted into King Neptune’s Court.

As we start off a new year,
Lincoln Sailors are in joy and glee
To what we leave behind in 2019.
Lots of memories and lots of fun,
But what comes next in 2020 has begun.

200101-N-ME568-1001 PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 1, 2020) Quartermaster 3rd Class Ryan Gouger, from Newberg, Ore., enters the ship’s coordinates in the ship’s position log while standing Quartermaster of the Watch on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dan Snow/Released)
200101-N-ME568-1003 PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 1, 2020) Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Kayla Whitcomb, from Springfield, Ill., rings in the new year with 16 bells while standing Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dan Snow/Released)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/12/31/best-job-ive-ever-had/ U.S. Navy

Then and Now: Century of Service Shows Need for Shipyard Investment at Pearl Harbor

By Capt. Greg Burton, Commander, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & IMF

They rushed to put out hundreds of fires around Pearl Harbor, organized an ammunition-passing party, worked on disabled engines and cut men out of the hulls of sunken ships. These workers saved dozens of lives and were charged with resurrecting the fleet that brought peace to a world that was burning. Just six months after the initial bombing of Pearl Harbor, the battered and bloodied USS Yorktown aircraft carrier limped back to Pearl Harbor following the Battle of Coral Sea. Once again, these heroes answered the call. I’m not talking about sailors or soldiers. I’m talking about tradesmen who loved and served their country.

After the Pearl Harbor attack, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard workers helped turn the tide of the war at Midway and also repaired and maintained the ships that would sail triumphantly into Tokyo Bay. This support continued through the Korea conflict, Vietnam War, Cold War, Gulf War and in combat operations in support of ground forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Along the way, they prioritized environmental stewardship and safety programs and supported the Navy in its transition to nuclear propulsion.

As in years past, today’s shipyard workers possess the grit, determination and capacity unique to and necessary for sustaining the most powerful Navy in the world.

Next month, Lionsgate will release Midway, a new movie that will highlight epic stories from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s 111-year history. One story is repairing the USS Yorktown (CV-5).

The USS Yorktown saw its first major battle after the Japanese Imperial Navy sent an invasion force through the Coral Sea and the U.S. Navy moved to intercept. The enemy hit Yorktown with a bomb that exploded on the fourth deck. Later, a near miss landed close enough to open up her hull. Following orders, the crippled Yorktown returned to Pearl Harbor trailing an oil slick 10 miles long.

Yorktown’s skipper prepared an action report detailing the carrier’s damage for Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief. U.S. Pacific Fleet. It would be a preliminary estimate of the necessary repairs for returning the carrier to the high seas. An effort that put the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard workforce in the history books.

The sobering report detailed a 551-pound armor-piercing bomb plunging through the flight deck and penetrating 50 feet into the ship before exploding above the forward-engine room. It destroyed six compartments, the lighting systems on three decks and took out her radar and refrigeration systems. The bomb also damaged the gears controlling an elevator while the near misses opened seams in her hull and ruptured the fuel-oil compartments.

Rear Adm. Aubrey Fitch speculated that repairs would take 90 days. Adm. Nimitz didn’t have 90 days.

Thanks to the intelligence work by Cmdr. Joseph Rochefort and his team at Station HYPO (also located at the shipyard in Building 1) the Navy broke the Japanese Imperial code and intercepted plans detailing a pending Japanese attack at Midway. Adm. Nimitz had already started sending battle groups and air wings to Midway. The question in his mind was whether shipyard workers could repair the Yorktown in time for that battle.

After Yorktown eased into Dry Dock 1 with the caisson closing behind the ship and the pumps draining out the water, Adm. Nimitz in waders trudged through about a foot of water to inspect the ship. After staring at the burst seams and hull damage, Adm. Nimitz turned to the technicians and said, “We must have this ship back in three days.” After a long silence, a repair expert replied, “Yes, sir.”

Within minutes, repairmen swarmed the dry dock. Eventually, 1,400 of them would work around the clock for almost 72 straight hours to get the job done. To meet the vast electricity needs for the repairs, the Navy contacted the Hawaiian Electric Company who supported the massive effort with a series of rolling blackouts throughout the island.

Workers made only the most urgent repairs. Instead of fixing all of the hull’s ruptured seams, they welded a massive steel plate over the damaged section. Yorktown arrived at 11 a.m. on May 28 and on the morning of May 30, with shipyard workers still onboard mending the ship, Yorktown steamed out of Pearl Harbor and sped to one of the most decisive battles in history.

Through this monumental repair effort, which deserves to be honored and glorified on the silver screen, those workers who completed this nearly-impossible task cemented Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard as a national strategic asset; and today’s shipyard workers are still writing history today. People are our Navy’s and our nation’s greatest asset and we have amazing people. They develop innovative solutions to challenging problems and maintain the most powerful Navy in the world. They are the force behind the fleet!

As we recount and honor the shipyard’s past, we must look to its future.  Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s strategic importance cannot be overstated due to its proximity to Indo-Pacific area of operation. A frank assessment of the shipyard reveals a need to invest in its dry docks, infrastructure, and capital equipment – much of which predates Yorktown’s 1942 docking.

Dry Dock 1 is the location of the “Yorktown miracle.” In 1913, it imploded under faulty piling and a bad foundation, but after painstaking redesign and reconstruction, it rose again. On December 7, 1941, it was the overhaul site for the battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), as well as USS Cassin (DD-372) and USS Downes (DD-375) with both destroyers sustaining severe damage from Japanese bombs. In August 2019, Dry Dock 1 turned 100 years old. It is still capable of docking all ships and submarines homeported at Pearl Harbor, however, the Navy is taking a proactive approach with the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) to ensure the Navy can use facilities like Dry Dock 1 well into the future. This is necessary to support new ships and submarines such as Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers, Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and new variants of Virginia-class fast-attack submarines.

Since 1937, Pearl Harbor Navy Shipyard workers have used this hydraulic steam press for metal forming operations. Today it must be serviced after each use. The proposed $21 billion Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program would replace aged capital equipment in addition to repairing and upgrading dry docks while optimizing shipyard layouts to improve productivity and throughput. (PHNSY & IMF photo by Amanda Cartagena-Urena)

Just as the shipyard was so important to national defense then, it remains so today and investment in infrastructure is critical to allow us to keep our ships in the fight. According to Adm. Nimitz, the enemy’s failure to destroy the shipyard’s dry dock facilities and other critical infrastructure during the Pearl Harbor attack shortened the War in the Pacific by two years. That drives home the point that investing in the modernization of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is of supreme importance to our nation’s security as we look to a new Great Power Competition.

The Navy’s four shipyards are more than a century old. Designed and laid out to build ships of wood, sail, and coal, their mission has changed over time; now, used to repair our nation’s most complex ships – nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines.  SIOP is a once-in-a-century undertaking that will deliver modern facilities to maintain today’s and tomorrow’s fleet and will help ensure the on-time and on-cost delivery of submarines and carriers. 

SIOP focuses on repairing and upgrading our dry docks, optimizing the layout of the shipyards to improve productivity and throughput, and replacing aged capital equipment.  The Navy estimates this work will take about 20 years and cost $21 billion across the four public shipyards, phasing the work so we can continue to support the ongoing maintenance needs of the fleet. 

Executing SIOP allows us to continue to keep our ships in the fight, strengthens naval power and increases our capabilities while recovering 300,000 workdays per year through improved productivity. 

What an opportunity we have to shape the future while honoring our legacy and supporting current mission success. We are the force behind the Navy the nation needs!

Since 1942, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s electrical shop has used this bridge crane. While some parts have been replaced, all original beams, gears, and tracks remain. The proposed Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program is a once-in-a-century undertaking that will deliver modern equipment and facilities to maintain today’s and tomorrow’s fleet. (PHNSY & IMF photo by Amanda Cartagena-Urena)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/10/30/then-and-now-century-of-service-shows-need-for-shipyard-investment-at-pearl-harbor/ poyrazdogany

USS Constitution Marks 10 Years as America’s Ship of State

By Mass Comm. Spec. 2nd Class Casey Scoular, USS Constitution Public Affairs

This year marks USS Constitution’s 222nd birthday—the big triple-two. Our ship was launched into Boston Harbor on Oct. 21, 1797, making her the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. 

This year also marks another big milestone: October heralds the 10th anniversary of Constitution’s designation as America’s Ship of State.

On Oct. 28, 2009, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act; section 1022 designates USS Constitution as America’s Ship of State.

BOSTON (July 1, 2019) Sailors assigned to USS Constitution furl the mizzen topsail during weekly sail training. Constitution’s crew members conduct weekly training to learn and retain sailing information. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

But why? With so many titles and accomplishments, ranging from “Old Ironsides” to “the Eagle of the Seas” to “Boston’s only undefeated team” (33-0), why add “America’s Ship of State” to the mix? What exactly does a ship of state do?

Before we get into that, let’s look at how USS Constitution earned her awesome reputation.

At the start of her national service, USS Constitution protected America’s merchants during the Quasi War with France and had a few at-sea Ws under her belt by the time she finished mopping up corsairs during the first Barbary War.

Her record at this time is 17-0; however, her greatest test was still to come: the powerful British royal navy.

The British were fighting Napoleonic France at sea and needed men for their navy. So they decided to start taking our Navy Sailors and forcibly drafting them into the Royal Navy. Not cool! The United States was fed up with this practice and the trade restrictions imposed against neutrals, so we declared war on Britain. So began the War of 1812.

“Constitution vs. Guerierre.” George Ropes, Jr. 1813 Oil on Panel, USS Constitution Museum Collection

At the outset of the war, we were looking at David-and-Goliath odds. The American people feared they would be back under British rule again because Britain had the best navy in the world. After the British naval victories over the French, Spanish, and Dutch navies during the Napoleonic Wars, the royal navy was seen as invincible.

But Isaac Hull and the crew of USS Constitution changed that. 

USS Constitution faced HMS Guerriere in August of 1812 and defeated her in our Navy’s first frigate-to-frigate battle at sea. She earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” during that fight, when cannonballs were seen bouncing harmlessly off the side of her tough live-oak hull. Huzzah!

The American people welcomed Capt. Isaac Hull and his crew back to Boston as heroes.

Constitution’s victory had given the American people the hope they so desperately needed and proved that the royal navy could be beaten.

Constitution delivered more victories, defeating another British frigate, HMS Java.

The royal navy’s confidence was shaken, and the British admiralty commanded captains to not engage American frigates unless in squadron force (two or more against one).

USS Constitution answered the challenge, simultaneously defeating both HMS Cyane and HMS Levant in the last phase of the war.

In 1815, the National Intelligencer, a famous newspaper of the day, hailed Constitution as a symbol of the up-and-coming United States:

“Let us keep Old Ironsides at home, she has literally become the nation’s ship and should thus be preserved in honorable pomp, as a glorious monument of her own and our other naval victories.”

Constitution became a symbol of the American people and our ability to triumph over seemingly unbeatable odds. 

War of 1812 Constitution Anniversary Stamp USS Constitution, attributed to Michele Felice Corne, 1803. USS Constitution Museum Collection, U.S. Navy Loan

In the late 1820s, Constitution was awaiting repairs. Incorrectly believing the ship was destined for the scrapyard, physician-poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (father of the eventual Supreme Court justice) wrote a poem in 1830 that implored the government not to destroy this symbol of the United States.

His poem, titled “Old Ironsides” motivated the citizens of Boston as well as the nation to demand Constitution’s immediate repair.

Aye tear her tattered ensign down

Long has it waved on high,

And many an eye has danced to see

That banner in the sky;

Beneath it rung the battle shout,

And burst the cannon’s roar;—

The meteor of the ocean air

Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Constitution was repaired and put back into service. Her 1844-46 world cruise exhibited the American flag around the world.

Now claiming the title of 32-0, she would claim one last victory at sea. On Nov. 3, 1853, while combating the slave trade, she captured an American slaving vessel, H.N. Gambrill, cementing her score at 33-0.

In 1860, USS Constitution evacuated the midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis to Newport, Rhode Island, in fear that the Confederates would capture the city and the beloved ship.

She served as a training ship from the 1860s until the 1880s, when she was taken off the active duty roster and resigned to service in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Detail of the only known photograph of USS Constitution under sail, taken by Army Private Hendrickson, summer 1881, Hampton Roads, Virginia. [Courtesy Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston]

In 1896, President Kennedy’s grandfather, Rep. John Fitzgerald, successfully campaigned to have Constitution moved back to Boston for her 100th birthday.

Again, the citizens of Boston and the United States wanted Constitution to be honored and revered for her service.

During the early portion of the 20th century, Old Ironsides was in Boston and began falling into disrepair. The Navy said it would restore her, but it could not fund the full extent of the work needed.

Unsurprisingly, there was a huge outpouring of support, and people from all over the United States contributed funds to the restoration. School children from across the country even donated their pennies to see Constitution restored.

The “Pennies Campaign” was a huge success, and from 1931-1934, Constitution traveled around the country on a national cruise to thank the citizens of the nation for their donations.

As far away from Boston as Bellingham, Washington, huge crowds of people came to see her. In the Puget Sound area alone, she attracted a crowd of more than 500,000 people.

She even served during WWII, as a receiving barracks for troops transitioning between duty stations.

In 1976, during bicentennial celebrations, she hosted Queen Elizabeth II while on her tour around the country. By now, of course, our two countries had long been close allies.

Constitution represents the United States, from our ingenuity and fierce fighting spirit to our warm hospitality and friendship.

She has done so much for our country and the people of our country have expressed so many times how much they love ‘Old Ironsides’.

So to the question of why call her our Ship of State, I think the better question is: What took us so long?

But if you’re still wondering what exactly a Ship of State does, here’s what the aforementioned Defense Authorization Act states on the matter:

“It is the sense of Congress that the President, Vice President, executive branch officials, and members of Congress should use the USS Constitution for the conducting of pertinent matters of state, such as hosting visiting heads of state, signing legislation relating to the Armed Forces, and signing maritime related treaties.”

USS Constitution is tugged through Boston Harbor during Constitution’s birthday cruise. Constitution got underway to celebrate the ship’s 222nd. birthday and the Navy’s 244th birthday. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alec Kramer/Released)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/10/28/uss-constitution-marks-10-years-as-americas-ship-of-state/ jbell

Remarks from Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly to U.S. Naval Academy Change of Command

Admiral Richardson, Vice Admiral Carter, Vice Admiral Buck (doesn’t that sound good, Sean? ’83 what do you think?) Distinguished Guests, and most of all, the faculty and staff of this national treasure, our United States Naval Academy:

Good morning, Annapolis! Good morning, Navy!
Secretary Spencer wishes he could be here today, but as many of you may know, we have been playing a bit of musical chairs in the Pentagon over the last several weeks.

In fact, lately I have to check the paper each morning just to be sure I know what I’m supposed to be doing that day and what title I am supposed to assume, but I am pretty sure I got it right today, which is a blessing to me.

But just a quick diversion: As were thinking about all these macerations that had to happen with the acting SECDEF and so on and so forth, we had to go through all of the authorities I would assume. We went to a meeting about this and SECNAV said by the way, you could not name a CVN 81. I said, sir, I looked at all of the instructions and authorities and there’s nowhere in there, that when I’m acting SECNAV, I can’t name a ship. He looked and me and I said, I’m just kidding sir, don’t worry about it. So I went back to my office and literally five minutes later, a general counsel walked in and said, you know sir, he was really serious, and you cannot name CVN 81. So I was explaining this story to my classmate, Chris Pietrus, who is here this morning. He said, well, he said you couldn’t name it, but could you just re-designate CVN 81 to CVN 83. So right after this ceremony, I’m going to head back to the Pentagon and exercise my full authority. Actually, I wouldn’t do that to ’81 particularly on this day.

At any rate, while I know he regrets not being able to to be here to attend this ceremony, I am personally grateful that his schedule conflict, which was not planned, made it possible for me to be a part of it –as this is a really great day for the Academy.

Robyn and I could not be more honored to join you today for this historic event. It is kind of like the Olympics, or the World Cup – a very special celebration that only happens every few years, or in Ted and Lynda’s special case, five outstanding, record-breaking years at the academy.

I hope today for the two of you, it’s everything that is should be: A day of pure joy, and satisfaction, in recognition of nearly 40 years of remarkable, selfless service to our Navy and our Nation.

Four decades of service seems like a very, very long time, yet it still seems like only yesterday when many of us here today were also here as midshipman at the same time. Marching, competing, studying, laughing, stressing, and of course most memorably, particularly in July, sweating, along these shores.

It was a time long before anyone thought it might be a good idea to put air conditioning in Bancroft Hall. But we know that because of that, and no offense to anyone from the younger generation who’s here, we were probably among the last classes to have a REAL plebe summer!

When we left this place, quite happily, as I recall, we were more than ready to put our Midshipman days behind us. We were anxious and prepared to get out to the Fleet.

And here we all are, three classes in a row, represented specifically on the dais today, and in the audience – the Classes of ’81. ’82. And … of course… ’83.

I think we all look pretty much the same so it is kind of bit of a flashback for us. But, today is a bit of a flashback. It is like a flashback to our “youngster” year—particularly for our class as we look up with great envy to our upperclassmen like Ted Carter and John Richardson who have more stripes on their shoulder boards than we do and all the privileges and honors that accrue to them because of it—just like they did when we were all here together back in the 80s.

As youngsters, those privileges seemed so far away for us, but they came quickly as each class before us graduated and moved on to new adventures in which those midshipman stripes which we all envied so much were meaningless.

It is one of the great enduring elements of this institution. There are always those who came and went before us. Always those to whom some degree of reverence and respect must be paid simply because of this simple fact: you were never a “firstie” to them, but at one point in our common time here together they were “firsties” to us.

And Superintendents have an even more special connection to this place. They witness our entire passage through this institution. They understand how individual classes have unique characters and personalities of their own, and how individuals themselves can change and grow into naval leaders–leaders we have depended upon throughout our history as a nation.

Quite simply, they witness, and inspire, a very unique process of human transformation.

And we have been fortunate to have had some great Supes here over our history, leaders who made this special passage from childhood to adulthood and to principled officership possible. I am pretty certain Vice Admiral Ted Carter will go down in history as one of those great superintendents.

But only history will prove it, because Ted’s tenure is not going to be measured by the improvements he made to the infrastructure here, nor by how well he managed his budget, nor by how he improved academic performance, or athletic performance, nor will it be measured by his drive to build a new cyber center, nor by the countless hours he and Lynda put in to a nearly impossible social schedule (I thinks Lynda said it was over 300 nights a year for five years, which was remarkable), but they executed that flawlessly, as flawless spokespeople for the Academy and its mission.

Rather this Supe, just as all others before and after him, will be rightly measured by the officers that were produced under his tenure and how well they perform in the challenging world in which they are about to enter.

When I think of our classes, those from the early eighties, now over a generation ago, maybe a couple generations ago, it’s difficult not to harken to classes that proceeded us by this same time period gap of forty years.

For us it was the classes that left here and went immediately to war in the 1940s — a war that saved the world from tyranny and secured the blessings of liberty we all enjoy today.
These were the classes where “the stars fell” in each class, classes that in many ways defined and secured our national destiny through their valor on the seas and shores far from here.

Each of these classes has its own crest. Walking through this hall, Alumni Hall, we can see them quietly surveying us as we walk past them. They join so many others on these walls. Not one class crest is more prominent than any another.

They are not ranked, they are not rated, they are not evaluated and enshrined differently from each other. They are part of a continuum. They are part of the legacy of this Academy, more than one hundred of them.

The crests are something the leaders in each class designed. They designed it to illustrate how unique their personality might be, or the history of their particular time here.

The tradition of creating a class crest started back in 1869, and every class has had one since. But all those crests are connected, and subservient, to just one – the largest crest you see here in this hall, the Naval Academy crest. It was designed by Park Benjamin, class of 1867, and adopted by the Department of the Navy in 1899.

The story goes that Park saw the new University Club house being built in New York City, and realized there was no good seal for the Naval Academy. Like any good former Midshipman would, he invoked the Message to Garcia, and created one himself.

Later on, our journal of naval record, the United States Naval Institute Proceedings, published an article in 1913 that tried to capture the story of how he created that crest.

But, it seems that story was not up to his standards. So Park, enterprising once again as midshipman are, wrote a letter to correct the record, and his letter is stored in the Naval Academy archives to this day.

Park’s letter is everything we could have hoped for from a Midshipman.

It’s bold.
He said “I am rather at a loss to understand why if (the author of this article) wanted to tell the story he did not come to me for the facts before doing so.”

His letter was brash.

“I made two designs, one of the conventional type, the other the present seal. At quite a large meeting of graduates both in and out of the service, and the present seal was chosen by an overwhelming majority.”
Best of all, as a proud Annapolis man, former midshipman Park took the opportunity in his letter to attack the Army.
He wrote,
“The West Point seal has always seemed to me not to be particularly happy. The Naval Officer, like Caesar’s wife, is absolutely above suspicion in the matter of “Duty, Honor, and Country” – and doesn’t need to remind himself or his countrymen of that fact by putting it on his badge.
He continued saying,
“Besides, while that sort of motto might be well enough for the Army as a whole, or the Revenue Service, or the Patent Office for that matter – I cannot see for the life of me see how it particularly applies to a naval training school.”
Luckily for us, and thanks to Park, our school crest does apply perfectly to this great school.

And thanks to each class since, all reinforce the Naval Academy’s singular motto: Ex Scientia Tridens.

Through Knowledge, Sea Power.

That crest, and its simple motto, binds all our graduates, our Superintendents, our legacies, to every future this proud institution might hope to achieve.

Through Knowledge, Sea Power.

That is the existential purpose of this amazing place.
It is to educate.
To teach our future naval officers not what to think, but how to think.

It is to translate and convert education into sea power.

In a world that will be more and more defined by unpredictable nature of events, this is why this institution matters so much to us.

Our destiny as a nation will be determined by how well Ted’s many successors, starting with Vice Admiral Buck, continue his path of excellence in this essential mission.

During the time Superintendents are here, in this Yard, they are at the pinnacle of leadership and prestige. They are role models, they are cheerleaders, they are educators, and disciplinarians, and administrators. But it is what leaves this Yard, from under their tutelage, that matters most in the end.

What do we think when we read the roll call of names who have lived in Buchanan House? Names like Commodore George Blake, Rear Admiral Willard Brownson, or Vice Admiral Aubrey Fitch, or Rear Admiral Charles Minter?

Do we immediately recall these leaders and what they did here in Annapolis?

Or, rather do we remember their former midshipmen, who studied and trained and learned to lead under their mentorship:
Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan under Superintendent Blake;
Fleet Admirals Chester Nimitz and William “Bull” Halsey under Superintendent Brownson;
Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale under Superintendent Fitch?
Or General Charles Krulak, under Superintendent Minter?

The fact is, admittedly, we do not readily remember those who produced such great naval leaders, but perhaps we should.

For the true legacy of real, lasting, and historic leadership – is the formation of others, both men and women, who perform magnificently when called by their Nation to do so.

That will be the legacy of Ted and Lynda Carter during their record-setting tenure here in Annapolis.

It has been a race well, and faithfully, run. A legacy of endurance, excellence, class, and strength.

Also, a lot of victories against Army. I pretty sure Ted may remind of exactly how many victories against Army. I think he’s got a Fitbit App that calculates it for them because it’s always on the top of his mind. It’s probably more important than your heart rate, if you’re the superintendent of the Academy, knowing how many victories against Army.

Yet more than anything else, the only thing that matters, really – is our latest generation of Navy and Marine officers in the Fleet– five graduating classes, and their underclassmen –who today shoulder the sacred destiny of the United States of America through what we will ask of them to do in uniform.

Ted, I’ve been honored to work with you here in the last shining moments of your brilliant naval career. And I say naval career, because I know you are not done – and that other prominent leadership positions await you in your next phase of life.

You and Lynda have made this Yard sparkle with inspiration and pride, and you have made Robyn and me feel extremely welcome whenever we visit.

I can tell you, even though I have been the Under Secretary of the Navy for about 19 months now, I still get a little pit in my stomach when I walk on the Yard, or walk by the superintendent’s house, or most especially the Commandant’s house (there are a lot of people up there who know exactly what I’m talking about) but despite my lasting paranoia inside these brick walls of the Academy you have always made us feel really welcome.

In addition to welcoming us, you have gracefully opened your doors to thousands, and made Buchanan House a home for the entire country.

Sean and Joanne, we go back a long way. I know that you, of all leaders, are ready for this glorious challenge. No pressure, of course, but our class has been waiting for this day for a really long time!
It is something each of you in many ways have prepared for during your entire adult lives. We have great faith in you and know that you will pour your hearts and souls into this Academy and its mission.

I know you will continue the legacy of excellence Lynda and Ted have served so faithfully, and so well.

In closing, I would like to invoke a memory that many of us share from Plebe Summer—in the last century. It’s hard to say that, but it’s true. As I am sure you all remember, during our daily morning PEP sessions on the astroturf on Farragut Field, Coach Heinz Lentz, with his crisp Austrian accent, would encourage us to keep the pace with the following instructions:
“follow the man in the Red Corvette”.

Now at first I didn’t quite understand what that meant. At that point in history at the Naval Academy there were something on the order of 150 red corvettes parked along the seawall with first class midshipman bumper stickers. It’s a little bit of embellishment. There were a lot of corvettes here back then.

Like me, I am sure many of us wondered, which Corvette did he want us to follow and for how long? We quickly learned that the man in the red corvette was actually an extremely fit first class midshipman, donnig a red T-shirt, whose responsibility it was to set the tone and the pace of the workouts.

Vice Admiral Buck, Sean, there is no need to wonder at this time and place, 40 years later, who is the man in the red corvette. Vice Admiral Ted Carter is that man. But today, he is taking the red T-shirt off and handing it to you—but guess what? He’s not stopping to do that.

So it is your time to catch up to him, put on the shirt, and then to set your own pace. Today, the mantle of this awesome responsibility is yours. You will soon be the man in the red corvette and those who are told to follow you will set the course of our Navy and our Nation well into this century.

You are not alone, classmate, the Class of ‘83 is with you. It’s time now, however, for you to be the Supe, and more importantly, as Coach Lentz would also say to us, it’s your time now to be a “SUPER!”

Congratulations Ted and Lynda and the Class of ’81. Let’s go ’83!
Go Navy. And always and forever, Beat Army! Thank you.

Watch the video of these remarks here, beginning at 39:00.

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/08/02/remarks-from-under-secretary-of-the-navy-thomas-b-modly-to-u-s-naval-academy-change-of-command/ U.S. Navy

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly Remarks at D-Day Commemoration

Below are Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s remarks on the Cleveland D-Day 75th Commemoration Event at  at League Park, June 6, 2019.

Good afternoon, everyone.  Mayor Jackson, General Dziedzeski, executives of the Cleveland Indians, distinguished guests and friends, and most importantly, our heroic and cherished veterans, thank you so much for the opportunity to be here on the grounds of this historic ballpark, in this great city, to reflect on what June 6th, 1944 means to all of us.

Before I begin, I ask that you indulge me for one moment as I shamelessly give a big shout out to the ship sponsor of the USS Cleveland. You know when John F. Kennedy visited France for the first time as president in 1961 his visit was largely upstaged by Jacqueline Kennedy, whose charm, grace and style dazzled a characteristically hard to impress French citizenry.

As the trip progressed, it became obvious that Mrs. Kennedy was the real attraction, so as they said their good-byes to return the United States President Kennedy made a very famous, self-deprecating comment. He said, “I will be forever be known as the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.”

So, on the occasion of this commemoration of one of the most daring and consequential endeavors in human history, I am very proud to say, “I am the man who accompanied Robyn Modly to Cleveland.”

As you all get to know her and the energy and grace she will put into the life of your ship, and it is your ship, I suspect you will be very glad that Secretary Spencer, my boss, in naming her the sponsor, recognized those qualities, too.

To the USS Cleveland Commissioning Committee, thanks so much for welcoming her with such open arms, but you need to understand one thing is that she really, really hates cold weather, so please consider that when you plan her visits to town. It will make a big difference. Trust me on that one.

To our World War II veterans, we don’t really know how to thank you today. We try year after year, but it is impossible for the gestures of our gratitude to meet the measure of your courage and your sacrifices. It is truly a blessing to see so many of you here today.

We can only imagine where you were 75 years ago. Some of you were in Normandy, some nearby, and some others in uniform in distant corners of the globe, in the fight, or exhausted from it, or about to get in it for the first time.

Here today can only imagine the sights from the cliffs of Normandy 75 years ago, the 1,213 naval combat ships, 4,126 landing ships and landing craft, 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels swarming the dark, cold, unforgiving blue water of the English Channel. Most significantly, as we look into your faces today, we can only imagine the faces of the 73,000 Americans who joined with you, along with another 83,000 troops from the UK and Canada, Poland and other countries in Europe, as they approached the coast of France.

We can close our eyes, but will never see how those faces changed as they witnessed the sands of Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches, littered with trucks and ammunition, awash with bodies whose souls just departed this world in advance of a noble cause.

And whether yours was one of those faces in Normandy, or in any other theatre of war from 1941 to 1945, you understand. The specifics of each of your stories are varied, and colorful, and unique, and worth documenting and sharing with every single citizen of this country who is free because of it.

But what is important about those stories is that they bind you to each other as a generation called to service at a time when the outcome was far from preordained, and to others who came after you to serve our nation in conflicts that followed — many of whom are here today as well.

You are bound to each other through your shared experience, but you are bound to us through your sacrifice, and the sacrifice of those who never returned home with you.

We think of them, and honor them today, but it is you who tie us to them.

It is you who trained with them, joked with them, smoked with them, drank with them, cried with them, fought the enemy with them, faced their fears with them, prayed to God with them, and longed for home with them.

Thirty-five years ago, Ronald Reagan spoke to an assembly of your brothers on the cliffs of Point Du Hoc in Normandy on the 40th anniversary of the D-Day.  Political analysts have used this speech to describe how brilliant it was “politically” because it tapped into a shared understanding of what Americans believed in their hearts, and their shared memories, about the sacrifices, and the reasons for the sacrifices, made by many of you, our brave Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Airmen, and Marines on that day.

President Reagan spoke with the steep 100-foot cliffs framing the English Channel behind him, cliffs that Army Rangers had scaled between 7:10 and 7:40 am on the morning of June 6th. The Ranger force of 250 men used only ropes and ladders while withering machine gun fire and grenades rained down on them. After two days of fighting to secure the area in and around the Point, only 90 Rangers remained in the action — the rest were either killed or grievously wounded and taken out of the fight.

The Ranger monument that stands at the top of those cliffs served as a backdrop for the President’s speech. It is simple granite pillar that resembles a dagger driven deep into the ground at the very edge of land — a land that until those Rangers arrived had been separated from the free world of civilized nations by a despotic force with a maniacal vision for the future of mankind.

No more fitting symbol could have been constructed on those cliffs. It represents a first thrust into the heart of tyranny that had subsumed the continent of Europe — and by extension, through an Axis of enemies, throughout the entire world.

The Rangers at Point Du Hoc on D-Day 75 years ago secured the ground for this monument, but the dagger it represents was forged by all Americans, like so many in this city, who mobilized the nation’s industrial capacity and provided you with the weapons of war that were required for victory.

Cleveland’s contributions to this effort cannot be overstated. They were, in a word, pivotal, to the outcome of World War II.

Armed with the power of this nation’s industrial might, the Rangers at Point du Hoc 75 years ago today secured the cliffs and made possible this historic thrust into the cold heart of oppression.

But it was all of you, our beloved veterans, who drove that dagger into the ground with all of your might, and grit, and most importantly, your love for this country — and what is good about it.

I could never attempt to match President Reagan’s words about D-Day and the collective memories he evoked when he spoke them 35 years ago. Many have written that the speech itself was a political masterpiece that helped secure his reelection.

After watching the speech, many of his political rivals realized that the 1984 election was over — even though it was still many months away.

President Reagan’s words, however, had far more significance than their political value, and to judge them purely as such diminishes their power and authenticity.

The memory of Normandy that the President evoked was real, not fabricated. It tapped into a collective national consciousness in which moral clarity and pride in American sacrifice and achievement were unambiguous.

It is our responsibility to ensure that we never lose that shared memory as a nation, despite all the forces in the media, politics, and culture that would prefer, for their own purposes, that we focus on our historical flaws and divisions.

But we are especially blessed today here at League Park. Because our inspiration to elevate that shared memory above the noise of all that divisiveness that sometimes seems to engulf us is bright and visible. It shines through the examples of patriotism, bravery, and humility of those Veterans that are here with us.  Those for whom June 6th will always carry profound meaning — as it should for all of us.

For each of them, each of you, personifies a precious, shared memory of our country in its greatest hour.

Each of them have blessed so many families throughout the Cleveland area and this nation with the honor and dignity they brought home from distant and hostile places — places that they transformed to peaceful ones solely because they knew it was their duty to do so.

Each of them leads us back to a special place, of truly living our Founding values—a place where all of us as Americans, innately know we belong — and where we still yearn to be.

One of these great and humble heroes is on the stage with me today, Mr. Emory Crowder, whom Robyn and I had the pleasure of meeting here in Cleveland last year. Emory is 95-years young and a veteran of the Pacific theater in World War II.  He was a corpsman in the Marine Corps.

Emory stormed the beaches in Saipan and Tinian, and for his bravery and accomplishment of saving lives, he was rewarded with the opportunity to keep going and invade Okinawa. He never made it to Okinawa, as a Kamikaze pilot sank his ship and he was rescued from the cold Pacific Ocean after several hours of floating with some of shipmates in shark infested waters.

I invited Emory to join Robyn and me at the Messiah concert last year at the Naval Academy. After the concert, he was surrounded by young midshipmen who took pictures with him and thanked him for his service in the obligatory way most of us do.

In response to these midshipmen, all of whom were born well after one of the last vestiges of World War II, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, Emory just looked at them and said, “Thank you, I did it so that you could have THIS life.”

Today I ask that you all come to understand that this is what is good about this nation. This is the shared memory we should all embrace to resist the forces that seek to erode our confidence in our ideals and our principles. This is what you veterans remind us of every time we meet you.

Your service to this country, in this simple and modest way, has continued well beyond the time you served in uniform.  It has been your most precious gift to us as a citizenry.  You have shown us what is good and what is worth fighting for.  There is no greater inheritance you could have given us than this.

A few years ago, I had the chance to visit Normandy. I had never been there before and I really did not know what to expect. My family used to visit the beaches of North Carolina, and as a child, I remember looking out across the vast ocean from there standing with my father, who was born in Hungary and experienced the terror of war in Europe as Hungarians struggle to survive in the crossfire between Nazi coercion, and allied forces coming from both East and West. For my father, allied victory in the war gave him the opportunity to cross that body of water westward to the United States. It was a trip full of hope for a new future in a land unravaged by war.

For you, and so many others, the trip across the Atlantic was quite the opposite.

Standing on those Carolina beaches, amid their immense beauty, it is very hard to visualize what horrors and fears our troops, and many of you here today, must have felt as you approached the coast of France on June 6, 1944.

When I visited Normandy, I expected to see something different than what I saw.  Despite all that happened there, the tremendous loss of life, the devastation of buildings, and roads, and beaches, what survives today is simply and spectacularly beautiful. There is palpable reverence to the sacrifices made by so many in the defense of freedom, and a visible love for the United States as most homes in the small towns and villages fly French and American flags at the same height.

But the most stunningly beautiful place of all is the American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer.

It is remarkable in its sheer size and immaculate in its condition.  No words need to be spoken when visiting. It speaks for itself.

The rows of burials are marked by white marble headstones, 9,238 of which are Latin crosses and 150 of which are stars of David. The cemetery contains the graves of 45 pairs of brothers (30 of which buried side by side), a father and his son, an uncle and his nephew, two pairs of cousins, three generals, four chaplains, four civilians, four women, 147 African Americans and 20 Native Americans.

307 unknown soldiers are buried among the other service members. Their headstones read “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY A COMRADE IN ARMS KNOWN BUT TO GOD.”

These are your brothers and sisters in arms. No matter where you served, they served with you.

No one will ever know why God chose them to sacrifice it all on those battlefields 75 years ago — but perhaps it is because God wanted you to be ones who came home to be the gentle and humble reminders to the rest of us of what it means to be an American — and what it means to be GOOD.

CLEVELAND (June 6, 2019) Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly speaks to about 125 WWII veterans and guests during the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation 75th anniversary of D-Day commemoration at the Baseball Heritage Museum. Feller is a member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and WWII veteran. Modly, a Cleveland native, is participating community events commemorating those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in defense of their nation during WWII. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chief Brian Dietrick/Released)

 

Thank you for everything you have done so that we, to quote our friend Emory Crowder, “could live this life.” 

Emory and each of you here today remind me something my former boss Secretary Mattis said in responding to a particularly bad day in Afghanistan. On that day our troops made some targeting mistakes that led to the loss of innocent civilian lives and in response then General Mattis said, “We are not the perfect guys but we are the GOOD guys.” 

When we look at each of you here today, we know deep in our hearts that when the nation called, you believed this about yourselves, and you believed it about your country.

Now more than ever we also need to share in that same belief.

Now more than ever, we need to do everything we can to follow the example you have set to make sure, that we not only believe it, but this belief in ourselves is also the truth.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill, himself half-American, rose in the House of Commons less than two months from D-Day, and spoke in defense of the Allies’ cause. He said:

“What is this miracle, for it is nothing less, that called men from the uttermost ends of the earth, some riding twenty days before they could reach their recruiting centres, some armies having to sail fourteen thousand miles across the seas before they reached the battlefield?

“You must look very deep into the heart of man, and then you will not find the answer unless you look with the eye of the spirit. Then it is that you learn that human beings are not dominated by material things, but by ideas for which they are willing to give their lives or their life’s work.”

Today we are incredibly honored to look into the bright eyes of your spirit, deep into the hearts of each of you, and find what eternal good rests inside there for all of us to embrace, and also to have this moment to thank you for sharing it with us and with the world you saved.

God Bless you.

Thank you so much for being here, and God Bless the current generation of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, whom we send into harm’s way every day to keep us safe, and free.

Go Tribe. Go Cavs. Go Browns. Go USS Cleveland. Go Navy. Go Air Force. Go Coast Guard.

And, of course, as always, as I am obligated by tradition to say, but with love, without any offense to any of our Army brothers and sisters, BEAT ARMY!

Thank you very much.

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/06/13/under-secretary-of-the-navy-thomas-b-modly-remarks-at-d-day-commemoration/ U.S. Navy

The Union Jack is Back

 

“Today across the Navy, at morning colors, ships are hoisting the traditional Union Jack. A version of this Jack that flew in ports throughout the Pacific as the Navy island hopped its way across that vast ocean and in the Atlantic as it supported operations to liberate the European continent. It’s deeply connected to our maritime heritage and our rise as a global nation and our continued role as a global superpower.” – CNO ADMIRAL JOHN M. RICHARDSON at the Battle of Midway Sea of White Commemoration – June 4th, 2019

 

Stories:

Navy Returns to Flying Union Jack  2/21/2019 – Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

 

Photos from Around the Fleet 

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NORFOLK, Va. (June 4, 2019) Airman Khaila Williams, from Jacksonville Fla., left, and Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Aaron Fox, from Greenbrier, Ark., hoist the Union Jack on the flag staff aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Ike is currently in the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brianna Thompson)

 

Electronics Technician (Radio) 3rd Class Ronald Champion, from Los Angeles, unfurls the Union Jack during morning colors aboard USS Chicago (SSN 721) June 4, 2019. Nearly all ships and craft throughout the U.S. Navy displayed the Union Jack in lieu of the First Navy Jack in commemoration of the greatest naval battle in history, the Battle of Midway, which began this day in 1942. The change re-establishes the custom in which the commissioned ship in active status having the longest total period of active status, other than USS Constitution will display the First Navy Jack until decommissioned or transferred to inactive status. Home ported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Chicago is the 34th Los Angels-class nuclear powered attack submarine and was commissioned on September 27, 1986. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Patrick Dille)

 

190604-GZ947-0134 PEARL HARBOR (June 4, 2019) Quartermaster Seaman Apprentice Jacob Wenzel, from Saginaw, Mich., walks away after raising the union jack aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93). The union jack hasn’t been flown on U.S. ships since May 31, 2002 but was reintroduced in coordination with the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. The union jack, comprising the national ensign’s blue field and white stars, was first adopted on June 14, 1777. At this time, the jack’s blue field only displayed the 13 stars representing the union of the original 13 American colonies. The number of stars on the jack was periodically updated as the United States expanded. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago/Released)

 

190604-GZ947-0097 PEARL HARBOR (June 4, 2019) Quartermaster Seaman Apprentice Jacob Wenzel, from Saginaw, Mich., raises the union jack aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93). The union jack hasn’t been flown on U.S. ships since May 31, 2002, but was reintroduced in coordination with the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. The union jack, comprising the national ensign’s blue field and white stars, was first adopted on June 14, 1777. At this time, the jack’s blue field only displayed the 13 stars representing the union of the original 13 American colonies. The number of stars on the jack was periodically updated as the United States expanded. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago/Released)
190604-N-RQ450-0020 NORFOLK (Jun. 4, 2019) Quartermaster Seaman Trevor Gilchrist prepares to unfold the Union Jack during morning colors on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman is currently moored at Naval Station Norfolk conducting targeted maintenance and trainings, and remains operationally ready. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Victoria Sutton/Released)

 

BOSTON (June 4, 2019) The union jack flies on USS Constitution’s jack staff. Navy ships and craft resumed flying the union jack June 4, 2019 to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, and will continue to fly the flag to recommit to the core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness during this new era of competition

 

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BOSTON (June 4, 2019) The union jack flies on USS Constitution’s jack staff. Navy ships and craft resumed flying the union jack June 4, 2019 to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, and will continue to fly the flag to recommit to the core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness during this new era of competition. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

 

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NORFOLK, Va. (June 4, 2019) Airman Khaila Williams, from Jacksonville Fla., left, and Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Aaron Fox, from Greenbrier, Ark., prepare to hoist the Union Jack on the flag staff aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Ike is currently in the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brianna Thompson)

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The_Jack_is_Back.mp4

In case you missed it: “Today across the Navy, at morning colors, ships are hoisting the traditional Union Jack … it’s deeply connected to our maritime heritage and our rise as a global nation and our continued role as a global superpower.” – Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson

Posted by U.S. Navy on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/06/05/the-union-jack-is-back/ parcher

Under Secretary Modly’s Remarks From USS Cleveland Announcement

Below are Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s remarks from the announcement of the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland, on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, Oct. 8. The announcement was held at the USS Cod submarine in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

Thank you for that kind introduction.

Mayor Jackson, Council President Kelly, Rear Adm. Nunan, Gold Star families, distinguished citizens of the City of Cleveland:

Good afternoon!  As always, it’s great to be back home for me.

When people ask me what it is like serving as the Under Secretary of the Navy, I am quick to respond that it is an honor every minute, of every hour of every day, – but that some days are clearly better than others.

Today is one of those days.  It is a great honor for Robyn and I to spend Columbus Day with each of you on this historic and highly decorated submarine, here on the shores of Lake Erie. Thank you to each of you for being here and for carving time out of your schedules to be with us.

As most of you know, just a few miles west of here is the site where the Battle of Lake Erie was fought and won, where Admiral Perry’s warship first flew that infamous flag that inspired his crew to fight against long odds.

The words “Don’t Give Up the Ship” adorned that flag and while they have been adopted by the U.S. Navy, they are also emblematic of the spirit of this great city.

You have never given up the ship here in Cleveland, and there is always a local pride that extends beyond what I have witnessed in any other community I have visited since I left here to join the Navy in 1979.

As some of you may know, I grew up not far from here, on the east side of the city. My parents, like many of their neighbors, came to Cleveland to escape tyranny and oppression in Eastern Europe, searching for a new beginning in this town.

They, and perhaps some of your forefathers, as well, found that beginning here.

As immigrants to this country, Cleveland provided my parents with a rich opportunity to succeed, just as it had, and just as it continues to do, for many others who came here from many different parts of the world.  It is part of the unique character of Cleveland – and it also helps define who we are as a nation.

And when that nation has called the daughters and sons of this city to defend the very freedoms that make such opportunity possible, Clevelanders have risen proudly to answer the call into service.

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announces the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Dietrick/Released)
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announces the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Dietrick/Released)

 

And they still do, and I have met young Clevelanders in uniform all over the world.

I’ve met them on submarines, and aircraft carriers, and destroyers, and flying helicopters, and jets, and in Marine detachments in the remote parts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even just last week, I met a Navy Seebee from Twinsburg, Ohio, who was building a new vocational high school building in a poor neighborhood in a very remote part of Micronesia.

Clevelanders are well-represented in our Navy Marine Corps team – and that should make us all very proud – and safe.

It wasn’t really that long ago when Clevelanders of the Greatest Generation lined up to volunteer for service in World War Two. For combat veterans like Emory Crowder, here today, who moved to Cleveland soon after his valorous service in the Pacific as a combat corpsman, it seems like only yesterday. And it looked like only yesterday because Emory is 95 years old but looks like he is about 25.

They lived to serve on warships just like this one. To fight and serve as teams, far away from home. And those who remained at home answered the call.

Cleveland, along with many other cities in the Great Lakes region during World War II, became a foundry of freedom, not just for America, but for our Allies who were struggling just to stay in the fight, all across the globe.

The parents and grandparents from this area worked long shifts in factories that churned out the airplanes, vehicles, munitions and countless parts that turned the tide in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war.

And in every war since then, in Korea, in Vietnam, where Mayor Jackson so courageously served with honor, in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and all across the world, Clevelanders have always answered their country’s call to serve.

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly shakes Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s hand at Cleveland City Hall during Cleveland Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tamara Vaughn/Released)
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly shakes Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s hand at Cleveland City Hall during Cleveland Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tamara Vaughn/Released)

 

But sadly, as we all recognize with great service often comes great sacrifice. The mayor and I and many of you were blessed to be part of the Gold Star Families Memorial unveiling last month, at the VA Hospital.

That moment, added to thousands of other expressions of love, all across the nation, prove to the world what kind of dedication this city holds for the families of the fallen, for those with wounds that are both visible and invisible, and for all those who have served under the banner of freedom.

Indeed, Cleveland has always risen with pride, not only for its uniformed service members, but for public servants of every calling: Our police, sheriffs, firefighters, public works employees, caregivers and many other invaluable service professions, far too numerous to name.

It is for all these public and national servants, and every working family working to make a living and a brighter future for their children, that previous secretaries of the Navies have granted three United States warships the honored title of United States Ship Cleveland.

The Secretary of the Navy is empowered by law, by the Congress to name ships of the United States, by an Act of Congress dated March 3, 1819.

This act states that:

“All of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President of the United States, according to the following rule, to wit: Those of the first class shall be called after the States of this Union; those of the second class after the rivers; and those of the third class after the principal cities and towns; taking care that no two vessels of the navy shall bear the same name.”

This provision remains the law of the land, and rests in Richard Spencer’s hands. He is my boss and he is the 76th Secretary of the Navy.

The first USS Cleveland, a Protected-class cruiser, was launched on Sept. 28, 1901, served in World War I conducting convoy escort duty, and was decommissioned in 1929.

The second USS Cleveland, which was actually the first of the Cleveland Class light cruisers, was commissioned during World War II in June 1942. We actually have two crew members here today from that ship, Bob Allen and John Jackson, can you guys give a wave?

The Cleveland Class Cruiser represented a vast improvement in gunnery rate of fire, firing 10 rounds per minute, versus only three in the previous class.

This second Cleveland was decommissioned like most of the rest of these cruisers upon completing its combat duties after World War II. And these gentlemen served in both theaters, Pacific and Atlantic theater.

The third USS Cleveland, an amphibious transport ship, which was commissioned in 1967, saw service in Vietnam and in every conflict afterward, until being decommissioned just seven years ago, in September 2011.

An aerial view of the landing personnel dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) off the coast of Port Hueneme, CA. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Photographer’s Mate Terry Cosgrove/Released)

 

But it is today, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, that Secretary Spencer has decided that the people of Cleveland have waited long enough for a new fighting ship of the line to be named for this patriotic city.

And this is a great year to do it, because as well all know, the Indians are about to win a World Series and the Browns are going to the playoffs. So this is a momentous year for this.

So this afternoon, we’ll see how much farther we have to go to realize that dream for the Tribe, but today, I have the honor of announcing, on behalf of Secretary Spencer, that one of our newest warships, will become the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be named the United States Ship Cleveland.

The new USS Cleveland will be a littoral combat ship, and it will be constructed by patriotic American hands here in the U.S.

With a shallow draft, high speed, and an open architecture that facilitates modularized weapons and cutting-edge sensor suites, the new USS Cleveland will be able to reach and defend more coastal areas with more agility, mroe networked firepower than any other class of ship in the world.

She will be manned by a diverse group of Sailors. And that’s the most important part about these ships.  It’s the people that man them. They all grew up in different parts, different places in the United States.

They will unite under a common cause – to protect and defend the nation and the Constitution of the United States – and to make the USS Cleveland a ship this city can be proud of.

Proud to know there is a fighting ship named for Cleveland out at sea,

Proud of an American fighting crew boasting this city’s name,

And proud to know that this ship will represent the spirit of Cleveland both in peace – and in the fight if that is what is required of her.

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announces the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland, on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Dietrick/Released)
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announces the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland, on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Dietrick/Released)

 

In closing, I would like to share a story from my recent visit here a few weeks ago for Navy Week. We had some free time on one the mornings of that visit and we decided to go over to the West Side to visit one of Cleveland’s great cultural landmarks, and no I’m not talking about the West-Side Park. I’m talking about the Christmas Story House and Museum.

Now I have seen some great museums in my life, to include the Louvre in Paris, but as great as the Louvre is, you can’t buy a leg lamp there so it is always going to be second place in my book.

At any rate, we were driving across, our motorcade, across the 14th street bridge then an individual wearing a Vietnam veterans hat just ahead of us stepped out of his car, and he saw the motorcade and he stopped and got out of his car and he stood and he saluted us.

I stopped our car in order to meet him and I listened to his story about returning from Vietnam in the early 1970s. His reception back to the states was less than glorious. Protesters greeted him upon his arrival. They cursed at him, spit on him and threw trash on him, but despite the indignities that he was subjected to I didn’t get any sense at all that he was bitter.

He’s still very, very proud of his service, proud that he could escort his best friend’s body back to the United States, and I believe that he realized that although the Vietnam era was a difficult time in U.S. history, his negative experience returning home did not define us as a nation.

Sometimes I suspect in these days we all have the disconcerting belief that we are living through difficult times like that today, but I can tell you with certainty that we are not.

I know this because of what I see every day in this job. Despite the tumult and turmoil we may perceive in the media, we still have smart, dedicated and honorable people who are volunteering to serve in our Armed Forces – and they come from every single type of American family and from every corner and socioeconomic class of this country.  If, God forbid, we ever lose that, then that is when we will know that we are really in trouble as a country. Rest assured because that time is not now – and we should all pray that such a time will never come. Despite whatever differences we may have on politics we are blessed and united by those who serve us, selflessly, all over the world. It is their duty to protect us. It is our obligation to respect them and to honor their service.

I am certain there is a future Sailor somewhere in this city today, who you can influence and encourage to understand that the country is worth fighting for, that service is honorable. And that future Sailor may eventually stand watch on the bridge of the USS Cleveland – and make you proud.

So I ask that when you get the chance to meet someone in our Armed Forces, or from my parochial point of view, someone in the Navy-Marine Corps Team, don’t just thank them for their service – ask them what they do, ask them where they are from, and most importantly, tell them you are from Cleveland and that there is going to be a ship out there at sea one day that is named in your hometown’s honor.

Bless them, and tell them how proud you are to know that there are Sailors who have never set foot here in this city who will be serving on your ship and who will share in the honor of calling themselves “Clevelanders,” too.

Thank you for coming out today to honor the Gold Star families who have given so much, and to whom we can never repay; thank you for honoring all our city public servants and service members, both former and present; and thank you for making this city such a special place, one that proudly defends the greatest country on earth.

Today marks the beginning of a journey of your ship from drawing board to construction and eventually to the sea. In the end, wherever that ship travels the people who come in contact with her will learn what we all know is true, the USS Cleveland Rocks!

Congratulations to the City of Cleveland.

Go Navy. Beat Army.

Thank you for being here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/10/24/under-secretary-modlys-remarks-from-uss-cleveland-announcement/ U.S. Navy

CNO Adm. Richardson’s 4th of July Message

Team,

242 years ago today, our Founders came together and ratified the Declaration of Independence. On that day, the great democratic experiment that is the United States began.

On this day, it is a worthy thing to review some of the words that launched our great nation. On this day, we should take some time to think about what those words say, what the United States means.

On this day, we still take inspiration from the words of that day:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States…”

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Thanks to all of you, especially those deployed forward today, who are giving so freely of your lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to protect this fragile thing: freedom.

J. M. Richardson, ADM, USN
Chief of Naval Operations

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published July 4, 2018, on Adm. Richardson’s Facebook page.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/07/04/cno-adm-richardsons-4th-of-july-message/ U.S. Navy