Navy League News
The last year of the 20th century "was
one of the most productive in the Navy League's 98 years of service to
the nation and to the U.S. sea services," said NLUS National President
John R. Fisher, summing up the organization's major accomplishments in
1999. "What is of much greater importance, though, is not what we
have already accomplished but what we can--and must--do in the years
ahead. The sea services need our help today more than ever before--in
recruiting and retention, in family-services programs, and, most important
of all, in educating the American people about the continuing need for
a strong U.S. naval/maritime presence throughout the world.
"We have taken several initiatives to help resolve some of the
most difficult problems facing the sea services today," he continued. "Our
Sea Power Ambassadors program has been eminently successful in developing
a greater constituency for an expanded shipbuilding budget--which will
benefit the Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine as well as the
Navy. The Navy League worked with other defense organizations and associations
to support Congressional approval of a much-needed pay raise--and revisions
to the retirement program--for military personnel. And the new Navy League
National Scholarship Foundation is expected not only to benefit sea-service
families but also to provide the nation at large with the well-educated,
highly motivated young people who will be among the political and military
leaders and decision makers of our nation for many years to come."
The 1999 Winter Meeting (1114 November in Kansas City, Mo.) "completed
the agenda for an ambitious schedule of programs for the coming year," said
Fisher, who succeeded Jack M. Kennedy as national president at the close
of the League's 1999 National Convention in Chicago. "We look forward
to another year of growth, productivity, and continued service to the
Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine."
Following, by department and function, are reports on NLUS headquarters
and council operations during the past year, and an advance look at some
of the principal programs and activities planned for 2000 and beyond.
The highlight of the 1999 convention was the "change of command" ceremony
in which Kennedy turned the helm over to Fisher and assumed duty as chairman
of the National Advisory Council, succeeding former NAC Chairman Hugh
H. Mayberry. Six new national vice presidents also were elected in Chicago--Richard
E. Fahrenwald, T. Cole Hackley, Sheila M. McNeill, John A. Panneton,
Ronald K. Weeks, and Robert D. White; Melvin G. Burkart was elected the
new national treasurer. Continuing in their posts were National Vice
Presidents William J. Evanzia, Timothy O. Fanning Jr., Robert W. Saul
Jr., and Bruce B. Smith; also reelected were National Corporate Secretary
Jerome Rapkin and National Judge Advocate Ward Shanahan.
Numerous NLUS councils and individual Navy Leaguers received awards
from the sea services, and from the Navy League itself, during the convention. "Navy
Leaguer of the Year" Harold B. Estes of Honolulu was selected to
receive the League's 1999 Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor
the Navy League bestows on one of its own members; Donald E. Boyer of
Oak Harbor, Wash., was inducted into the Navy League's Hall of Fame;
and National Vice President Timothy O. Fanning Jr. was named by Kennedy
to receive the 1999 President's Award. Morgan L. Fitch Jr. of Chicago,
a past national president and a former chairman of the Naval Sea Cadet
Corps, became the first member of the new NSCC Hall of Fame.
The Winter Meeting in Kansas City "approved the agenda, and the
budget, developed for the coming year," said Fisher, "and set
the course for the year ahead."
Future national meetings are scheduled as follows: 2000--national convention
in Philadelphia, Pa. (1219 June), winter meeting in Hilton Head,
S.C. (25 November); 2001--national convention in Reno, Nev. (2024
June), winter meeting in Tampa, Fla. (14 November); 2002--national
meeting in New York City (28 June2 July).
The Navy League's 1999 Sea-Air-Space Exposition (SAS) attracted more
than 10,000 active-duty, civilian, and industry attendees, who viewed
the latest in technological innovations exhibited by the over 130 defense
The theme of the 1999 exposition, the largest of its type in the world,
was "Power Up for 2000." The 1999 SAS also featured an extensive
seminar program led by senior Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard representatives,
who discussed the direction their services will be taking in the 21st
SAS exhibits showcased new defense industry and military developments
designed to address dramatic changes in acquisition policy and the rapidly
evolving sea-service missions. The 1999 SAS also provided, as it does
each year, a neutral forum and meeting place in which sea-service leaders
could meet with industry representatives to renew acquaintances, discuss
recent technological developments, and resolve mutual concerns.
The Navy League presents its annual Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Award during the SAS to honor an industry leader who has made an exemplary
contribution to the nation's maritime strength and/or has otherwise enhanced
national security. James E. Turner Jr., president and CEO of General
Dynamics Corporation, was honored as the 1999 recipient. Also awarded
during the exposition was the Albert A. Michelson Award, presented to
Dr. Ivan A. Getting, an eminent physicist with the National Academy of
Sciences Committee for Undersea Warfare. The Michelson Award honors a
civilian scientist or technical innovator whose scientific or technical
achievements have resulted in significant improvement in the strength
of the nation's maritime forces, or the enhancement of the U.S. industrial
Councils and Membership
The Navy League's newest council--in Naperville, Ill.--was chartered
on 13 October, the U.S. Navy Birthday. A new overseas council, the first
ever in a former Warsaw Pact nation, the Central Europe Council, was
chartered on 2 February in the Czech Republic. Another new council is
in formation in Chiefland, Fla., and plans to charter in the spring of
In Rhode Island, the Providence Plantation Council is merging with the
Newport County Council to offer greater participation opportunities to
the members of both councils.
National President Jack Fisher has placed renewed emphasis on council
organization and development to assist councils with establishing productive
leadership and council programs. These goals are being addressed through
workshops at national Navy League meetings. Individual councils continued
to support the sea services through a wide range of local programs and
activities throughout the year.
Special Offer for Life Memberships
A limited-time "special" on the life membership rate was announced
at the 1999 NLUS National Convention in Chicago. Until 31 December 2000
the cost of a Navy League Life Membership will be only $300, and the
cost of a Husband/Wife Life Membership will be $450. In addition, the
spouse of a current life member can become a Life Member for only $150.
Sea Power Magazine and The Almanac of Seapower continued to disseminate
the Navy League's message on the importance of seapower, naval and commercial,
to U.S. national security and America's economic well-being. Sea Power
included more but shorter and more timely articles on major defense issues,
current legislation, and other topics of particular importance to the
sea services. Among the senior Navy, Department of Defense, and other
officials interviewed in 1999 were Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen.
Henry H. Shelton, USA, Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater,
Secretary of the Navy Richard J. Danzig, Marine Corps Commandant Gen.
James L. Jones Jr., Maritime Administrator Clyde J. Hart Jr., and Vice
Adm. George P. Nanos Jr., commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command.
The 1999 Almanac included several additional sections in the "Facts
and Figures" departments, all of which were extensively rewritten
and updated. The President's Foreword was expanded to four pages to provide
the Navy League's view on a broader range of the most important national-defense
and sea-service topics of the past year, as well as those likely to be
of major importance in the year ahead.
Both publications benefited from the shift to an all-electronic publishing
system and other system improvements at NLUS headquarters. Photos are
now sharper and more timely, for example, and there are shorter "lead
times" between the close of the editorial process and the printing
and distribution dates.
Despite continuing mergers and acquisitions throughout the U.S. defense
industry, Navy League Corporate Affairs celebrated another successful
year. Litton Industries Inc. and First USA joined the General Dynamics
Corporation, The Boeing Company, Raytheon Systems Company, and Lockheed
Martin Corporation as Corporate Gold members. The Corporate Gold membership
was established in 1997 for companies that have become giants in the
defense industry. There are over 140 Corporate and 24 Business Associate
Members of the Navy League.
With the continued support of Rear Adm. Winford G. Ellis, the Navy's
director of Special Programs, the Department hosted a number of events
of special interest to the defense and maritime industries. The "Special
Topic" Breakfast Series at NLUS headquarters gives selected groups
of corporate members the opportunity to hear Navy program managers discuss
the direction the Navy is heading as it prepares for the 21st century.
Among the 1999 speakers were Rear Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, deputy assistant
secretary of the Navy for Theater Combat Systems in the office of the
assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition;
Rear Adm. Malcolm I. Fages, director of submarine warfare in the office
of the chief of naval operations (OPNAV); and Rear Adm. John B. Nathman,
director of the air warfare division in OPNAV.
NLUS Executive Forums have provided another important link between the
Navy/Marine Corps team and Navy League corporate members. The Forums
allow industry executives to understand the challenges facing the sea
services at the beginning of the 21st century, and to learn how industry
can be a more effective partner in development and production of the
finest military equipment in the world. At the August Executive Forum--held
in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area--Rear Adm. Richard W. Mayo, director and
fleet liaison (Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control) discussed
the latest in Navy information technology with a group of corporate members.
Stanley R. Arthur, vice president of the Lockheed Martin Corporation
Electronic Sector, and chairman of the Navy League's Industrial Executive
Board (IEB), hosted the annual IEB meeting during the League's 1999 Sea-Air-Space
Exposition; Rear Adm. Paul G. Gaffney II, director of the Office of Naval
Research, discussed the Navy's modernization initiatives for the 21st
century at the IEB meeting.
In the past year, the Navy League has expanded its efforts to provide
NLUS members additional, and more timely, information on Congress and
current legislation, and to give Navy Leaguers more opportunities to
inform Congress about their views through the World Wide Web.
Now included in the Legislative Affairs section of the Navy League's
website is an orientation to Capitol Hill that provides guidelines for
corresponding with members of Congress as effectively as possible. Information
on staff titles and responsibilities and an introduction to the congressional
legislative process also are included on the web page.
The Legislative Education Department also provides NLUS members with
a Congressional Contact Center on the Navy League web site. This section
includes a "hypermedia" directory of House and Senate membership
Photo, biography, telephone, Fax, e-mail, web address, district office
locations, key staff names, and committee assignments, where available
House and Senate committee information, including committee rosters by
seniority, the names of key majority and minority staff, and contact
A new search-engine capability that allows NLUS members to find their
senators and representatives and congressional districts by nine-digit
zip code; also provided is a daily schedule of important House, Senate,
and committee activities.
The Congressional Contact Center also enables NLUS members to send e-mail
directly to their senators and representatives--draft letters on many
of the Navy League's concerns on legislative issues also are provided.
A page also is reserved for special legislative alerts to notify NLUS
members of timely and important ad hoc matters of major importance. Last
year, the Navy League rallied NLUS members to notify elected officials
of their concerns on several issues, particularly the Navy's need for
an increase in shipbuilding funds. Another alert successfully urged the
Senate to pass S.1059, the National Defense Authorization bill, which
provided for a 4.8 percent military pay raise. Finally, an e-mail alert
urged Navy Leaguers to ask President Clinton to sign the national defense
appropriations bill that would pay for the military pay raise. He did
so, and it became public law 106-79.
As a member of the Military Coalition, the Navy League has been actively
involved for several years in advocating for pay table reform and a repeal
of the "Redux" retirement system, which reduced military retirement
from 50 percent to 40 percent of base pay. Both initiatives were successful
last year. The Military Coalition, a consortium of service and veteran
organizations representing more than five million members, meets regularly
to share information, discuss issues of common interest, and advocate
a coordinated legislative agenda. The Coalition provides expanded opportunities
for the Navy League to help active-duty personnel, military retirees,
and their families.
The Department hosted a special reception at the 1999 Sea-Air-Space
Exposition for members of Congress and their staffs. Vice Admiral George
P. Nanos Jr., commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, briefed attendees
and answered their questions about current shipbuilding programs.
In November, National President John R. Fisher met with Sen. John Warner
(R-Va.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to offer the
Navy League's support for his efforts to preserve the availability of
Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, for combined-arms live-fire training by
the Navy and Marine Corps. After a tragic accident in April 1999, the
use of Vieques became the focus of a heated political debate. The Navy
League has taken an active role in supporting continued Navy and Marine
Corps use of this unique and critical training facility.
Navy League Web Site
The Navy League's web site has been redesigned, and a new user interface
for the site will debut in January 2000. Among the new features that
have been added are online registration for conventions, search capabilities,
online corporate membership applications, greatly increased coverage
of Sea Power articles, a complete list of councils (with hot links to
their web sites), the ability to change membership information online,
a "virtual exhibit hall" for Sea-Air-Space, a "Contact
Congress" section for grass-roots use, and online scholarship and
essay contest applications. These and other improvements have increased
traffic to the web site by more than 300 percent.
Among the new features planned for 2000 are daily updates and links
to news about issues affecting the sea services, an online community
section (All Hands) that includes chat rooms and message boards, enhanced
search capabilities, and online payment for membership applications and
The Navy League is committed to harnessing the power of the Internet
to improve member services and communication. Starting in January, members
will be able to point their browsers to www.navyleague.org for comprehensive
and continuously updated information about the sea services.
The NLUS community education program continues to be central to the
overall mission of the Navy League. Last year the Navy League launched
its new Sea Power Ambassadors program--an initiative aimed at increasing
public awareness of sea power and fostering public support for an increased
shipbuilding program. Almost 400 Navy League members serving as Sea Power
Ambassadors leveraged their community leadership positions and professional
status to deliver the message through such "grass-roots" channels
as editorials and OpEd columns, media interviews, and public speaking
Numerous NLUS councils delivered the preparedness message by sponsoring
symposia, panel discussions, and other community events featuring Navy
League as well as sea-service spokesmen. The Cape Canaveral Council sponsored
the commissioning of the Aegis guided-missile destroyer (DDG) USS Porter;
five other Florida councils teamed up to sponsor activities geared to
the commissioning of the DDG USS Higgins. The Pascagoula-Moss Point Council
hosted the christening of the Navy's newest oceanographic survey ship,
USNS Bruce C. Heezen.
The 1999 Samuel Eliot Morison Essay contest generated 262 essay submissions;
the record number is believed due in large part to the significant increase
in the scholarship funds available. Teen scholars from 18 regions competed
intensely for the top spot. The grand prizewinner was Whitney Blake Price,
18, a graduate of Maury High School in Norfolk, Va., who won a $3,000
award. Price argued in her entry that the "Battle of Guadalcanal" was
the most significant maritime event of the 20th century.
Navy League public relations efforts continued to spread the word last
year about maritime issues of importance to all Americans.
The 1999 Sea-Air-Space Exposition served as a particularly significant
public relations opportunity to generate positive coverage in the media.
The significant representation by trade press and military media representatives
could in large part be attributed to creative promotional efforts initiated
by the Navy League. The much-improved NLUS web site provided up-to-the-minute
information and introduced the imaginative "virtual exhibit hall" concept,
which featured many of the Navy League's corporate exhibitors and guest
speakers. Navy League public relations and corporate members collaborated
on advance planning for press briefs and advisory bulletins. This partnering
with key corporate communicators was a significant milestone and forged
new grounds for greater visibility and public awareness of the exposition.
The Navy League's quarterly newsletter, The Navy Leaguer, was redesigned
to enhance its readability and increase its appeal to advertisers. Now
an all-color publication, The Navy Leaguer introduced NLUS members to
Navy League Scholarship winners. The Planned Giving Education Program
also was featured in The Navy Leaguer, in a four-part series. Additional
guest authors (and photographers) from Navy League councils around the
globe contributed to the "new look" of The Navy Leaguer.
Several proposed changes to improve the effectiveness of the Public
Affairs Recognition Program and the Donald M. Mackie Newsletter Excellence
Awards were adopted by the Board of Directors at the 1999 NLUS National
An organizational restructuring at national headquarters merged Corporate
Affairs, Legislative Education, Meetings and Conventions, and Public
Relations under the umbrella of a Communications Department, headed by
a senior director of communications.
Production has been completed on a documentary video on the history
and heritage of the U.S. Navy. "Our Navy Story," two years
in the making, will be used as an educational tool to develop an appreciation
of America's rich maritime heritage. It will be shown as well to thousands
of new Sailors at the Naval Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill.;
copies also will be provided to Navy recruiters throughout the country
to help them in their recruiting efforts.
Plans continue to be formulated for the Navy League's centennial celebration
in 2002. Periodic announcements will be included in future issues of
Sea Power Magazine and The Navy Leaguer.
NLUS President John R. Fisher has announced that the Navy League will
start a major membership drive in conjunction with the League's centennial
celebration. The goal will be to reach 100,000 total Navy League members
by the end of the centennial year. The national leadership has committed
major resources to the effort and is calling on Navy League councils
to redouble their recruiting and retention efforts to help achieve that
Meanwhile, the annual Gold Cup member-get-a-member campaign continues
to provide an influx of new members. Appreciation is extended to all
who participated in the campaign, and to those who participated in the
NLUS annual giving program.
The two NLUS-sponsored youth programs, the Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC)
and the Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC), continued to grow and thrive.
Thousands of young Americans are now enrolled in the approximately 300
NSCC and NLCC units within the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
The quality of officers, cadets, and volunteer instructors continues
to be outstanding.
NSCC cadets must be at least 13 years old, but not yet 18. NLCC membership
is restricted to boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 14. The NSCC
was established in 1958 and chartered by Congress in 1962 as a nonprofit
youth-training organization. Although the NLCC is not covered in the
federal charter, both programs are sponsored by the Navy League; the
Navy and Coast Guard provide significant training and facilities support.
Local training of cadets, held at the drill site of the parent unit,
includes activities ranging from classroom instruction in basic military
skills to preparation for summer recruit training. There also are opportunities
for educational tours, briefings, and participation in parades and other
community-service events. During the summer, first-year Sea Cadets participate
in a two-week recruit training period--a condensed version of the training
provided to regular Navy recruits. Cadets who successfully complete recruit
training are eligible for advanced training in any of several fields,
including at-sea training aboard Navy and Coast Guard ships ranging in
size from tugs to aircraft carriers. Cadets who qualify also may participate
in basic and aviation training, submarine orientation, or specialized
training in the health care, music, construction, and law-enforcement
fields. Approximately 1,750 cadets attended recruit training indoctrination
sessions last year at the Navy's Great Lakes Recruit Training Command
and at 120 other regional training sites.
Thanks to local contributions and various memorial funds, a number of
deserving cadets received training grants to participate in summer training.
Many NLUS councils, and some individual members, also provided funds
to assist cadets who otherwise would have been unable to participate
in the 1999 summer training.
The NSCC has for several years participated in an international exchange
program with Sea Cadet organizations in Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Japan,
the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Sweden. Each summer, outstanding
NSCC cadets are selected to serve as "young ambassadors" and
train with their counterparts in those countries. In exchange, a number
of foreign cadets are provided the opportunity to visit and train in
the United States. Last year, 106 U.S. cadets and 65 foreign cadets participated
in the exchange program.
The NSCC's senior leadership is provided by volunteer officers and instructors
who contribute their time and expertise. Cadet Corps officers are appointed
both from the civilian sector and from active, Reserve, or retired military
status. All must complete the professional development courses specifically
designed for NSCC officers. In October 1999 the NLUS and NSCC hosted
the 17-member International Sea Cadet Association's annual meeting in
Washington, D.C.; delegates from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, India, Japan,
South Korea, Sweden, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United
States participated in the meeting, reviewing the organization's policy
and operations and its plans for the future.
The NSCC objectives are to:
(a) Develop in American youth a greater appreciation for the history,
customs, and traditions of the U.S. sea services and their role in national
(b) Develop individual qualities of patriotism, courage, self-reliance,
and other attributes that contribute to the development of strong moral
character and good citizenship; and
(c) Provide information to participating cadets about the advantages
and prestige of pursuing a naval or military career.
The purpose of the Navy League Cadet Corps is to give young people mental,
moral, and physical training through the medium of naval and other instruction,
with the objective of developing principles of patriotism and good citizenship,
instilling in them a sense of duty, discipline, self-respect, self-confidence,
and respect for others.
Since 1975, NSCC officials said, more than 120 cadets have received
financial assistance of varying amounts to continue their education.
In addition, many Sea Cadets have been selected for appointment to one
or more of the nation's service academies or other officer accession
programs, and/or have received ROTC scholarships.