Navy Leaguers Get Navy, Coast Guard Public Service Awards

Navy Leaguers Get Navy, Coast Guard Public Service Awards

Atkinson, Peter E

Council Members Honored For Efforts on Behalf Of the Sea Services

Five Navy Leaguers received secretary of the Navy Public Service Awards for outstanding service to the Navy Department during the Navy League’s National Convention in San Diego in June. The awards were presented by Adm. William J. Fallon, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England

Additionally, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Kevin J. Eldridge, deputy commander, Pacific Area, presented Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Awards on behalf of the Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Thomas H. Collins to three Navy Leaguers.

Navy Public Service Awards

San Diego Council members James T. and Jewell H. Bonner received Secretary of the Navy Superior Public Service Awards. The couple was honored for giving of their time and talents in the commissioning of two Navy ships, their efforts on behalf of youth programs and contributions that led to the establishment of scholarships for military dependents.

Frederick Harris, president of the Tokyo Council, also was selected to receive the Secretary of the Navy Superior Public Service Award, but was unable to attend the convention. Harris was presented with his award last month. He was cited for his leadership, dedication and generosity, which promoted support and recognition of Navy personnel in Yokosuka. His efforts on behalf of service personnel have been of tremendous benefit to the Navy and his personal initiatives have enhanced relationships between the Navy and citizens of Japan.

Secretary of the Navy Meritorious Public Service Awards were presented to James P. Bras of Yorba Linda, Calif.; Campbell J. McCarthy of Orange Park, Fla.; and Dr. Jackson C. Stevens of St. Maarten.

* As president of the Orange County Council, Bras was cited for having a major impact on the quality of life for servicemen and women through numerous family service programs and command adoptions, his efforts on behalf of youth programs and support in coordinating the management of readiness training within the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

* McCarthy, the Jacksonville Council’s vice president for youth, was honored for his efforts to educate young people on the importance of the country’s sea services. As Naval Sea Cadets Corps chairman for Navy League councils in New Jersey and Florida, he was responsible for the formation of three NSCC units. He also worked to organize parent support groups and coordinated with military commands to identify and secure training facilities for the cadets.

* Stevens, a Navy League national director, was recognized for enhancing the image of the U.S. Navy on the Dutch/French island St. Maarten/St. Martin and, in particular, for his efforts in bringing the community and the crews of more than 68 Navy ships together through numerous local projects. His personal efforts increased public awareness of the Navy and its role in local and world events.

Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Awards

Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Awards were presented to: Robert L. Castle of Oakland, Calif.; Albert D. Grantham of Bellevue, Wash.; and Arlie M. McNeill of Brunswick, Ga.

* Oakland Council President Castle was recognized for his leadership role in supporting the Coast Guard by leading a number of initiatives to improve the welfare and morale of the men and women assigned to the San Francisco Bay Area. These included arranging for discount tickets and special recognition for Coast Guard members at professional baseball games, planning Coast Guard balls and contributing thousands of dollars worth of toys to the Coast Guard Island Child Development Center, as well as hundreds of Easter baskets for needy Coast Guard dependents. As a tax attorney, he provides advice and counseling to Coast Guard members on various tax issues.

* Grantham, a national director, was cited for his dedication and leadership as chairman of the Navy League’s National Coast Guard Affairs Committee. He was at the forefront of Navy League support during the transfer of the Coast Guard to the Department of Homeland Security and the funding of the Integrated Deepwater System program. His work with the committee and the Navy League leadership made certain there was a complete understanding of Coast Guard issues and priorities.

* Camden-Kings Bay Council member McNeill was recognized as a source of energy, innovation and effectiveness during his 19-year membership on the Coast Guard Affairs Committee. He has been involved in national and local Coast Guard issues. Recognizing the importance of morale and quality of life issues, he has visited nearly every Coast Guard station on the East Coast to thank the men and women for their service. He was instrumental in forming the Coast Guard Auxiliary on St. Simons Island, Ga., and used his own funds to finance a newspaper campaign to enlist members.

Sacramento Council Teams With Museum For Ship, Silver Exhibits

At the urging of the Sacramento, Calif., Council, a committee has been formed at the California Military Museum in Sacramento to stage a tribute exhibit for the USS Sacramento upon its decommissioning this fall. Committee members include representatives from the museum and the Navy League, as well as from the ship, according to council Vice President Phelps Hobart.

Items are being collected for display aboard the ship and at the museum. Other items will be on loan from the Naval Historical Center at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard. The Sacramento Council will “unadopt” the ship before the end of the year, Hobart said.

At 40 years old, the fast combat support ship was the fourth oldest ship in the Navy. Its last operational commitment was June 21-24. Sacramento completed its final homecoming cruise June 25, with a contingent of Navy Leaguers from the Seattle area headed by Seattle Council President Thomas Jaffa and including Rear Adm. Len Hering, commander, Navy Region Northwest and Naval Surface Group Pacific Northwest, on board. The ship’s decommissioning service was to be held Oct. 1 in Bremerton, Wash.

Navy Leaguers, California Military Museum and the U.S. Warships Silver Foundation also are working on an exhibit of Navy presentation silver at the museum. This silver is part of an elaborate, century-old set designed in San Francisco by George C. Shreve & Co. and given upon commissioning to the armored cruiser USS California in 1908.

Later, the silver was aboard the fifth and six ships to bear the name California, a battleship damaged during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the lead ship of nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser class.

Custody of the silver set was transferred initially to the California State Archives, then to the new aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. The Sacramento Council was involved in these transfers as well as raising funds for the silver’s maintenance, Hobart said. Four pieces of the silver remain at the California State Archives awaiting repairs before being reassembled with the 28 other pieces onboard the ship.

Former National President Jack Morse Dies at 81

Former Navy League National President Jack Morse, who received the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award three times, died Aug. 9 in La Jolla, Calif., at the age of 81.

The cause of death was attributed to complications from burns suffered in a Feb. 16 fire at his home in La Jolla, near the summit of Mount Soledad, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

A Navy veteran of World War II and Korea, Morse retired from the Navy Reserve as a commander and joined the Navy League in 1964. He held several high-level positions in the San Diego Council before serving as national president from 1987-89.

“It’s something I personally feel strongly about,” Morse said after being elected national president, the Union-Tribune reported. “I think I am helping our nation. We are a nation that depends on the sea.”

In 1979, Morse received his first Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest conferred to a civilian by the military, for working with Navy families of American prisoners of war in Vietnam.

He received a second award in 1988 for his work in establishing Coast Guard educational programs and his third a year later in recognition of his Navy League presidency.

In recent years, Morse was involved in a successful campaign to bring the retired aircraft carrier Midway to San Diego as the world’s largest floating aviation museum.

Morse is survived by his wife of 42 years, Jean, sons David and Steven, five brothers and a sister, and three grandsons. Funeral services were held Aug. 23 in La Jolla.

Short Bursts

* The Pasadena, Calif., Council’s “send-off” barbecue for some 200 Marine reservists scheduled to leave for duty in Iraq in mid-August drew an overflow crowd and a contingent of local media Aug. 6. The event was attended by 1,200 people, according to Council President Todd Moore, was covered live by a Los Angeles television station and was one of the top stories on the evening news in Southern California. It also made the front page of the local newspaper.

The Marine Corps contacted the council a month earlier about doing something for the reservists, and the council was able to raise more than $10,000 in cash and in-kind donations in that short amount of time to get the barbecue together, Moore said. Other community organizations contributed, including the Pasadena Firelighters’ union local, which brought a grill and cooked the food; the Pasadena Police Officers Association, which purchased half of the food; and the VFW and Blue Star Families groups, which provided crafts for kids and some of the entertainment. The Pasadena Division Sea Cadets did an outstanding job serving up the food to the crowd, Moore said, which was nearly double the 600 to 700 people that were expected.

* During graduation ceremonies in July, the Madrid Council awarded the Spanish Naval Academy’s top graduating cadet with a ceremonial sword, a council tradition since 1983, as well as a trip to the United States. This year’s recipient was Juan David García, who specialized in surface warfare, according to Madrid Council President Joan T. Eischen.

García was invited to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., as part of a seven-day trip that will include a visit to the naval base in Norfolk, Va. García will be the guest of the Annapolis and Hampton Roads Navy League councils during his trip, Eischen said.

The two-day Spanish Naval Academy graduation ceremonies, held in Marin, Spain, were presided over by King Juan Carlos H. Spain’s Secretary of Defense José Bono also attended the event, as did a host of Navy League officials.


Deputy Editor

Copyright Navy League of the United States Oct 2004

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