I am honored to assume the leadership of the Charleston
Council of the Navy League. This is a critical time for America, for our
national security, and for the Sea Services. If ever there was a time when our
Sea Services needed a strong voice, that time is now. There is no civilian organization
better equipped or prepared than the Navy League of the United States to
represent the issues of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and the
Merchant Marine to our leaders in government.
Economic development and national security are intertwined. Economic growth is necessary to afford the military forces which provide the
stability to foster growth. For more than sixty years, our international
maritime presence has been a key component of world economic growth. But today,
Europe is in economic doldrums and that is affecting our economy. We are
dealing with high unemployment, low growth, and expanding deficits. Our defense
budget is shrinking as are the defense budgets of friends and allies. Left
unchecked, these reductions could result in a dramatic weakening of our
security posture and maritime presence at the same time that Asian maritime
powers are growing and uncertainty is rising in the Middle East. This is not
the time to weaken our global maritime presence.
From my many years in Naval service and time spent in the
Pentagon, I know firsthand how important it is for citizen voices to be heard.
Our Navy League in coordination with other Sea Services professional
organizations is the right organization to represent our sea services views and
interests. It is time for those of us who care about the security and economic
condition of our nation to take a stand and wholeheartedly support the work of
the Navy League.
Again from first-hand experience, I have witnessed and been
the beneficiary of the Navy League’s dedication to Sea Services personnel
around the world. Welcome home celebrations, ship visit support, and
scholarship and awards programs are but a few of the activities that enhance
the morale of service members and families.
SEAPOWER Magazine communicates maritime issues to more than
70,000 citizens who support the sea services worldwide. The Navy League works
hard to educate government officials and local citizens. And perhaps more
importantly, we work hard to educate and inspire the next generation through
support to Sea Cadet Corps, NJROTC, MCJROTC, and NROTC.
I urge you to become an active member of our Charleston
Council. We need your help and participation. My goals for the Council are
threefold. I want us to enhance our leadership and educational role in the
community regarding Sea Services issues; team with other professional
organizations to strengthen our collective voices for a strong defense; and to
grow our organization, building for the next generation.
I look forward to working with all of you as we pull
together to support our men and women in the Sea Services. I would be delighted
to hear your views on how we can become an even greater Navy League Council.
Vice Admiral USN (retired)