Presidents Welcome

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.

Malcolm Fages
Vice Admiral USN (retired)