WHO ARE WE?

Who Are We?
The United States Navy League – based on a previous article by Jerry Nuss

Navy Leagues have existed for more than 200 years before the birth of Christ when the Navy League of Rome built 250 ships and trained the sailors to man them. The Navy League of Great Britain was established in 1894, Italy's in 1897, Germany's in 1898 and numerous others since. The U.S. established its Navy League in 1902 with the encouragement and cooperation of President Theodore Roosevelt. The purpose of the Navy League as stated by President Roosevelt, was to educate the American public on the need for a strong Navy. The Navy League today conducts local, national and international educational programs aimed at garnering support and understanding for America’s maritime service and for the people that serve them. There are about 70,000 members in more than 330 councils around the world. 
The Charleston Council

In 1947, the Charleston Council of the Navy League was officially chartered, although had functioned informally prior to that time. During its years before chartering, the Mayor of Charleston served as President of the Council. When L. Mendel Rivers was elected to Congress, it was a big boost to the Council, leading to the chartering and establishment of a formal organization. Unfortunately, the Charter has been lost, so we have no knowledge of the organizers, etc. In fact, we don’t know the names of early presidents, but Joseph Riley, Sr. and Louis Green were most likely two of the original organizers as we have records of them being Presidents in the 1950's. You can click here, for a listing of other known presidents of our Council.
Today our Charleston Council has about 130 members from the business, professional, and retired communities. We carry out the mission of the Navy League in many ways. Each year we present swords to the #1 Navy and Marine Corps midshipmen at The Citadel’s ROTC Unit, recognize top NJROTC Cadets, local Sailors and Coast Guardsmen of the Year and OMBUDSMEN. We also host receptions for visiting ships, both U.S. and foreign, and support those ships that have their commissioning ceremonies in Charleston.

We also sponsor a local sea cadet division, the Hunley-Yorktown division. Throughout the U.S., there are about 250 Sea Cadet units training 4000 young men and women, of which many join the armed services. Our unit averages about 30 members from year to year. These Sea Cadets train in maritime subjects such as seamanship, piloting, boating, and damage control. They go on ship cruises and many go to boot camp for a special session. They learn leadership and discipline, but they are not members of the armed services. They find out in this manner whether or not the military life will suit them. 
THE LIST OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS SWORD RECIPIENTS

  • 1977: Navy Charles Bensten, Marine Richard Lake
  • 1978: Navy John Herring, Marine James DeOtte
  • 1979: Navy Thomas Towle, Marine Richard Reinecke
  • 1980: Navy Mark Breor, Marine Frederick Whittle
  • 1981: Navy Robert Fitzgerald, Marine Mark Vanous
  • 1982: Navy James Rose, Marine Donald Graczyk
  • 1983 Navy David Bastien, Marine Matthew Bucholz
  • 1984: Navy Steven LeBlanc, Marine Thomas Goolsby
  • 1985: Navy Christophe Liptak, Marine Albert Ivens
  • 1986: Navy Marion Miller, Marine Claude Baldwin
  • 1987: Navy David MacPherson, Marine Robert Tanke
  • 1988: Navy John Mordigal, Marine Thomas Alaksa
  • 1989: Navy David Beauclair, Marine Patrick Wall
  • 1990: Navy Gregory McWherter, Marine Christopher Dorgan
  • 1991: Navy Benjamin Taylor, Marine Thomas Gordon
  • 1992: Navy James Wucher, Marine William Berger
  • 1993: Navy Randal Bell, Marine Robert Baker
  • 1994: Navy Robert Fagan, Marine Norman Dorecet
  • 1995: Navy Robert Meyer, Marine John Jarrad
  • 1996: Navy Colin Chinn, Marine Justin Anderson
  • 1997: Navy Brice Butler, Marine Michael Arpaio
  • 1998: Navy Reggie Gil, Marine Christopher Farrike
  • 1999: Navy Jonathan Biehl, Marine Shane Donahue
PRESIDENTS OF THE COUNCIL

  • 1952 & 1953 JOSEPH RILEY, SR.
  • 1954 & 1955 LOUIS E. GREEN
  • 1963 HAROLD SIMMONS
  • 1964 HAROLD PETIT
  • 1965 ROBERT RUSSELL
  • 1966 & 1967 PAUL QUATTLEBAUM
  • 1968 HOWARD BURKY
  • 1969 & 1970 GLENN WILLIAMSON
  • 1971 & 1972 WILLIAM CRAVER, JR.
  • 1973 JOHN CARTER
  • 1974 J. EDWIN SCHACTE, JR.
  • 1975 JAMES BAGWELL, JR.
  • 1976 FORREST NORVELL
  • 1977 GEORGE THORNE
  • 1978 JERRY NUSS
  • 1979 HERMAN SPEISSEGER
  • 1980 EDITH CALLIHAM
  • 1981 FRANK LEWIS
  • 1982 THOMAS ANDERSON
  • 1983 MINNIE MAYBERRY
  • 1984 RICHARD KNIGHT
  • 1985 JAMES STROBEL
  • 1986 WILLIAM ORVIN, JR.
  • 1987 JOSEPH GOOD
  • 1988 DWIGHT AGNEW
  • 1989 & 1990 JERRY NUSS
  • 1991 ALEX DALLIS, JR.
  • 1992 WILLIAM PREWITT
  • 1993 ABBIE SMITH WALLACE
  • 1994 MYRON HARRINGTON
  • 1995 RAYMOND CARLTON
  • 1996 THOMAS MAYBERRY, JR.
  • 1997 THOMAS CAMPBELL
  • 1998 DAVID MORGAN
  • 1999 JAMES WELSCH
  • 2000 AL BACIOCCO
  • 2001 JIM FLATLEY
  • 2002-3 OLLIE OLIVER
  • 2004-6 BILL NOLD
  • 2006-8 TOM BROWN
  • 2008-10 BOB BESAL
  • 2011 RUSS KELLER
  • 2012 BILL COOK
  • 2013 MALCOLM FAGES
  • 2014-present PAT KEAVENY
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