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Conference registration information will soon be on the website and in the February magazine. The dates are 13 through 16 July and the location is the Bourbon Orleans hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter. It is a great location and the room rate is the per diem rate of $98/ night. That rate is available three days either side of our conference so plan a family time in the Crescent City.  Here is the link to the hotel registration site:

CAPT Bill Overend and the Southeast Region have been working on activities outside the hotel. We have a great day planned Wednesday at the World War II museum and the sign up for that event will also be available on line. Because of reservations for lunch and the Victory Belles show you will need to sign up early. The President’s reception will be on Wednesday evening aboard the stern wheeler Natchez.

You may notice that the registration fee is a bit higher than you have been used to but remember at your request we have added a full day to the conference. The cruise on the Natchez adds a bit to the bill too, hence the slightly higher fee. We have worked to provide both opportunity for real committee work, some interesting presentations, and a bit of free time particularly Friday afternoon. I don’t have information from the Anchors yet but I am told that a cooking school is in the works. This should be a fun conference so please help us by signing up early.

Let me take a minute to talk about National Awards.  During the last conference, CAPT Tom McAtee filled in for Larry Danielson in chairing the Awards Committee.  He reported that there were no National Award inputs to be considered, therefore, no National Awards will be handed out at the upcoming conference in New Orleans.  I solicit each of you to think about the criteria for each National Award and if anyone is deserving of nomination.  I have received one nomination from the Headquarters Staff.  I have attached the nomination form for your convenience.  The Operations Manual contains award information and criteria.

For those of you who were not here the Capitol Hill Reception on the 19th was a great success thanks to Ike, Bob, Linda and others who made it all come together. We had about 250 attend including a number of Congressmen, many staffers and a great turn out from the Navy. Congressman Roscoe Bartlet (R-MD) from the House Armed Services Committee spoke as did VCNO Jonathan Greenert. President Moon officiated and passed out the legislative awards. A number of our Board members were present as well.

This past Wednesday I attended the annual Navy Recruiter of the Year award ceremony at the Navy Memorial. Sixteen recruiters and their families were honored and it was a great tribute. Our own Rear Admiral Robin Graff was there as was RADM Craig Faller, Commander Navy Recruiting Command, RDML Denny Moynihan, CHINFO, and VADM Mark Ferguson, CNP. The Vice Chief officiated. AUSN helps sponsor this event each year and attending gives me a chance to shake the hand of these great recruiters but also to talk to these flag officers about the Association. This was the evening of the big snow storm that many of you have heard about and it was great to see the Navy Leadership attending in spite of the weather. When I got off the metro and back to the office about 2100 there was five inches of snow on my car. Winter in Washington, great fun.    

Also on Wednesday I met with FORCE Wright and then VADM Debbink in his Pentagon office. We discussed a number of issues and then I went over to OLA to meet with RADM Tom Copeman. AUSN has a good and growing relationship with OLA. We discussed issues from TRICARE to the LCS program, the budget and testimony. CAPT Puzon works closely with Admiral Copeman’s staff on all of the issues with which we are concerned.

This past Sunday, President Moon and I had dinner together in Old Towne. It was a great opportunity to explore initiatives and make plans for the New Orleans conference and beyond. We both agree that we want you the leadership to be engaged/stay engaged in the development of AUSN. As I have said repeatedly, we can’t do it without you. Speaking of engagement, our Nominations Committee Chair, CAPT Evelyn Morrison will soon be seeking candidates for office. Holding an elected position is the surest way to be engaged.

In the January magazine and in future editions you may notice a page or part of a page with information about a Navy Memorial activity. They will be doing the same for us in their newsletter and in other venues. This is part of the continuing partnership we are fostering.

Our next Navy Now Forum will be held on April 27th at the Ronald Reagan building on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is a great venue and offers the ability to grow the event. We have invited Admiral Greenert to speak on the topic of efficiencies and the Navy’s plans to enable the force structure of the future. As I write this it is too soon to tell if he will speak himself or assign another flag to do it. On line registration for this event will be available shortly.  

May 26 is set as the date for our annual golf tournament out at Andrews AFB. Building on last year’s success and with Kenya Houston’s help CAPT Parker and Master Chief Featherstone will take this event to a new level. We need to grow this into an important AUSN event for the Navy and our Corporate Partners. This year we will increase our efforts to add business leaders and celebrities to the mix.

That does it for now.


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