posted on July 24, 2011 09:33
First the conference: From the staff perspective everything ran smoothly and that is always my number one. Thanks to Bill Overend and the Southeast Region our trip to the WW-II Museum and the Victory Bells lunch show was a big success. I hadn’t been to the museum since it was just the D-Day Museum and how it has grown! The movie narrated by Tom Hanks should be seen by every American. The show was enjoyed by all but by Larry Danielson more than some others. Again thanks to Bill, the President’s reception on the Natchez was great. Many were impressed that the food just kept coming. Thank you Boeing for sponsoring that event. Back at the hotel meetings ran smoothly, food was good and the Saturday night banquet was great. Thanks to the Anchors for splendid decorations once again. We were very pleased that for our awards banquet there were a lot of family members who attended. MCPON Jim Herdt delivered a great talk about change. Our Board of Directors met all day Friday and accomplished a good deal. There was a good budget and finance committee meeting and all necessary Association business was conducted and we had some very informative presentations.
On the other side of the coin the conference was not well attended. Given a great (but hot) setting that is a shame. I have a theory that a combination of several factors is the reason but it was a shame nonetheless. The General Session voted to change course and hold next year’s conference in Norfolk. My goal is to have location, dates, and a plan in place by Thanksgiving.
Since I wrote last we have been approached by Biography the Public Broadcasting Station program hosted by Joan London. They would like to do a promotional/educational piece on AUSN, actually several different pieces for use in different markets, web casting, etc. We have signed a contract with them and anticipate a lot of work over the next three months before the project is concluded. This is a very exciting opportunity for us.
ADM Jonathan Greenert has been nominated as the next CNO and Friday it was announced that VADM Mark Ferguson III has been nominated to the rank of ADM and the position of Vice Chief. I had a very productive meeting with ADM Greenert this week to discuss AUSN. I will meet with VADM Ferguson next week.
Being an extremely hot summer in Washington as in other places one might expect things to have slowed down but if you have followed our legislative alerts and so forth you know it is anything but. Please check out our Happening in Washington that might affect YOU blog for July. The Defense budget is coming under increasing attack as Congress and the country begin to deal with the deficit. No kidding this is serious and will become even more so. I remember CNO Roughead speaking to the retired Flag group (at least I believe that is where I heard him say this) and talking about how in decades past we grew in the good times and shrank in the tough times. Looking ahead to the budgets that we are now facing he said “this time we have actually been shrinking in ships, planes and personnel during the good [financial] times.”
The Navy is doing its best to get out the story about the need for a large navy to protect our sea lanes that bring us 80+% of our commerce. We Navy people know that but most of the public does not. The Navy and Air Force are ripe for cutting as the current conflicts wind down. Go to our website, click on Contact Congress and send a message of your concern. Bad things happen when good men (and women) do nothing.
Bob Lyman will have some serious surgery next Wednesday and will be out of the office for about two months. He will be back on e-mail in a week or so, so you could send him your best wishes. We’re going to be a bit short handed but the most important thing is Bob’s speedy recovery.
Ahead for the rest of the summer it looks like this: Refine the annual budget for final approval at the November 18 Board meeting. Conclude new contracts with Ike and Jean. Formalize plans for this year’s Navy Birthday Ball sponsorship. Begin the new school year Midshipman program. Lay out next year’s event schedule for Navy Now Forums and plan for one in Washington this November. Develop an event plan for Norfolk for next summer and select a conference site.
That’s it until August.