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Thank you to the membership for placing your trust and confidence in me by electing me as the 33rd President of this Association. As I am the first Senior Enlisted member to lead AUSN, I am proud and elated to be offered the opportunity to advance our goals while faithfully representing you as a member of the Board of Directors and as a working partner with our Executive Director.
Your Association has been busy during the two months since our last issue of Navy. AUSN is “your” association, advocating for the Navy, everything from airplanes and ships, to pay and benefits.
December is a time of joy and celebration as we share the holiday season with our friends and families. People travel from faraway places to relax, spend time together, reflect on the past, share the holiday spirit, and ring in the New Year. As joyous as that sounds, there will be a number of our Navy families who are apart over the holidays while their Sailor is serving somewhere around the world to make it safe and secure for the rest of us. We can never say thank you loud enough or often enough to all of these brave men and women.
November is a time of
look on the calendar
and see that we celebrate
Veterans Day and Thanksgiving
this month. On Veterans Day,
we remember and honor those
who have served, and in too
many cases, have given their
lives, to secure and ensure our
freedom. Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day as it is called by many, is a joyous festival celebrated with friends and family to express thanks for the many material and spiritual blessings that we enjoy every day.
On 14 January, I had the privilege to meet with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Hon. Dennis McCarthy. Let me share with you some of his themes that he expressed for 2010.
On Saturday, 7th November, I had the privilege to attend the commissioning of USS New York (LPD 41) in Manhattan. Having served on a precommissioning crew years ago, my memories of that type of event were that it attracts a few dignitaries, has a modest crowd of friends and family, and then it’s on to business as usual.
This was anything but.
The Navy offers wonderful opportunities to contribute beyond the scope of a simple billet assignment. It’s easy to focus enough effort on pleasing a reporting senior to maximize one’s FITREP, but that’s duty inside the lifelines. I submit that your real focus should be on maximizing your contributions to the Navy and its Sailors, not just your career.
Have you ever considered what represents your “highest and best use?” The term comes from the real estate appraisal industry, and means that the value of a property is directly related to its maximally productive use. Thus, a vacant lot in downtown Manhattan is valued much more than a vacant lot in rural Nebraska, because of what could be done with the property.
All of us are familiar with the Latin maxim to “seize the day.” It is an encouragement to make the most of what we have while we still have it. In these uncertain times, many of us would probably like to “seize yesterday” and change some decisions. Unfortunately, that’s not an option.
As a young ensign, a wizened warrant officer taught me about how to “read” the ocean. Waves coming from different directions often preceded by days the arrival of inclement weather. For years, I thought that was the meaning of “sea change.”
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