San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Foster an innovative, professional and collaborative environment that supports the sea services’ ability to attract and retain a diverse officer corps
Remain the benchmark for supporting and influencing diversity and inclusion efforts in the sea services
Provide professional development and mentorship opportunities to optimize potential and individual performance
Partner with professional organizations and community influencers to attract diverse talent in support of sea service recruiting efforts
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
National Naval Officer Association
PO Box 41131
San Jose, CA 95160
Point Welcome Room or Greshem Hall, Coast Guard Island Alameda. Meetings suspended until further notice.
- President: CDR Adolph Keyes, USN (ret), (510) 374-8237
- VP: Maj. D’Emanuel Grosse, Sr., USAF (ret)
- Treasurer: LCDR James Haskins, USN (ret) (510) 635-8869
- Chaplain: Maj. D’Emanuel Grosse, USAF (ret)
- Public Affairs: CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- NROTC Coordinator: CDR Denise McCallaCreary, USN (ret) (408) 268-2933
- Regional VP: Capt.(S) Rod Rojas, U.S. Coast Guard – (562) 240-4125
CHAPTER NEWS & EVENTS
2020 NNOA Symposium
We are postponing our 2020 Symposium
due to COVID-19
2021 Planning Underway!
FN JACEY AKPOKLI - FUTURE NAVAL NUCLEAR POWER OFFICER
Fireman Jacey Akpokli is about to have her dream come true. This summer, she will join the 2019 Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) class convening in Newport, Rhode Island. Selected from a pool of over 16,000 applicants, Akpokli, a recent high school graduate and college student, will now be added to the list of many high school graduates, members of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter recruited to join the Navy.
One of the primary objectives of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) is to help the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard recruit, train and retain a diverse work force. The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter recruiting team helped Akpokli to navigate many challenges to finally get a coveted spot in the class of 2019. Said Akpokli, “one way or another I was getting into the Navy and that is why upon high school graduation, I applied for the Naval Academy, Naval Recruiting Officer Training Corps (NROTC) and the Enlisted ranks. I wanted to do Nuclear Engineering”, she continued, “and become a Nuclear Power Officer.”
Akpokli, born and raised in Northern California by immigrant parents, mother Bolaya Kimfuema from the Democratic Republic of Congo and father Folly Akpokli from Togo developed a passion for the Navy in her teenage years. She demonstrated persistence, perseverance and maintained a consistent positive attitude throughout the journey of applicant to NAPS selectee. Her Dad was the first to notice that his daughter was gifted in Math like her Mom, a genius her Dad said. At first, Jacey was reluctant to accept that she had above average aptitude in Math but agreed after impressive test scores on her first geometry test. As a result of her high academic performance, Dad enrolled her simultaneously in college courses and high school.
Brian Rodriquez, an instructor of Akpokli from 9-12 grade stated in his recommendation ‘that Akpokli attended the Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) located on the campus of Peralta Junior College, a public magnet early college high school started by Bill & Melinda Gates -ranked as one of the top ten magnet schools in the State of California.” Akpokli graduated high school, earned two Associate college degrees, two Certificates of Achievements and 100 college credits with a GPA of 3.03. She is trilingual in English, French and Spanish. She excelled in academics and still made time to positively impact her community and participate in extracurricular activities.
She was a Leader and member of the Mesa Club, College of Alameda. She was a Leader and Student, Alameda Science & Technology Institutes. She was a Math tutor and member of the Umoja group. She explained how much she loved the Umoja program and how much it left a lasting impact on her life. “The Umoja group where students from various high schools throughout California and across the nation worked together to get financial assistance for college and academically support each other. We participated in group activities to help us be successful in life, she explained with lots of enthusiasm.
However, disappointment came when Akpokli was not accepted to the Naval Academy or the NROTC program. Following her mantra that she was getting into the Navy no matter what, she applied for the Navy’s Enlisted Nuclear Power Program. She was accepted and completed her boot camp training on January 25, 2019 in Great Lakes, IL. When asked her thoughts about the 8-week training she responded that she had expectations before going in that it would be hard. It would require discipline. She did not expect to have fun. She expected to be yelled at constantly instead she enjoyed bootcamp and treasured the late-night moments with her fellow Sailors talking about the day’s activities. Not only did she have fun, but Bootcamp changed her, she said. “I left Bootcamp focused on my goals, my priorities, learning how to lead and how to follow. It was different from anything I had done in life and I realized I was now a Navy Sailor. One team, one fight.”
Akpokli is enjoying Nuclear Power A School and looking forward to starting NAPS. She sees herself staying in the Navy and at some point, settling down with a family of her own. I asked her what advice she would have for a young high school student like herself wanting to join the Navy Enlisted ranks or an Officer program. Akpokli responded thoughtfully, “learn to be mature. Decide what difference you want to make in the Navy and what difference you want the Navy to make in your life in general. Learn from elders. Ask questions as much as you can. Find motivation to focus on your priorities.”
It was clear that FN Jacey Akpokli has a plan and there is no doubt she will be a member of the Naval Academy graduating class four years from now. She is looking forward to graduating Nuclear Power A School in June 2019 and starting NAPS as a Third-Class Petty Officer. The members of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter wish her “Fair winds and following seas.”
FN Akpokli wish to recognize LCDR (ret) James Haskins, USN and Captain(ret) Donald Flowers, USN who helped her entry to the enlisted ranks and introduced me to FN Akpokli. I would like to thank the Naval Academy Admissions team and Fleet Naval Academy Accession Coordinator, MMNCM David Price for their respective roles in processing Akpokli’s Academy application. It takes a village.
Author: CDR Denise J. McCallaCreary is the Immediate Past National President, NNOA and a life member in the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.
Year of the Mustang - CAPT Donald H. Flowers, USN (Ret.)
By Retired CDR Denise J. McCalllaCreary, USN
When civilians hear the word “Mustang” the first thing that comes to mind is a car. When sea services Officers hear the word “Mustang”, they think specialist, professional, experience, prior enlisted service and much more. These adjectives are just a few that describe our first Mustang Officer to be featured in our yearlong recognition of Mustangs who are members of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA), Captain Donald H. Flowers, United States Navy, Retired. Read more…
Click image to read about our past events:
- May 17, 2017 – SFBA Professional Development “Speed Mentoring” @ Point Welcome Room CG Island – LCDR Dustin Williams, USCG
- June 1, 2017 – Hadwick and Lily Thompson Scholarship Award Announcement – LCDR (Sel) Joe Ching, US Navy Reserve
- June 19, 2017 – Coast Guard Island Juneteenth Observance (location to be determined)
- June 21, 2017 – SFBA Chapter Meeting @ Point Welcome Room CG Island – CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- June 24, 2017 – Butterflies Are Free – Cancer Survival Celebration – Blue Rock Springs Park – CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- July 19, 2017 – SFBA Chapter Meeting Suspended for NNOA National Training Seminar @ San Diego, California
- July 24, 2017 – Seventh Annual Navy League Golf Tournament (tentative date)
- February 2017 – Coast Guard Island Black History Month Observance
- February 2017 – SFBA Professional Development “Career Planning” @ Point Welcome Room CG Island – CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- March 4, 2017 – Annual Crab Fest @ Point Welcome Room CG Island – CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- March 15, 2017 – SFBA Chapter Meeting @ Point Welcome Room CG Island – CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- April 2017 – RADM Robert L Toney, US Navy (ret) Jesse Bethel High School JNROTC Annual Contribution – an annual $250 award to support the NJROTC program at Jesse Bethel HS in Vallejo, California. The award was established in May 2015, presented each May, and is named for a most distinguished and highly respected leading pioneer of the Sea Service and NNOA.
- April 19, 2017 – SFBA Chapter Meeting @ Point Welcome Room CG Island – CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- April 30, 2017 – Hadwick and Lily Thompson Scholarship Application Deadline – LCDR (Sel) Joe Ching, US Navy Reserve
- Aug 17, 2016 – SFBA Meeting @ Point Welcome Room CG Island
- Aug 15, 2016 – Pacific Area Change of Command @ 1100 – Ms. Debra Briggs
- Aug 13, 2016 – Masquerade Black & White Gala – A Sleeve Sisters Presentation – CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- Jul 25, 2016 – Sixth Annual Navy League Golf Tournament – LCDR Ken Langford, USCG
- Jul 22, 2016 – 9-Hole Fun Golf Tournament, Blue Rock Spring Golf Course, Vallejo – Mrs. Vanita Finney
- Jul 20, 2016 – SFBA Meeting canceled (conference conflict) – Meet with RADM Joseph Vojvojdich, Deputy Commandant Acquisitions, HQ CG-9, Point Welcome Room, Coast Guard Island – CDR Maria Galman, USCG
- Jul 19-21, 2016 National Training Conference at Little Creek Naval Base
- Jul 1, 2016 – Coast Guard District Eleven Change of Command – LT Fredrick Pugh, USCG
- Jun 25, 2016 – The Butterflies Are Free – Cancer Survival Celebration – Blue Rock Springs Park – CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- Jun 17, 2016 – Coast Guard Island Juneteenth Observance – Point Welcome Room – ET1 Sheldon Williams, USCG
- Jun 15, 2016 – SFBA Meeting – Point Welcome Room – Coast Guard Island – CAPT Don Flowers, US Navy (ret)
- Jun 10, 2016 – Oakland Military Institute Graduation – LT Fredrick Pugh
- June 8, 2016 – SFBA Board Elections – CAPT Don Flowers, US Navy (ret)
- June 6, 2016 – Hadwick & Lily Thompson Scholarship Presentation at Vallejo High School – LCDR(Sel) Joseph Ching, USNR
- June 3, 2016 – Oakland Military Institute Pass in Review – LT Fredrick Pugh, USCG
- June 3, 2016 – Hadwick & Lily Thompson Scholarship Presentation at Oakland Military Institute – LCDR (Sel) Joe Ching, USNR
- June 1, 2016 – Hadwick & Lily Thompson Scholarship Award Announcement – LCDR (Sel) Joe Ching, USNR
- May 2016 – Calvin Renalza McCalla Memorial Donation – CDR Denise McCallaCreary
- May 27, 2016 – Oakland Military Institute Career Day – LT Fredrick Pugh, USCG
- May 25, 2016 – Oakland Military Institute Pass in Review (Memorial Day Observance) – LT Fredrick Pugh, USCG
- May 18, 2016 – International Port Security Program Seminar – CDR Brent R Bergan, USCG
- April 14, 2016 – RADM Robert L Toney, US Navy (ret) Jesse Bethel HS NJROTC Award – an annual $250 award to support the NJROTC program at Jesse Bethel in Vallejo, CA. The award was established in May 2015, presented each May, and is named for a most distinguished and highly respected leading pioneer of the Sea Service and NNOA.
- April 8, 2016 – Vallejo City Unified School District College Career Fair at Jesse Bethel HS – CDR Keyes, USCG (ret)
- March 16, 2016 – SFBA Meeting
- March 15, 2016 – Bay Area Women’s Leadership Symposium
- March 11, 2016 – Vallejo High School College/Career Fair
- March 5, 2016 – SFBA Crab Fest 2016
- February 26, 2016 – CGI Black History Month Observance
- February 17, 2016 – SFBA Chapter Meeting, Professional Development “Establishing Expectations”
- January 28, 2016 – Oakland Military Institute Visit
- January 20, 2016 – SFBA Chapter Meeting, Professional Development “Career Mapping”
- December 16, 2015 – SFBA Chapter Meeting, VADM Manson Brown, USCG (ret), keynote speaker
- December 12, 2015 – Bone Marrow Drive
- November 18, 2015 – SFBA Speed Mentoring
- November 11, 2015 – San Francisco VA Medical Center Visit – Flag Folding Performance
- October 29, 2015 – Jesse Bethel HS NJROTC Annual Inspection
- November 4, 2016 – Funeral Services for Ms. Lily Thompson
- November 11, 2016 – San Francisco VA Medical Center Visit – Flag Folding Performance by CAPT Don Flowers, US Navy (ret) and CDR Adolph Keyes, USCG (ret)
- November 16, 2016 – Joint San Francisco Chapters ANSO/NNOA “Mock Promotion” Professional development – LCDR Dustin Williams, USCGNovember 17, 2016 – Funeral attendance for RADM Robert L Toney, US Navy (ret) at Cathedral of Christ of the Light
Hadwick and Lily Thompson Scholarship Foundation
The lives of Hadwick and Lily Thompson are easily chronicled by the over 70 plaques and awards honoring their continuous years of public and community service. Both were native Californians whose roots were established in California by maternal great grandparents who had been former slaves. California offered the promise of a better life and more opportunities. It also meant that both would deal with the barriers of being the first Afro-Americans in a racially changing environment. Hadwick was born and raised in Willows, Ca where he worked on his father’s farm. At Willows H.S. he lettered in “5” sports and was an outstanding musician and student. After graduation he enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 11, 1939 and was stationed in the Pacific. He saw his first action manning a machine gun aboard the destroyer, U.S.S. Ramsay during the Japanese Attack on Dec. 7, 1941. On July 31, 1942 he became one of the first black submariners when he reported to U.S.S. Pollack for duty. He would complete 5 war patrols aboard Pollack sinking 4 ships before the war ended. After the war, on May 24, 1947, along with his friend, Clarence Williams, Hadwick became one of the first black Oakland Policemen hired through the competitive Civil Service Registry. Prior black officers had been temporary appointments made during the war. During this period his duties included several years of community relations assignments which brought him in close contact with various minority groups. Of particular concern were the underprivileged black teenage boys. He was active in the P.A.L. and over several summers took groups of boys to the YMCA Camp Loma Mar where he served as director. He also served as past chairman for both the Men of Tomorrow and Black Chamber of Commerce. These Groups were formed to foster and develop black businesses and leadership and promote a positive image. After earning a degree from San Francisco State University Hadwick taught at the Institute of Police Science at Merritt College. As a volunteer he would serve in many roles and groups, including two terms with the Alameda Grand Jury. He would also serve as president for the Oakland Navy League, Pearl Harbor Survivors Assoc. (P.H.S.A) and Chinatown Lions Club. Up until the time of his death Hadwick was fully active as a volunteer docent for the Oakland Museum and Pompano Submarine. He worked through the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club to maintain Children’s Fairyland and the Lions Blind Center and activities of the Lions Club. As a frequent P.H.S.A. guest speaker he shared his experiences during the attack on Pearl Harbor with both adults and children. As a member of both the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) and Navy League he encouraged and supported service members and their families.
Lily worked for the Dept. of Defense for over 42 years most of which were spent at the Oakland Naval Hospital. While working at
the hospital she saw the return of both her injured husband from WWII and her injured son from the Vietnam War. After
retirement she stayed on as a Red Cross Volunteer for over 5 years until the hospital was closed. Lily shared her husband’s
volunteer involvement serving actively beside him as a member of the NNOA, Navy League and Chinatown Lions Club. She also
served previously as Cacao Branch chairman for over 15 yrs. The Thompsons were particularly proud to be associated with
NNOA whose members became extended family and always welcomed in their home. They frequently crossed the states to
support “their kids” change of commands and promotions. Although age and health have limited her current involvement she
remains active with the Cacao Branch supporting Children’s Hospital in Oakland.
The plaques and honors from the various groups line the walls and shelves and represent service acknowledgements from the
President of the United States to local mayors, congressmen and businessmen but the one held in highest esteem is the Dorie
Miller Award presented to Hadwick and Lily Thompson by the NNOA in 1992. They were the first civilians and first couple to
receive it. “Doris” Miller became a close friend of Hadwick after they met while stationed in Hawaii. The two young men formed
their own support group each determined to “stand tall” and that legacy remains in place for the thousands of lives that have
To enhance sea service operational readiness by supporting recruiting, professional development, and retention in an effort to achieve a diverse officer corps that reflects the demographics of our nation.