By CAPT Gary J. Powe, SC, USN (Vice-President, DCNNOA)
The Washington, D.C. Chapter of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) led by Chapter President, CAPT Tom Abernethy, USN (Ret.) once again demonstrated the sustained superior performance that it has been renowned for by winning several awards at the 2018 Professional Development and Training Symposium at the Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel held August 8-9, 2018.
Included in the list of awards the chapter received is the highly coveted Dorie Miller Award. This is the highest individual award in NNOA and is awarded to the member who has excelled in the accomplishment of NNOA goals and objectives. This year’s recipient was DCNNOA’s very own LCDR Desmond Walker, USN currently serving as Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N00Z). He has been critical in the mentoring and advising of African-American nuclear trained officers as part of the Black Surface/Submarine Nuclear Network (BSNN). LCDR Walker additionally is highly engaged at his alma mater, Norfolk State University. His efforts at the NROTC unit have proven significant in the mentoring, advocacy and professional development of Midshipmen at this Historical Black University.
DCNNOA was also recognized for Outstanding Chapter Newsletter, Outstanding Chapter Programs and Overall Outstanding Chapter (large category) at the Virginia 2018 Symposium held on 8-9 August.
The Washington, D.C. Chapter of the National Naval Officers Association (DCNNOA) has established a legacy of leadership, mentorship and community service for those associated with the sea services in the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The chapter continues to make a difference; exemplifying the strength that comes from making the best use of diverse talent. During the 2017-2018 reporting period, DCNNOA has remained true to the calling and the mission of NNOA on both a local and national level. The chapter continues to build on the programs that have been synonymous with the distinguished name of NNOA. The chapter’s continued success is a testament to the resilience of its membership and the dedication of its Executive Board. DCNNOA recognizes that we are responsible for developing a new generation of leaders from both within and outside of our ranks. The variety of mentorship and sponsorship activities conducted by DCNNOA has the sole purpose of fostering and nurturing the strength found in a truly diverse society. DCNNOA continues to realize the value of working with and in support of others as it undertakes a lifecycle approach to talent development from middle school through public service to private sector transition. DCNNOA uses innovative partnerships and co-sponsorship with members of the military, the community and business arena to achieve its goals. DCNNOA maintains strong ties with service organizations with goals similar to its own like The ROCKS, Inc., collaborating together on professional, community and social events.
Our signature chapter program for DCNNOA is the annual Ester Boone Memorial Scholarship Banquet. This year was the 30th edition of this phenomenal event. Our guest speaker at this year’s event was VADM Kevin D. Scott, USN, Director, Joint Force Development (J-7). Thirty-seven scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors from high schools in the Washington, D.C. Metro area (Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia), totaling over $60,000.
DCNNOA programs such as the chapter’s scholarship program, the Annual Ester Boone Memorial Scholarship Award Banquet and the Annual Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital visit continue to provide the foundation from which new initiatives are born and will continue to serve as the basis for our chapter’s growth and advocacy throughout the Washington, D.C. community.