Navy League Weekly Roundup

Navy League Weekly Roundup

June 19, 2020
Looking Ahead
For Those Who serve

A few thoughts from our team: Celebrating Juneteenth (Emancipation Day) 
On this very important June 19th, also known as Freedom Day, we at the Navy League would like to take a moment to truly recognize the service, sacrifice, patriotism, and national pride displayed by African Americans who have served in every American war dating back to our Revolution. From the frozen grounds of Valley Forge, to the hills and beaches of Europe, to the jungles of Vietnam, and the deserts of Iraq, these patriots fought for country with valor. What we must acknowledge today, is that the country did not always fight for them.

Returning home from the horrors of World War II, African Americans found that they still lived as second-class citizens in their own land. Their sacrifice, it seemed, would not be rewarded or even acknowledged. They were there when the nation needed them, but the nation was not there for them when they returned.

It would be the military that would lead the way in rewriting the status quo, desegregating its ranks before any other government entity and before the nation itself. This was not done out of political correctness but out of hard-nosed military pragmatism. The armed forces were the first to simply accept the fact that all Americans are essential to our security and prosperity. To view any of our citizens as being less vital to the safety of the nation was not only foolish but hazardous. Let us remember on this Emancipation Day, that our victories on the battlefield, our innovations in the private sector, our music and culture, can often trace their origins in some way to African Americans. This demographic group has been remarkably influential in the history of our country. We would like to take this moment to truly appreciate their service and to provide recognition that has often and for too long been denied.

Battle of Midway Webinar!
Learn about the Battle of Midway, a turning point in World War II that saw naval cryptographers outsmart Japanese forces with their codebreaking so the United States could prepare its own ambush, a move that set the U.S. up for victory. This pivotal battle paved the way for America’s triumph, serving as the first major naval win for the Allied forces.

This online event is brought to you by the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps and the Navy League of the United States Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 3 p.m. ET.

You can now view newsletters from previous weeks at our Voice to Congress site here:

Navy League Advocacy Updates

Navy League Legislation Affairs Committee Members can view our updated Legislative Affairs Committee Page with all kinds of resources to support your grassroots advocacy!

Join our monthly GLI Advocacy Training next Monday, June 29 by emailing!

Navy Budget
As China takes advantage of the coronavirus crisis to escalate its bullying of its Vietnamese and Malaysian neighbors in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy is the best force capable of responding. The Navy is the surest guarantee of freedom of navigation on the worlds oceans and maintain the global movement of goods and services conducting crucial operations even as it has been hit hard and is focused on responding to the covid-19 crisis.

Speak up and tell congress the Navy must have a larger share of the defense budget in order to maintain readiness and expand the fleet to prepare for great power competition!

Maritime Security Program COVID Support
Without assistance during this COVID-19 pandemic U.S.-flag vessel operators participating in the Maritime Security Program (MSP) will not be able to maintain laid-up vessels in the readiness status needed by the Department of Defense, and the licensed and unlicensed American merchant mariners will be facing protracted unemployment. Ask your Representative to sign a letter of support!

Sea Service Updates
The full Senate Armed Services Committee report for the NDAA has not yet been released and is likely to be pushed back to late next week as the Senate focuses on policing reform. The House is likely to begin working on its own NDAA language next week. The Navy League will keep you updated on all the important information as it becomes available.

The full executive summary of the NDAA can be found here. More analysis will be available once the detailed reports are released!

The USNI News reports that Congress is starting to get frustrated over “limited insight” the public has on the Navy’s future fleet as an approved 30-year shipbuilding plan or Force Structure Assessment has yet to be delivered.

“We have been promised by the Department of the Navy an updated force structure assessment, late in 2019, then early in 2020, then a little later in 2020. And now, again, we to this day still have not received an updated force structure assessment. In addition, we did not get a 30-year shipbuilding plan, which is required by law,” Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) said during a June 4 House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee hearing.

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 15, 2020) Quartermaster 1st Class Talisha Williams, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), takes a bearing using a telescopic alidade from the port bridge wing, June 15, 2020. Halsey is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Langholf/Released)

Sea Service News
The State of the Sea Services
New Pentagon team is going to take on racial justice in the military – Military Times/June 18
Civilian and uniformed military leadership have two weeks to bring Defense Secretary Mark Esper their best ideas for improving diversity and inclusion in the military immediately, he said in a prerecorded video announcement released Thursday.

Kathryn Wheelbarger, Pentagon’s top foreign policy official, resigns – Defense News/June 18
Kathryn Wheelbarger, a primary contact in the Pentagon for allies and partners abroad, has resigned six days after having her name pulled for the department’s No. 2 civilian intelligence role.

Cost Estimates Questioned for New Navy Frigate – National Defense/ June 18
The Navy is moving forward with a new guided missile frigate, but some observers question the service’s cost estimates for the program.

Bath Iron Works shipbuilders are on the verge of striking – AP News/June 18
BATH, Maine – The largest union at U.S. Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works begins voting Friday on a contract proposal that was unanimously rejected by its negotiating committee, raising the possibility of the first strike in 20 years.

The narrowing of the defense-industrial base has reached critical levels – Defense News/June 18
Much has been written about how few major defense contractors are left on the playing field. Where once robust competition occurred, now there is little to drive excellence. Consolidations, mergers and changes of business focus has this critical business sector at the breaking point. A pending call by the Department of the Navy to adjust the procurement process for the vital Columbia-class submarines to make it a block buy puts this issue even more into the spotlight. This alone warrants a deeper look into this problematic area.

*Special Coronavirus Coverage*
Navy upholds firing of carrier captain and holds up promotion of admiral because of handling of virus outbreak on ship – ABC News/June 19
The Navy’s top leaders have decided not to reinstate the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the admiral in his direct chain of command will be held accountable as well over their handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier, according to a U.S. official and a congressional aide.

Great Power Competition
Competition between US and Russian air forces keeps pace despite global pandemic – Defense News/June 19
On Tuesday night, U.S. Air Force F-22 jets scrambled to intercept two separate formations of Russian aircraft that included Tu-95 bombers, Su-35 fighter jets, and an A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command.

In War, Chinese Shipyards Could Outpace US in Replacing Losses; Marine Commandant – Breaking Defense/June 17
The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger, dismisses current Marine and Navy plans for amphibious ships as “obsolete,” and worries that in any conflict, China could replace damaged ships faster than the US in a draft operating concept obtained by Breaking Defense.


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Black Officer, White Navy

Black Officer, White Navy

View on Amazon

“Every person’s experience while serving is different and unique. That being said, Reuben Green’s book spoke to me in so many ways.  Mr. Green provides practical insights, clear perspectives, and useful lessons regarding his service that will resonate with many.”

Tears of Joy

Tears of Joy

Let us now transition…
Oftentimes, it is a shift, crack, or break in our own respective lens that allows us to transition and see another person’s perspective.

Interestingly enough, this transition only occurs through the flowing of our very own tears.

Ironically, despite having a newly broken, cracked, or shifted lens, we begin to see things with much more clarity, compassion, and creativity.

This is the great irony of our “little-t truths” that we live as individuals.

But it is the Capital-T Truth – that Truth under which we ALL live collectively – that allows us to shift from independence and indifference…to interdependence and making a difference… to sympathy… and ultimately to empathy.

Through a new lens, we now have…

Empathy: to understand with compassion;

Empathy: to accept another’s truth as the Capital-T Truth;

Empathy: to not only tolerate and accept, but to actually embrace and empower.

Read More…

Message from MCPON: Committed to Excellence and the Fair Treatment of All

Message from MCPON: Committed to Excellence and the Fair Treatment of All


“We have all seen the tragic headlines and subsequent turbulent events of  the past several days, from Minneapolis to Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles – borne perhaps out of historic and systemic issues of injustice that our country continues to confront, but make no mistake – this affects and impacts every citizen of our great Nation.

The strength of our mighty Navy comes from our ability to rise above our disparate backgrounds, our diverse cultural upbringing and history, in order to present a united front and fight as one team. We proudly embrace our diversity, the very core of our strength, and it is because we represent every race, color and creed that makes up the fabric of America that we can truly represent this nation so undeniably well.

As Sailors, we cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind. We must actively speak out and work to fight it, as it works against the very tenets of “team” that make us successful in combat. It is your absolute right afforded under the constitution to express yourself, but as events unfold and potentially devolve into violence or unlawful behavior, I would ask that you look out for both your fellow shipmates AND your fellow citizens. Keep them from harm and try to deal with problems you see at the lowest possible level – reach out to them directly if you can, but exercise good judgment in order to be sure a dangerous situation does not spin out of control. If you see  something, say something.

Honoring Sailor legacies like Dorie Miller and Carl Brashear is so important, but it is equally important to seek the perspective and context of our shipmates of color we serve alongside today. I’m so proud that our Navy & Marine Corps Team continues to evolve for the future fight, leveraging our diversity of background and thought, and truly hope each of you continues that evolution within your own sphere of influence.”

-MCPON Russell Smith