Year of the Captains & Colonels: Captain Lawrence Gaillard, USCG

Year of the Captains & Colonels: Captain Lawrence Gaillard, USCG

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The Path to O6”

Written by:  CAPT Lawrence Gaillard, U.S. Coast Guard

My path to O6 has been a long and enjoyable journey and in the next few paragraphs, I would like to share with you a few observations and recommendations from what I have learned on my path to the rank of Captain.   I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to share this with you and for bringing me this far in my career.   Now, before we go into specific details I want to let you know that you can make it!  You are closer to O6 than you think and I want to provide you with a few tools to help you realize your goals within your respective organization.

One of guiding principles of NNOA and a critical component of a successful career is active and diverse mentoring. The good news is if you are reading this post, you are probably already member of NNOA and plugged in to one of the most diverse maritime mentoring agency in the world.  As a NNOA member you have access to a wealth of career knowledge encompassing multiple services and with information from prior flag officers. As you ascend through the ranks of your career, you should strive to have multiple mentors.  Some should look like you, some should not.   You want to pick mentors that are within and outside of your career field and mentors that are one rank and two to three ranks above you.  A good mentor will look out for you and give you career advice especially at points in your career where broadening assignments can expand your horizons.   Evaluations are another critical element of an officer’s career and you should regularly provide your evaluations before and after the submission deadline period to your mentors for feedback and course corrections. This can prevent adverse language or recommendations in your evaluation that can hinder your future promotion potential.  Do not be afraid of operational setbacks and making mistakes, we have all made them and that is how we learn. Errors in the line of duty conducting missions are much more forgivable than character and integrity issues encountered off duty.

Work Life Balance is another key component to successfully navigation to the rank of O6.  You have not achieved the great success in your current organization without the help of your family and loved ones.  Prioritize, recognize and be there for them.  One day we will all need to hang up the uniform, but your family will be with you till the end.  Be sure to cultivate these relationships along the way and allow them to partake in the amazing experiences you receive during your career in the military.

Maintain honor and Integrity above all else and always take care of your people.  Our people are our number one resource and no mission is completed.  Whether you are leading a division of three or a crew of 5000, the welfare of your crew should be your top priority.

Be Patience and enjoy the season that you are in.  There were times where I was so focused on what was ahead of me that I lost sight of what was right next to me. Keep God first and He will always direct your path.  And finally….. be yourself.  The organization truly values the unique skills, diversity and talents you bring, so be sure to make the best of it.  Be safe out there and Good Luck!


Vice Admiral Edward Moore, USN Retired receives the Laurel Wreath Award

Vice Admiral Edward Moore, USN Retired receives the Laurel Wreath Award

NNOA Life Time member Vice Admiral Edward Moore, USN Retired has been selected to receive the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s highest award, the Laurel Wreath Award.  The Laurel Wreath is bestowed to members of Kappa Alpha Psi who have demonstrated extra-meritorious achievements that are national or international in scope.  VADM Moore has been a mentor, coach and advocate to many of us in NNOA.

On behalf of the members of NNOA, I send our most sincere Bravo Zulu to VADM Moore for this most significant recognition.

S.M. Harris, RADM USN Retired/President NNOA


R 101404Z AUG 21 MID600050860896U

ALNAV 056/21



RMKS/1.  To our Sailors, Marines, civilian employees, and their families and loved ones:
Today, together, we again embrace the most sacred duty  defending our nation  and working to build a world more defined by peace than conflict.
I join you as someone who loves the Navy who spent 26 years in uniform and  another 17 striving to make sure you had the capabilities you needed to fulfill your mission effectively and safely.  Serving you as your 78th Secretary of the Navy is a high honor.  It also carries grave responsibilities to which I will dedicate all my skill and devotion.

You should also know I have a bias for action. Our Navy and our nation face critical challenges on multiple fronts.

Like Secretary Austin, I view our most pressing challenges as the four Cs – China, Culture, Climate, and Covid, and we need the resources and  capabilities to address each now. China is determined to reduce our military superiority.  We will not let this happen.  We will deter China’s aggression,  protect our national security, and preserve the peace.  Our determination,  our skill, and our courage will demonstrate our strength and conviction.  Culture comes down to one goal.  Every Sailor and Marine of all races, genders, religions, and ethnicities must treat one another with dignity and  respect.  This is not just about doing the right thing.  It is about ensuring our Navy and Marine Corps will be the most talented, most combat ready, most committed force possible.  Climate change exacerbates every challenge we face, from naval installations  to frequent deployments.  It is also a global struggle for resources that demands ingenuity and innovation.  It demands solutions that mitigate climate damage while ensuring our operational success and competitive edge. Lastly, we must combat Covid.  This means we must continue to vaccinate our naval forces with expedience.  If we are not vaccinated, we are neither deployable nor combat ready.  Immediately, the Navy and Marine Corps will make every effort to vaccinate and care for our force and defeat the scourge Covid has inflicted on our troops.

Both our nation’s security and your success as Sailors and Marines require your enthusiastic, unwavering commitment.  We will succeed or fail together.  Accordingly, with a leadership ethos forged as a Destroyer Captain, I will strive to be direct and transparent with you about what we need to accomplish together. Please know your safety and welfare will always be paramount to me, and I will work tirelessly with you to meet the challenges that lie ahead. To do this, we must possess the resources needed to expand our capabilities.  I will make that my top priority.  I am committed to ensuring you have the tools and training you need to succeed.  Just as I am committed to confronting our maintenance backlog, managing our operational requirements, and building our Navy of the future.

When I began my Navy career over 40 years ago, as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, I looked up to then Secretary of the Navy Edward Hidalgo.  Like me, he was an immigrant to this nation and, like me, his experience taught him why the world needs a strong U.S. Navy.  Most of all, I understood that while I served our nation, he also served me. The same is true today.  I am your Secretary of the Navy focused on your and our collective promise to our Constitution and nation. We will succeed together.  It has never been more important that we do.

Finally, a personal note.  My wife Betty and I well understand the sacrifices  your loved ones make and how crucial they are to our success.  We are both honored to be back once again working shoulder-to-shoulder with you.  We look forward to getting out to the fleet and meeting you all soon.

Full Speed Ahead.

2.  Released by the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy.//




On Sunday, 01 AUG, NNOA provided a 10’x20’ booth at the 2021 Sea Air Space Conference STEM EXPO, Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, MD.

The event greatly exceeded expectations with 2,700 people registered for the event. The NNOA team provided nearly 200 interactive demos with Hololens 2, Oculus Quest 2 and Smart devices to showcase Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality capabilities (AR/VR/MR). The theme was solution development for enhanced situational awareness using augmented reality for shipboard aircraft towing and aviation ground mishap avoidance. This is a high priority issue for Navy and Marine Corps. The full scope of the STEM program includes software programming lessons, operational familiarizations, design thinking, AR/VR simulation development, and mobile applications development.  Lucky prize winners took home an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset and Merge cubes for AR. Participating partners included NAVAIR PMA260, AVATAR Partners, Zenith Challenge Program and Starfish Studios. Sponsor support for NNOA STEM programs was provided by Northrup Grumman. Event photos: