Dear Shipmates, Family, and Friends of NNOA,
Season’s Greetings! I wish you good health, great happiness, and much prosperity through the season and into 2022. As I reflect on the many successes of 2021 for our association, I feel nothing but pride for all that we have accomplished, and I have tremendous expectations for the year to come.
This year has been phenomenal for the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) both as an organization and our members. Our membership has grown over the last three years. Our chapters are expanding, with new ones starting across our Sea Services and established ones thriving. Our members are being promoted, recognized, and taking positions of greater responsibility and importance. Our finances are excellent and will get even better as we establish the NNOA Foundation. Active and reserve members are working with Sea Services recruiting personnel to identify eligible candidates for Officer and NROTC programs. Our Career Development program provides mentors and open forums with senior leadership via Zoom to help officers navigate career challenges and milestones. Our veterans support recruiting efforts and have established an outstanding Transition Assistance Team program. Our reputation with leadership across the Sea Services is strong and getting stronger as the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Public Health Service, and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) have all drawn on NNOA for support in growing a more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and resilient Officer Corps. Many organizations and entities that support American Sea Power have asked NNOA to collaborate and work with them, increasing our association’s relevance and impact. I could list so much more of what NNOA has done in 2021, but I share these few to give you a sense of our outstanding accomplishments for the year.
As we begin 2022, there are even greater expectations for NNOA. We will celebrate our Golden Anniversary from July 25-29 as NNOA turns 50 years young! Our celebration will be at the place where it all began in Annapolis, Maryland, with an impressive line-up of speakers. More details will come in January. NNOA is deepening its relationship with our civilian Shipmates as Ms. Karen Davis, a Senior Executive Service (SES) in our Navy, has joined our leadership as a Liaison Advisor. Our Career Development Committee will continue to take full advantage of our virtual platform featuring more awesome speakers and mentoring opportunities. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are being planned for several new NNOA chapters, undoubtedly enhancing our mission effectiveness.
In closing, as your President, I ask that each of you to do the following:
- First and foremost, have a blessed holiday season, and please reflect on the many good things we are doing and what is happening with our NNOA Shipmates.
- Second, share the good news of NNOA with your Shipmates, both members and non-members, and with friends and family. Finally, please continue to support our mission of Recruitment, Retention, and Career Development in support of American Sea Power.
Again, I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season!
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
Tis the season to be jolly, and merry is here. We can become enthralled in the commercialism of the holiday season. So often defined by the expectation of expensive gift-giving and receiving. The hustle and bustle of exceeding our limits on items that we will only use once or twice. Worse, never used and thrown into a corner or regifted for next year. This time of year has a different meaning, depending on your faith background. One thing we can all agree on is helping those who need it most. The past two years of still plagued by COIVD have exhausted the resources of many. Some may be physical health, others financial resources, and for a few a combination of both.
The above scripture text is a portion of a more extended parable. In the parable, Jesus used the illustration of what matters the most. It is feeding the hungry, taking care of those who are sick, visiting those who are imprisoned, providing drink for the thirsty, and clothing for those who are naked. The “least of these” whose voice is often lost and ignored. Those who do not have the luxury of being enthralled with the commercialism of the holiday season. But are trying to figure out where their next meal or bed will be.
When we take a moment out of our time and aid the “least of these,” we are following the plan God has designed for us. The blessings given to us are for us to share with others, especially “the least of these.” As we celebrate our faith in our respected traditions, I pray that we take a moment and reflect on the blessings we already have, and we will either volunteer or share with someone in need. Remember the reason for the season.
Reverend Takana L. Jefferson, Chaplain, United States Navy