703.828.7308 PAO@nnoa.org

Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) Outreach Opportunities

We have an opportunity to become more active with the Navy Recruiting Command (NRC). They have invited NNOA to participate in their outreach events. Here is the link to their calendar of events: 


NNOA members, if you can participate in any of these events, please contact LCDR Ryan Director, Diversity and Outreach, Navy Recruiting Command at:

Thank you.

Yours in Service,

Dr. Mary E. McAdams
CAPT, USN (Ret.)
NNOA Executive Vice President

JO IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Lieutenant Commander David A. Smith, USCG

JO IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Lieutenant Commander David A. Smith, USCG


Lieutenant Commander David A. Smith serves as the liaison between Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander and Navy Third Fleet Commander. Located at Third Fleet Headquarters in San Diego, CA, he is responsible for coordinating efforts to maximize interoperability between the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific Theater.

Lieutenant Commander Smith’s Coast Guard experience spans five afloat tours including command of a forward deployed Patrol Boat
in the Arabian Gulf, supporting the U.S Navy Fifth Fleet Central Command. As Commanding Officer, he was responsible for 25 personnel, a $135K annual budget, and $7.2 million in property.  While in Bahrain, he experienced multiple, potentially incendiary
encounters with Iranian warships, including one incident in which a Revolutionary Guard Corp Navy warship aggressively crossed his bow within 50 yards in an attempt to provoke a response. As a key contributor to the national intelligence dialogue, he validated illicit smuggling theories by exploiting engagements with local dhows while simultaneously disrupting efforts to smuggle high-grade explosives, automatic weapons, and ammunition. Under his leadership, his vessel was recognized during the 2015 Hopley Yeaton 
Cutter Excellence Award for exceptional performance, operational expertise, and value brought to the nation. While in Bahrain he also facilitated numerous meetings with senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) civilian and military officers. His liaison efforts led to the  first joint search & rescue exercises between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and UAE Coast Guard. 

Lieutenant Commander Smith’s staff tours included Command Duty Officer and Search & Rescue coordinator from 2010 to 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. He oversaw Coast Guard responses and coordinated rescues for distressed mariners on the Great Lakes. His  expertise in SAR earned him the highest proficiency score in 2013 from Coast Guard Yorktown’s standardization team. As the Evergreen Project Manager from 2016 to 2019, he led efforts to develop U.S. Coast Guard future scenarios that looked toward a 20 year horizon to identify departmental capability gaps. He also developed service wide strategies to include the Coast Guard’s Arctic  and Maritime Commerce Strategy. While in Washington, D.C. Lieutenant Commander Smith directly served the President of the United States and First Family as a White House Social Aide.  Lieutenant Commander Smith is a permanent Cutterman. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal (three awards), the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbon Bar (two awards), and various other unit and service awards.

Naval Historical Foundation Feature – VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr.

Naval Historical Foundation Feature – VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr.

Article Featured in Thursday Tidings – Naval Historical Foundation|http://www.navyhistory.org/

Foreword by Rear Admiral Sinclair Harris, President of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) and Naval Historical Foundation Life Member

Since I was a young boy reading Ebony Magazine’s 100 most influential Black Americans, I have admired Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely. He was the only Navy Officers I recall seeing in the annual edition and I held him in awe. Who knew that one day I would have the honor of actually meeting him and his incredible wife Alma. The opportunity came for LCDR Sinclair and Cora Harris to meet this legendary couple at the annual Washington DC NNOA Ester Boone Scholarship Award banquet. Not only was I able to sit with The Admiral and Alma, I was given the privilege to pick them up and take them home. While this may seem a small thing, how often does someone get to spend quality time with their hero? The first person of color in the long and glorious history of the world’s greatest navy to do so much. The first African American in the U.S. Navy to serve aboard a fighting ship as an officer, the first to command a Navy ship, the first fleet commander, and the first to become a flag officer. On the ride back to his home in Haymarket, Virginia he remarked that it had been sometime since he road in a Jeep. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to get more time with him and his wife, so Cora and I took them on a drive one weekend around Haymarket, Leesburg and other parts of Virginia. We talked about a great number of things. I was taken by much of what they shared, but most of all by the humility that came out in their demeanor.

He talked about his family, his church and his Sailors, but not about himself. In fact, I believe it took many people to convince him to have his autobiography written because he did not take on airs. When I was asked to be one of his pall bearers, I could not have been more humbled and honored. What strikes me to this day was that he asked to be buried in a suit and not his uniform. Alma told us, “Sammy said I was a man of war, now that I am retired I am a man of peace”. Humble to the end. In my office, I keep a portrait that was given to me of Vice Admiral Gravely. It reminds me to keep calm, keep focused, and most of all to keep humble. His portrait continues to inspire me to do my best.

Click the thumbnail above to watch the retirement ceremony of Vice Admiral Samuel Gravely on July 31, 1980.

Admiral Gravely left the Navy a better, more inclusive, more diverse, and more efficient fighting force.

Watch Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, make his remarks in the video above beginning at the eleven-minute mark.

RADM Harris

Photo of RADM Sinclair Harris and Commander Alysa Ambrose as she was headed to Command of USS Samuel L. Gravely (DDG 107) taken in his office while RADM Harris served as Commander, US Fourth Fleet.



We have an opportunity to support the USCG Academy Alumni Eclipse Legacy Mentoring Event.  The event will take place on Thursday, September 26, 2019 in DC.  Click for Event Details.

Please read the information below and click here to donate to the Eclipse Legacy Mentoring Event.  We will collect all funds and make one donation in the name of NNOA. Deadline for donations is 16 September 2019. 

We have tremendous energy with the USCG.  Our sponsorship of this event at a high level would show our continued support to the goals of the Eclipse Legacy Group which is to increase the recruitment and retention of Members of Color within the Coast Guard and provide a bridge for service personnel to achieve success following their Coast Guard careers.

Your contributions to this program will be combined with other NNOA donors and one donation will be made in the name of NNOA. No amount is too small $25, $50 $75, etc.

NNOA would like to donate at the $10,000 level.

About USCG Alumni Eclipse Legacy:  is an affinity group within the USCGA Alumni Association, which supports mentorship, leadership training and professional development opportunities for Coast Guard Officers and Officers in Training.  The goals of this group are to increase the recruitment and retention of Members of Color within the Coast Guard and provide a bridge for service personnel to achieve success following their Coast Guard careers. With this goal in mind, our membership seeks an opportunity to start and intensify dialogue about the impact of diversity and importance of developing a workplace environment of inclusion.  This Panel discussion will focus the best practices these organizations have achieved in areas of mentoring and educating young men and women and create an engagement opportunity to support the USCGA recruiting efforts.

USCG – The Mentoring Project

USCG – The Mentoring Project

Welcome to the NNOA Mentoring Project Community,

I am your Community Coordinator and I am excited that you to see the value in mentoring and are interested in either guiding another or exploring ways you can personally and professionally grow. The Mentoring Project started in 2017 at Coast Guard Headquarters with only 70 mentors and mentees. In the second year, it opened up to interested communities throughout the Coast Guard and successfully gained 11 communities. In The 2018/19 Mentoring Project year 219 mentors and mentees we successfully paired. This year we already at 18 communities and we are one of them! Each community is required to bring in 20 mentors and 20 mentees. The purpose of this requirement is, it allows the program to build a large data base of mentors which provide our mentees with more options.

Your participation in this program shows the need for mentoring in our service. The Core Team located at CG Headquarters, will ask that you provide feedback in the form of four surveys throughout the seven month period of mentoring. The feedback you provide to the Core Team will help improve this program for future participants.

If you have not signed up for The 2019/20 Mentoring Project Year or if you know of someone that would like to be a mentor or mentee please provide this letter to them. You can visit The Mentoring Project website https://www.uscgmentoringproject.org and sign up as a mentor or mentee. You can view the time line of events there and see all of the communities that are participating this year. Be sure you select our community when you sign up, this will allow me to track who in our community is participating and even though mentees can choose a mentor from any community, it allows mentees to select a geographically located mentor if they prefer. Once you choose the “I want to be a mentee or mentor” link, you will be redirected to a member management site called Member Planet. This is where The Mentoring Project stores and manages all applicants and bios. You will need to create an account and wait for Core Team approval. Once your account is approved, you will be sent either a mentor or mentee bio which will be due by October 24th. I would like to personally thank you for your time and interest in The Mentoring Project. I look forward to working with you!

Very Respectfully,
The NNOA Community Coordinator (s),
CDR Commander Moore, CG Affiliate
LCDR Roberto Concepcion, CG Affiliate-Assist