The Naval STEM team wanted to share a reminder that there are still two weeks for high school students to participate in the Naval Horizons student essay contest: https://navalhorizons.us/
Naval Horizons is a high school essay contest that introduces students to cutting-edge STEM topics that impact the Department of the Navy (DON). The students will learn about Naval STEM challenges and DON scientists and engineers via an educational video series. They will then write an essay on how the videos inspired them for a chance to win a cash prize. The contest challenges students to picture themselves in a STEM career and design the Navy and Marine Corps of the future. The application period is open through 30 July 2021.
Adm. Fagan was nominated to the position by President Biden back in April. She previously served as the commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, a role she has held since June 2018, responsible for overseeing all Coast Guard operations in the Pacific, covering more than 74 million square miles of ocean from the U.S. Western States to Asia and from the Arctic to Antarctica. Fagan is the Coast Guard’s first-ever Gold Ancient Trident, as the officer with the longest service record in the Marine Safety Field.
It is with great sadness that I let our NNOA Family know of the passing of Commander Merle Smith, the first African American to graduate from the United States Coast Guard Academy. More will be shared and I know your prayers and thoughts are welcomed by his family.
It is with great sadness that I inform you that CDR Merle James Smith, USCG (retired), passed away on June 16th, 2021 in New London, CT. As many of you know, CDR Smith is the namesake of the Eclipse Legacy Coalitions “Merle J. Smith Eclipse Legacy Endowment,” which was established in 2017. Merle J. Smith was the second African American to receive an appointment to the Academy and the first to graduate in June of 1966. He was characterized as an excellent CGA Cadet, excelling with hard work in the classroom, in the barracks and on the football field. CDR Smith Served as the Commanding Officer of a Patrol Boat during the Vietnam War and achieved his Juris Doctor, becoming a licensed attorney in 1974, all before being assigned to the Coast Guard Academy law faculty in 1975. It was then that LT Smith’s impact at CGA would become legendary as a teacher, mentor and coach. He served as the Class Advisor for the class of 1977, as an assistant football coach under the great Otto Graham and was an inspirational example for many of the young cadets to follow. Including the class of 1978’s VADM Manson Brown, USCG (ret), who would tout “LT Smith modeled for us what we could become in the Coast Guard. As such, he added to our motivation to stay and do the hard work necessary to thrive at the Academy.”
There is so much more to learn and remember about CDR Merle J. Smith, and the Eclipse Legacy Coalition will provide more details as time goes. However, for a couple of great reads on CDR Smith’s legacy please read:
The Long Blue Line: Merle Smith – the first African American graduate of the Coast Guard Academy « Coast Guard COAST GUARD COMPASS (dodlive.mil)
The Day – Coast Guard Academy renames officers club after first black graduate, retired Cmdr. Merle Smith – News from southeastern Connecticut