Sailors assigned to the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay man
the rails after ship sponsor Rose Magnus gave the order to bring the ship to
life during its Jan. 24 commissioning, which was sponsored by the Long Beach,
Calif., Council. Green Bay will be homeported in San Diego.
Among the events held during
the commissioning weekend was a
Geography Bowl between members
of the ship’s crew and Lombardi
Middle School students, a Commissioning Committee Reception,
Ship Sponsor’s Luncheon, Crew
Family Tours, a Media Day, Commissioning Committee Chairman
and Commanding Officer’s Reception, Platform Breakfast and Post-Commissioning Reception.
Green Bay will be based in San
Diego. Its first scheduled deployment is in September 2010.
Commissioning Reception, Crew’s
Reception and Duty Crew’s Reception, among other events. The committee’s chairman was Hampton
Roads Council President Louis P.
Lalli. The commissioning coordinator was Maryellen Baldwin, the
council’s executive director.
The committee raised about $4
million for the commissioning ceremonies, according to Baldwin, as
well as for programs and enhancements aboard the carrier, including
the ship’s library, chapel, learning
resource center, ceremonial quarter
deck and a tribute room in honor
of the ship’s namesake.
Bush was granted special commissioning status, since it still has to
complete sea trials. The Navy expects to take ownership in March.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England was the keynote
speaker as Green Bay became the
first Navy ship to be commissioned
in Long Beach since 1994.
“USS Green Bay represents the
proud people of a vibrant city that
upholds American values, and a
tradition that has made its name
synonymous with winning —
traits it shares with the U.S. Navy
and Marine Corps,” he said at the
The spirit of Green Bay and its
beloved Packers can be found
throughout the ship, which features football memorabilia, touches
of green and yellow and three replica Super Bowl trophies.
Green Bay Mayor James J.
Schmitt led a contingent of city officials who attended the commissioning and spoke at the event. Packers
team president Mark Murphy
attended, as did a group from the Oneida
Indian Tribe, which boasts more than
12,000 registered members in Wisconsin. One of them, service veteran
Wendell McLester, offered the benediction at the ceremony.
Also attending was a group of
about 50 students from Lombardi
Middle School in Green Bay, which
has been the ship’s educational
partner since it was christened.
The ship’s sponsor Rose Magnus,
a Navy League life member and wife
of Robert Magnus, who retired last
year as assistant commandant of the
Marine Corps, gave the order for
Green Bay’s crew to “man our ship
and bring her to life.”
Other commissioning speakers included Vice Adm. Bernard J. McCullough III, deputy chief of naval operations for Integration of Capabilities
and Responsibilities; and Cmdr. Joseph Olson, the ship’s commanding
officer and a Madison, Wis., native.
The USS Green Bay
Commissioning Committee, chaired by Long
Beach Council President Maria-Isabel Soto, raised funds during the
past year and planned special events
for the commissioning.
Sea Service Awards
The 48th annual Navy League Sea
Service Awards, sponsored by the
Honolulu, Hawaii, Council, honored 41 Sailors, Marines and Coast
Guardsmen Dec. 17 at the Hale Koa
Hotel in Honolulu. The awards recognize excellence in service of select
enlisted personnel and junior grade
officers of the sea services assigned
to commands in the Hawaii region.
Keynote speaker Marine Corps
Col. Robert Rice, commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, recognized the awardees as true leaders
of their respective commands.
Awards were presented to each winner by Rice and Donald A. Morrison,
president of the Honolulu Council.
Awardees were selected based on
overall outstanding performance of
duty, individual achievement, excellence in leadership, participation in
community activities, and outstanding military bearing and appearance.
After the awards were presented,
Rice and Morrison announced the
winners of the Sea Service Grand
Award to the top enlisted and junior
officer. The recipients were Navy Lt.
Jenna Raunig, assigned to Afloat
Training Group Middle Pacific, and
Naval Air Crewman Mechanic 1st
Class Amy Smith, assigned to
Patrol Squadron 47 at Marine Corps