being the base for all the P- 3 maritime patrol aircraft on
the East Coast and the Naval Submarine Base in nearby
Kings Bay, Ga. The Navy and the Navy League are “
working hand in glove” to support Navy personnel, he said.
Peyton said having the Navy League in Jacksonville “is
a real honor to us. … We are host to a huge Navy estab-
lishment here and it’s really a very critical part of our fab-
ric in this community, and the fact that you’d choose
Jacksonville over all the options is really flattering.”
He said the city’s residents “pride ourselves on try-
ing to be the most military friendly city in America. …
We try not only to advocate for what the Navy needs,
but supporting those families that are here while their
loved ones are serving.”
Special awards or recognition bestowed upon Navy
Leaguers at the convention included the President’s Award
to Richard H. Kennedy, Navy League Distinguished Public
Service awards to Jack F. Ritter Jr. and Richard M. Brown,
the Secretary of the Navy Distinguished Public Service
Award to J. William Middendorf II, Secretary of the Navy
Superior Public Service Award to Donald A. Giles and the
Secretary of the Navy Meritorious Public Service Award
and Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award to
Keith F. Post. The Coast Guard also awarded a
Distinguished Public Service award posthumously to
Joseph R. Millsaps. Inducted to the Navy League Hall of
Fame during the Hall of Fame Luncheon were Glen J.
Huber and Lou Kriser.
Responses included everything from white uni-
forms, ships, destroyers, carriers, aircraft on deck,
Navy SEALs and the U.S. Coast Guard to the Old Navy
retail clothing symbol, the television show “NCIS” and
“Popeye the Sailor Man.”
And when asked, “What comes to mind when you
think of the U.S. Navy?” responses included carriers,
SEALs, white uniforms, big ships, speed and precision,
and “sailor pants,” which brought chuckles from the
Cooper said it was encouraging to see that people
saw the role of the Navy as protecting the water, helping people, protecting the United States, keeping the
oceans safe, building strong citizens, protecting U.S.
interests “over there” and carrying supplies to war.
“As you go out on a daily basis, weekly basis,
monthly basis, annual basis, when you touch base with
America, it’s good for you to know what people are
thinking so that you can relay the message and help to,
quite frankly, change some of those perceptions, let
them know what their Navy is doing,” he said.
The Navy has done 120 Navy Weeks in 50 cities
since 2005, including 20 so far in 2010. Cooper noted
that each Navy Week comprises about 40 to 50 events
per week, saturating the city.
“In 2009, we estimate we had over 4. 8 million in
attendance,” he said, and about 2. 5 million total attendance for the first 12 Navy Weeks in 2010.
Hall of Fame Luncheon
Addressing the Hall of Fame Luncheon on Oct. 21, Cooper discussed
the Navy Week program and the
service’s outreach efforts planned
for 2011. Navy Weeks began in
2005 as a way to bring the service to
the American public and areas not
considered traditionally “Navy,”
building the weeks around anchor
events, in diversity-rich venues.
The Navy contracted the Gallup
Organization to conduct focus
groups at three or four Navy Weeks
in 2010 — before the events and
after — to discover the public’s perception of the sea service and then
how successful the Navy was in educating event attendees. Cooper
wanted to share those findings with
Navy Leaguers so that they can tailor
their message much as the Navy has.
He said people were asked,
“What’s the first thing that comes to
mind when you think of the Navy?”
KEN GODWIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Glen J. Huber and Lou Kriser, holding the plaque in the back row, join other
members of the Navy League’s Hall of Fame following the Hall of Fame lunch-
eon Oct. 21, at which Huber and Kriser were inducted.