Northern Virginia Council
Hosts MCPON Stevens
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike D.
Stevens, accompanied by his wife,
Theresa, was the special guest at the
Northern Virginia (NOVA) Council’s
May 8 meeting at the Navy League
Headquarters building in Arlington.
Theresa Stevens had attended the
NOVA Council’s January meeting at
the Army Navy Country Club in
Arlington, and it was great to see her
again, said Council President
During his remarks, Stevens
focused on the strength of the young
people entering the Navy today,
notably the technological savvy that
allows them to quickly learn difficult
areas of shipboard and equipment
control. He also joined Nancy
Gorell, council executive vice president for ship and unit liaison, and
Lt. Celina Ladyga, commanding
officer of Coast Guard Station
Washington, to present the Sailor of
the Quarter award to Machinery
Technician 3rd Class Alex Young.
Also on the program were Chris
Lehman, Herb Wolk and James H.
Offutt, president-elect of the Navy
League and a longtime member of
the NOVA Council prior to moving
to South Carolina last year.
Lehman, who until recently was
an active-duty U.S. Marine Corps
officer, presented a briefing on the
Marine for Life program. The organization helps enable Marines who
move on to civilian life to remain a
part of the Marine Corps family and
brotherhood. Marine for Life also
assists Sailors who have served with
Marine Corps units.
Wolk, a NOVA Council member,
talked briefly about his involvement
in naming the recently commis-
Northern Virginia Council President
Michael Schlitzer presents a Navy
League history book to Master
Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Mike D. Stevens after Stevens
spoke at the council’s May 8 meeting in Arlington, Va.
sioned amphibious transport dock
ship USS Arlington. Like its sister
ships, USS New York and Somerset,
Arlington is named to honor victims
of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Wolk, who lost his son-in-law, a
naval officer, in the attack on the
Pentagon, began the effort in 2002
to gain recognition for the
Pentagon and Pennsylvania victims of the 9/11 attacks, similar to
that of New York, named to honor
the victims of the World Trade
Center buildings. It took two years
of meetings and letter writing, but
in September 2004 the Navy notified families of victims of the
attack at the Pentagon and the
crash of United Airlines Flight 93
in Pennsylvania that LPD 24 would
be named Arlington, and LPD 25
would be named Somerset.
Offutt introduced the new national executive director of the Navy
League, Bruce Butler, and his wife
Alison. Offutt also displayed two
large framed NOVA Council certificates. One was the council’s original
Navy League charter, dated Feb. 26,
1983, followed by a full list of all
charter members. The other plaque
was a certificate from the coastal
mine hunter USS Cardinal honoring
the NOVA council as a plank owner
for hosting its commissioning in
1997 and adopting the ship.
He also spoke of new Navy
League initiatives, including training for council and national officers,
helping councils find a mission and
focus, reorienting national vice president responsibilities and focusing
more on council assistance from
Navy League Presents
Holloway Award to Top
Navy League National Director Bobby V. Ferguson, representing Great
Lakes Region President Tom Baker,
presented the 2013 Adm. James L.
Holloway Jr. Award to Midshipman
1st Class Alexandria M. Songer
May 18 at the Illinois Institute of
Technology Naval Reserve Officers
Training Corps (NROTC) Commissioning Ceremony in Chicago.
Songer’s exemplary personal
behavior and military aptitude qualified her as the top-ranked midshipman in the 2013 NROTC graduating
class in the country, Ferguson said.
Songer decided as a young girl
that she wanted to be an astronaut.
She chose the Navy as the path
toward that goal because she wanted to associate with like-minded