It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself to Seapower
readers as the new national president of the Navy League of the
United States. For 113 years, Navy
League members have worked tirelessly to support our sea service
men and women, and educate our
fellow citizens — particularly our
elected officials and community
leaders — on the importance of
maintaining strong, capable and
ready maritime forces.
I have been a member of this
august organization since 2001,
serving in various leadership roles at
the local council, area, region and
national levels, and it is an honor and a privilege to have
been elected national president at the Navy League
National Convention on June 20 [see story on page 68].
The Navy League has given me many opportunities
to interact with sea service members, reminding me
time and again why our mission is so very important.
The convention was yet another opportunity, as we
honored the best and brightest with our Sea Service
Awards; listened to Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard
and Maritime Administration leaders discuss their
respective successes and challenges in today’s difficult
budget environment; and attended the commissioning
of the Coast Guard’s 13th Fast Response Cutter — the
USCGC Richard Dixon — at Port Tampa Bay, Fla.
Through myriad committee meetings, Navy Leaguers
received briefings about ongoing legislative affairs, membership, communications, development, corporate and
youth programs, and were given new tips and tools to
take back to their local councils for use in the field.
Among those tools is the Navy League’s 2015-2016
Maritime Policy, “America’s Sea Services — Our First
Line of Defense.” This document includes analyses and
recommendations focused on ensuring that our maritime nation has the strongest sea services in the world
and the industrial base to supply and support them.
We have many programs that help our members con-
duct community outreach and engagement, but a new
effort was unveiled at the convention that sparked unpar-
alleled excitement. At a special reception on June 19, Past
National President Sheila McNeill
explained to members how they can
participate in the Navy League’s
“America’s Strength” campaign and
bring its critical message to residents,
members of the media, lawmakers
and businesses in their communities.
The Navy League’s “America’s
Strength” campaign is a comprehensive and integrated two-year advertising, media and grassroots campaign.
The goals of this two-year
advertising, media and grassroots
campaign are to:
■ Raise awareness of the vital importance of the Navy-Marine Corps
team to the nation’s defense, economy and leadership in the world.
■ Illustrate how the underfunding and overextension
of our naval forces are placing our national defense and
global economic stability at risk.
■ Support congressional allies in efforts to provide the full
funding the Department of the Navy needs for ships and
aircraft, personnel, maintenance, training and operations.
■ Increase the appropriation in fiscal 2017 by Congress for the Department of the Navy.
National Headquarters staff has materials available
and are standing ready to assist councils and individual
members interested in getting involved. Find out more
This is an exciting time to be a member of the Navy
League, and our sea services need our help today as
never before. Despite the austere budget climate, the
Department of the Navy, the Coast Guard and the
Maritime Administration still are required to respond
to crisis after crisis without the funding necessary to
conduct proper maintenance, make repairs or bring
new assets to bear. We need every Navy Leaguer active
and engaged, using your unique talents to educate,
advocate and communicate, and I very much look forward to working with you all.
Educate, Advocate and Communicate
By SKIP WITUNSKI, Navy League National President