Navy Weeks Provide Perfect
Opportunity for Councils to Engage
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 84 SEAPOWER / MAY 2016
The slate of Navy Weeks for 2016 is off and run- ning, with the first three — Phoenix; Knoxville,
Tenn.; and San Antonio — having been completed in
quick succession by the end of April. But with Navy
Weeks visiting a total of 15 cities this year, there are
a dozen more to come across the country from May
to the beginning of November, when it concludes in
Baton Rouge, La., which leaves ample opportunity to
Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served
as a flagship outreach effort to essentially “bring the
Navy” to cities where it does not have a strong presence, according to John Wallach, deputy director of
the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO)
in Millington, Tenn., which coordinates the program.
Navy Weeks give the service a chance to educate the
public about its mission, its people and its importance
to national security and prosperity.
It also serves as a two-way street, allowing community and support organizations to not only get up close
and personal with service personnel and show support
for the armed forces, but participate in, host and facilitate events during what is typically a very busy week.
And with as many as 75 to 100 outreach events occurring during each Navy Week, organizers depend on
corporate, civic, government, education, media, veterans, community service and diversity organizations in
each city to assist in their coordination.
For Navy League councils in cities where the program is held, Navy Weeks make for a natural fit and
a perfect venue for serving the missions of education,
support and promoting the values of the sea services.
“Generally, Navy League councils are extremely well
positioned to help us plan a Navy Week,” Wallach told
Seapower. “Members of every Navy League council
live, work and know people throughout that market
and know how to get things done. They comprise key
influencers from the market already — business leaders, civic people, people in government and so forth.
“That’s how we begin the planning process, by
talking to people who are already in the market, who
know it, who have networks, who have contacts. That’s
key to the success of a Navy Week,” he said.
“We would absolutely and emphatically urge other
councils to get involved if a Navy Week comes to their
city,” Phoenix Council President Jake McManus said
in an e-mail to Seapower. “This is an excellent oppor-
tunity to support our Navy and help get the word out
about the importance of the Navy and all sea services
in the modern world. It was also a great opportunity to
host an event and sign up new members. We learned a
lot during Navy Week, and it gave us a chance to spend
time with and get to know some of these wonderful
men and women serving our country.”
Every little bit helps for Navy Week officials look-
ing at what is usually a jam-packed agenda yet modest
resources and personnel to see it come to fruition.
“It’s whatever they want to do. We don’t ask or expect
anything, but they always seem to offer a whole lot. A lot
of times a Navy League council will host a reception for
a namesake crew, or sometimes they’ll host the admiral.
Each Navy Week we do has one or two flag officers who
come for two or three days who kind of do the engagement at that executive level,” Wallach said
When the Navy Week season kicked off March 21-27
in Phoenix, that is just what the Phoenix Council did. It
hosted a reception, along with USA Basketball Chairman
Jerry Colangelo, on March 23 at the Adobe Restaurant
at the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club for Rear Adm. Yancy
B. Lindsey, commandant of Naval District Washington.
Both Colangelo and Lindsey spoke at the event.
“The reception went really well,” McManus said.
“Jerry Colangelo spoke very passionately and patrioti-
cally about his experiences with the U.S. Olympic Men’s
Basketball team, as well as other things he’s been bless-
ed to do in his life. The admiral was very informative,
as well as displaying a great sense of humor. He talked
about today’s Navy in a world with ever-increasing and
varied threats. It was really a wonderful evening for
everyone, as it also gave our Phoenix Council an oppor-
tunity to honor Rear Adm. Lyndsey for his dedication
That same day, Lindsey, a Phoenix native, helped
dedicate a park site to the USS Phoenix Cold War
Monument, an event sponsored by the USS Phoenix
(SSN 702) Cold War Foundation Inc. and the Phoenix
Saguaro Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Navy
that Phoenix Council members attended.
Other activities in Phoenix included events with
recruiters and Reservists from Navy Recruiting District
Phoenix and crew members from USS Constitution and
the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Oscar Austin,