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Monday, April 01, 2019

By ALAN KAPLAN, Navy League National President

It was during our organization’s founding in 1902 that President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed to the American people: “Give hearty support to the policies which the Navy League is founded to further.” Over 116 years later, this proclamation remains as important as ever as we continue to elevate our mission of education and advocacy in support of our nation’s sea services and their families to new heights. 

We are a unique global nonprofit civilian volunteer organization, endorsed by Theodore Roosevelt, with an unmatched and unwavering passion in support of our sea services mission. We have stood the test of time and have grown through our 116 years to more than 200 councils and thousands of vol¬unteer members around the globe. Our Navy League will always be a constant and persistent presence, ensuring the American people are informed about the importance of a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, U.S.-flag Merchant Marine, and strong support to their families. 

As part of elevating our advocacy and education mission, we are gearing up for our 2019 Sea-Air-Space exposition, during which we also will be hosting a STEM Exposition to provide free access to science, technology, engineering and math skills for children around the Washington, D.C., area. This year’s Sea-Air-Space theme of “sustainability, agility and superiority” aligns itself with our great leader and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and his “Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, Version 2.0.” CNO’s message in this document is one that our Navy League must pay careful attention to as we plot our own course for the future. This is a never-ending compe¬tition, and our Navy League team must continue to be laser-focused on building toward a future of sustainability, agility and superiority so that we can fulfill this massive responsibility bestowed upon us toward our mission. 

We are spearheading and elevating our support of spouse and youth programs to ensure that every member of a sea services family gets superior commitment from our Navy League. At our Maritime Gala, held during Sea-Air- Space on May 7, we will recognize and honor the critical role of our sea service spouses and will present Naval Services FamilyLine with an award for all the incredible work they do. This gala demonstrates that our organiza¬tion is agile and operates with outside-of-the-box, innovative thinking. 

Over the last couple of months, it has been an honor to travel to some of our regions and experience firsthand the phenomenal work our councils and volunteers do around the world. Through the magnitude of our councils’ volunteer work every day in the field, it’s nearly impossible to quantify just how important our work is to our sea services and their families. It is your dedication and commitment to our mission that makes us the most superior civilian sea services nonprofit organization. 

Together as a team, through the leadership of our national executive director, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy 13 Mike Stevens, we will achieve the goals set out in this year’s Sea-Air-Space theme: sustainability, agility and superiority. Our organization is described by each of these words every day with the important work we do together as a team. Our teamwork, support and our unique focus on our mission is why we will continue to be the greatest supporter of our sea services and their families for centuries to come. 

One Team — Mission Focused