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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

By ALAN KAPLAN, Navy League National President

All our Navy League members share a common bond with our sea service men and women. Regardless of our background, we all know what it means to serve the greater good. As national president, I don’t take anything we do for granted. For our more than 200 Navy League councils around the world, I know how hard you work in support of our mission to serve those who selflessly serve others. I am so proud, grateful and thankful for what we do, as a team, daily. Our members and the exceptional work they do at the council level are the heart and soul of our organization.

I frequently take the time to step back and soak in our team’s awe-inspiring accomplishments. It is clear to me that the support each of us gives is often at a big sacrifice. We all take precious time out of our busy lives to devote ourselves to becoming part of a team with a mission, and that team has the power and responsibility to be the independent voice supporting the solutions to challenges facing our Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine services.

Whether it is through our persistent advocacy and education efforts on Capitol Hill, our scholarships and support for our local Sea Cadet or Junior ROTC programs, or by hosting a local event, the members of our Navy League councils play a vital role in shaping our entire organization. It is through them that all the magic happens. It is unique for a civilian organization of our size to actively empower each individual member to make a difference, but that is exactly what we have done for over 115 years, and we should be extremely proud of the phenomenal work we do.

Now that our most successful Sea-Air-Space Exposition has concluded, we shift our focus to our 2018 National Convention in Portland, Oregon, from June 6–9. We will be holding tailored education sessions geared toward empowering our volunteers with the knowledge and tools they need to be their best in an array of areas. Our National Convention serves as an opportunity for each Navy League member — myself included — to deepen our personal portfolio of valuable information. With more tools in our toolbox, we can all be more effective in our mission to serve.

To quote our Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson: “To remain competitive, we must start today, and we must improve faster.” That is exactly how our Navy League is moving forward, and our future is bright. We must start today, and we must improve faster.

I am looking forward to seeing and spending time with you at our National Convention as we continue our commitment to move ahead together as one team — mission focused. Please always know that being a part of the Navy League family means that you are part of a group that is laser-focused on its goals, and together we can accomplish anything. I am so grateful and thankful for each of you and the mission we all so proudly serve. Thank you, to all of you, for your selfless service.

One Team — Mission Focused