In the year 2000 the United States Submarine Force will celebrate its Centennial Anniversary. Since 1900, our submarines have evolved from small submersibles with limited capability to proven warfighters in World War II to nuclear powered, multi-mission warships. Nearly 100 years of technological innovation and flexible adaptation to changing strategic and defense needs have made today’s Submarine Force ready and able to respond decisively across the spectrum of conflict. The United States Submarine Force, an acknowledged symbol of military excellence, is poised to enter its second century of undersea dominance with the most highly trained people and advanced platforms in history.
Such a track record and bright future deserves a first class commemoration to emphasize our theme: From th Depths: Seapower.
To prepare for this celebration we were asked to bring together a national organization of members of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II, the Naval Submarine League and the United
States Submarine Veterans, Incorporated (USSVI) to assist the active duty Submarine Force in organizing and coordinating a countrywide event. Admiral Bill Crowe and Admiral Jim Watkins
have agreed to be the Honorary Chairmen of our organization. To date, we’ve formed an Advisory Board led by former CNO, Admiral Carl Trost, with four committees as follows:
|Events and Exhibits||VADM Al Burkhalter|
|Memorabilia||VADM J.D. Williams|
|Publicity||RADM Hank McKinney|
|Fund-raising||Mr. Tom Corcoran|
We won’t name all of the former military personnel who have agreed to serve on the Advisory Board and these committees, but all three submarine organizations are well represented. Some of those who agreed to serve include: ADM Frank Kelso, ADM Bob Long, Mr. Will Ball (former Secretary of the Navy), Mr. Larry Garrett (former Secretary of the Navy), Mrs. H.G. Rickover, Mrs. Susan Skelton (sponsor of USS JEFFERSON CITY), Dr. Bob Ballard, Mr. Jim Turner (President of General Dynamics), Dr. Vance Coffman (CEO of Lockheed Martin), Mr. Bill Fricks (President of Newport News Shipbuilding), Mr. John Welch (President of Electric Boat), Senator Joe Lieberman, Senator Jim
Exon, Senator Dan Inouye, Senator John Cbafee, Congressman Norm Dicks, Congressman Herb Bateman, Congressman Owen Pickett, Congressman Sam Gejdenson, V ADM Gene Fluckey, CAPT Ned Beach, Mr. Jack Ensminger (Senior Vice Commander of the USSVI), and Mr. Jack Kennedy (President of the Navy
League). Mr. Bob Fleet, P~t President of U.S. SubVets of WWD, bad been on the Board prior to bis unfortunate death in an auto accident. His replacement is CAPT Art Rawson.
The Centennial will be countrywide to run from the first of January to the end of December 2000. The Events and Exhibits Committee is working to bring together master plan for commemorative events and to coordinate activities. To date, no decisions have been made on specifics, but considerable planning is ongoing (for example, the SubVets of WWil are actively working to
sponsor events at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes). Undoubtedly, the Submarine Birthday Balls at various submarine home ports will be highlights. We have discussed lessons learned
with personnel who planned the Air Force Fiftieth, Naval Aviation Seventy-fifth, and World War II commemorations. We have discussed publicity and coordination with the Navy League and
expect to work closely with the Navy League in the namesake cities and states to ensure appropriate recognition and ceremonies. We are considering dedication of a week of the year to each of the submarines lost in WWD. We are investigating display of
submarine memorabilia and educational mock-ups to highlight the submarine warfighting expertise and technology infusion to United States national capabilities, in national museums (such as the
Smithsonian) and easily accessible facilities.
Our focus is to decide over the next six months what, where, and when we want events and exhibits to take place; what memorabilia we want; what publicity is necessary and to give the Fundraising Committee sufficient guidance to provide the assets needed.
As you may have heard, we are requesting that the U.S. Postal service issue a submarine stamp or plate of stamps to honor the Submarine Force. Two prior requests to the Citizens’ Stamp
Advisory Committee have been rejected, including one signed by the Secretary of the Navy with a supporting letter by the Secretary of Defense, so we realize it’s an uphill battle. A number of our members have written to the head of that committee (Dr. Virginia Noelke, Citimis’ Stamp Advisory Committee, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 4474E, Washington, DC 20260-
2437) to support our request both from the standpoint of a
warfigbting track record and our contributions to technology. We need stamp collectors and people who buy stamps to jump on the bandwagon. The Committee has agreed to reconsider our stamp proposal at their 23 April meeting.
A Secretary of the Navy Instruction I m been signed designating the year 2000 to be the commemorative period for the Submarine Force Centennial and appointing the Director, Submarine Warfare Division (N87), as the coordinator.
We are interested in your ideas and have established an office at the Submarine League headquarters. Contact us there.
PAT LEWIS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
The Dolphin Scholarship Foundation has chosen Abigail S. Bishop of 905 Rashford Drive, Placentia, CA 928704448 as the 1997 Pat Lewis Memorial Scholar. Abigail’s father, Commander Stephen C. Bishop, USN(Ret.), served on active duty in the Submarine Force for nearly 10 years, then completed bis service as a member of the Selected Reserves prior to bis retirement in 1994. His final active duty command was on the OP-02 staff at the Pentagon. Abigail is attending Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she plans to earn her teaching degree and teach elementary school children. She is a musician and artist, with six years of piano and seven years of ballet experience. Abigail is an extremely bright student who graduated in the top 1 percent of her class of 332 from Troy High School in Fullerton, California, and earned a perfect score on the math portion of her SAT.