October President’s Message

We had an outstanding turnout for the September meeting with a warm and enthusiastic greeting for our speaker, Captain Walsh.  It is not often that we have such a well known and accomplished individual talk with us, so I am pleased that everything went so well.  Again, I would like to express our thanks to him for sharing his experiences and to our membership for joining us at the luncheon.

In October we return to our schedule of meeting on the second Wednesday, October 12, with the October meeting being an 1830 dinner in celebration of the Navy Birthday.  The longest serving Navy veteran present and the most junior will share the duties of cutting the cake.  In November, the 9th, is the Marine Corps luncheon which is routinely attended by notable Marine Corps vets in the area.  We are hoping for large turnouts for both events.  December, of course, celebrates the holiday season and the end to another very challenging year.

I am planning for a Council Meeting at the end of November, and am looking at the 19th or the 26th.  If one of these dates is unworkable for you, please let me know.  By this time Janette Sandberg will be wrapping up her tenure as our communications specialist, and we want to thank her for all that she has done for us over the years.  Unfortunately for us, her everyday job is becoming too demanding to allow her to do both.  Mike Carmichael has said he will take this on along with the many other things he is doing for the Chapter, but am sure he would be willing to step aside for another person who might be interested in it.  Thinking outside the box a little, perhaps the son or daughter of a member, a high schooler who is a computer whiz might be interested in keeping these records and managing our member-wide communications efforts for a fee?  I’m not saying we will do that, but it is a possibility among others, I am sure.

So, with Navy going into this week’s football game against Eastern Carolina at underdogs, and pulling off a victory, perhaps we are in for some better performances.  Air Force is a serious test on October 1st.  This will lead us up to the Army – Navy Game on December 10th, when we will gather at Big Al’s, so set the date aside to join us and bring us the victory which will define a winning season.  I hope everyone is enjoying the unseasonably warm and dry weather this fall, and is taking advantage of those outdoor activity opportunities.  Take care of yourselves, and be safe.


Go Navy,

John Adams ‘69, CDR, USN (Ret)

September President’s Message

The summer of 2022 is coming to an end, and this would normally be the time that people settle into their work or retirement routines, plan out their monthly schedules and determining how much activity they can fit into their busy days.  But our lives are no longer “normal.”  Those of us who were raised in simpler times are often bewildered with what has happened.

We have a rather unique Chapter in the USNA Alumni Association.  We charge no dues, we do little in the way of recruiting participation, the summer picnic, which was cancelled for two years, and the Army Navy Game are our signature, off-site events, and our membership is determined by a count of those who have come to our luncheons in the preceding two years.  This has been a successful formula since the mid-80s, we have been repeatedly recognized for our efforts, and many of those who initiated our chapter are still the bulwarks of its sustenance.

I have been the Chapter President throughout the COVID pandemic and am concerned with our ability to survive, continuing to do what we do and expecting membership, enthusiasm, and leadership to rise above the lethargy and what seems to me to be a declining interest in Naval Academy graduate activities.  This is not just among the younger classes, because we have seen declining participation among many who regularly attended luncheons in the past.  I saw an article (not verified) this week that said that the total number of applicants to USAFA last year was around 8,300.  For as long as I can remember, the average number of yearly applicants to USNA has been over 17,000, with around 12,000 completing applications.  Are we even seeing a decline in interest in the military?

Our September luncheon is being changed to the third Wednesday, the 21st.  Then it will return to the second Wednesday in October.   It is at 1130, which is the most favorable time of day for Portland traffic.  Come and stay as long as you can.  The lunch offerings are excellent, and we are honored to have Captain Don Walsh, USNA ’54, as our guest speaker.  Captain Walsh and Jacques Piccard, were the two people to first descend to the Challenger Deep, the deepest point on earth, in the bathyscaphe Trieste in 1960.  At over 7 miles deep, they held the record for the deepest dive by humans for over 60 years.  He will discuss this, along with other adventures to the North and South pole as time permits.

So, in my view, the health of the OR/SWW Chapter of the Alumni Association is declining.  Those of us who have been around for a long time and those in positions of leadership will continue to do our best to make it a vital, welcoming organization for any Naval Academy graduate, and graduates from other military schools/academies who have chosen to affiliate with us.  In the not-too-distant future we will need relief.  If you have an interest in maintaining contact with fellow graduates, perhaps even your classmates in the area, come join us and become a regular member.

Go Navy,

John Adams ‘69, CDR, USN (Ret)