Posted by: arbeam | February 26, 2014

Safe Harbor Hosts Northwest Wounded Warrior Symposium

Wounded WarriorSILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) — Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and their families stationed in the Pacific Northwest participated in the inaugural Wounded Warrior (NNW) – Safe Harbor Family Symposium at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Feb. 24. The Navy’s Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor Program assists service members who are injured or have a serious illness for both medical and non-medical needs.

The goal of the symposium was to hear directly from families and veterans about their experiences through panel discussions where they told their stories. “The point of today is to find out directly from the service members and their families what we are doing well and what we need to improve on,” said Ismael Martinez, department head for the NNW Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) Adaptive Sports Program and Family and Transition Program. “We are currently making our way through all of the regions across the country;, this is the second stop on our tour.”

Martinez stressed the importance of participation from local commands at these symposiums when they arrive. “We need to be one of the first ones contacted when a Sailor or Coast Guardsman is seriously wounded or sick, and that takes knowledge at the command level,” said Martinez. “Currently their there isn’t a lot of knowledge of what we do and offer for wounded warriors in both the Navy and Coast Guard. Participation in these events helps get that critical knowledge out there.”

Coast Guard Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Jerry Hirtzel was injured in a snowmobile accident while at a command-sponsored event while stationed aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20). Hirtzel was initially paralyzed from the waist down. With extensive, on going therapy and rehabilitation he is able to walk again. “When I was first told about the [NWW] program, I didn’t think I qualified because I wasn’t missing any limbs,” said Hirtzel. “After a lot of convincing from both my family and fellow service members I joined and learned it’s for more than just amputees. It’s open to all seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen.”

Hirtzel’s wife, Jacqueline, spoke about the struggles she and her husband faced, physically, financially and spiritually. “Through no fault of our fellow service members with families, and even though Jerry is still on active duty, we became ostracized,” said Jacqueline. “They just couldn’t know what we were going through because they had never been through it. With Safe Harbor we have found those who have and we, especially my husband, feel a part of the military and the community again.”

This is the second symposium the Hirtzel family has attended, sharing their experience with the Safe Harbor program. “They have been truly amazing,” said Hirtzel. “During this time of unsurity being unsure with how my medical discharge will go and my wife having to take over as the primary earner, being able to have the support of those who have been their there and are currently going through something similar helps us know we aren’t alone.”

NWW provides nearly 1,200 Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, as well as their families, with non-medical assistance while they are recovering from serious illness or injury. Regional non-medical care personnel tailor support to each enrolled service member’s recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration needs. The program is a department of Fleet and Family Readiness within CNIC Commander, Navy Installations Command.

Enrollment in NWW is available to service members wounded in combat, as well as to those diagnosed with a serious illness or injured in shipboard, training, and liberty accidents.

For more information, call 1-855-NAVY WWP/1-855-628-9997, visit or email

Posted by: arbeam | February 26, 2014

Celebrating A Legacy: USS Nimitz’ Namesake

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) — The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is celebrating the life of its namesake, Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, during the week of Feb. 24 – 28.

Bronze Statue of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz in front of the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Bronze Statue of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz in front of the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Chester Nimitz was born in Fredericksburg, Texas, Feb. 24, 1885. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1905, he served at various commands that led up to his selection to admiral. He played a huge role in the success of the U.S. in the war in the Pacific during World War II when he consequently received his promotion to fleet admiral Dec. 19, 1944. Adm. Nimitz would go on to act as the U.S. signatory to the Japanese surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay the following year.

During his long and successful career he developed an incomparable leadership style that continued long after the war ended. He passed away Feb. 20, 1966, just days shy of his 81st birthday, and two years later the construction began of the first in a new class of super-carriers to bear his name.

“We are so proud to share a legacy with such an admirable leader,” said Capt. Jeff Ruth, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. “While it sets the bar high, the ship and its crew continue to perform as leaders in the carrier community, honorably paving the way as the first in its class.”

Sailors on board celebrated in a few ways including sharing various unique multimedia products with the world, a message over the ship’s announcement system, and a cake-cutting on the mess decks. Read More…

Elks_bigMark April 12 on your calendar for Navy League members from Washington and Oregon to meet the National Navy League President, Jim Offutt. He will share what Navy League is doing at the national level to support the sea services.

There will be discussions on topics important to all members on finding and keeping members, fund raising, finance, youth programs, and getting our message out to our members and to the public.

This Conference is a great chance to share ideas, resources and experiences that will make our councils stronger and more effective.

Thanks go to Tacoma Council for hosting this event.  More details on specific times and costs will be in the next newsletter and at our March luncheon. Plan on particpating whether you are a first year member or a 20 year member.

DOD Takes Holistic View of Slowing Military Compensation Growth

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2014 – The Defense Department can no longer put off slowing the growth of military personnel costs, and the fiscal year 2015 budget request DOD is recommending to the president begins that process, defense leaders said here today.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brief reporters on the fiscal year 2015 defense budget proposal at the Pentagon, Feb. 24, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brief reporters on the fiscal year 2015 defense budget proposal at the Pentagon, Feb. 24, 2014

Saying they are ready to take on the hard task of curbing growth in compensation, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, previewed the fiscal 2015 budget request for reporters.

Hagel said all defense leaders agreed to a holistic and comprehensive approach to compensation changes. “Continuous piecemeal changes will only magnify uncertainty and doubts among our service members about whether promised benefits will be there in the future,” he said.

Dempsey also stressed this in his remarks. “I know this weighs heavily on the minds of our men and women in uniform and on their families,” he said. “Our force is extraordinarily accepting of change. They are less understanding of piecemeal approaches. They want — and they deserve — predictability.”

Military and civilian compensation accounts for 50 percent of the DOD budget. This has put the department out of balance, the defense leaders said, and the department must invest to ensure service members are well-equipped and well-trained to handle future challenges.

All savings from compensation reforms will help keep service members properly trained and equipped, they added. The budget request recommends a 1 percent increase in military pay, and it freezes pay for general and flag officers.

Hagel and Dempsey stressed that no one in uniform will see a pay cut. Rather, they explained, the push is to slow growth to put pay and benefits on a more sustainable path. “Total pay and benefits increased 40 percent faster than the private sector between 2001 and 2012, and while that was the right thing to do at the time, we can’t continue at that rate over the long term,” Hagel said.

In addition to pay, the budget request begins the process to slow the growth rate of tax-free basic housing allowances. This will continue for five years until the allowances cover about 95 percent of the average service member’s housing expenses. Again, no one will see a decrease in their basic house allowance, Hagel said. DOD also would no longer reimburse service members for renter’s insurance.

This change will happen slowly, so that no one’s housing allowances will actually go down, Hagel said, noting that the process also will consider differences in the relative cost of living, so service members in high-rent areas won’t be adversely affected.

Under the request, the department will not shut down any commissaries, but will cut subsidies for some of them, the secretary said.

“Over three years, we will reduce by $1 billion the annual direct subsidy provided to military commissaries, which now totals $1.4 billion,” he said. “We are not shutting down commissaries. All commissaries will still get free rent and pay no taxes. They will be able to continue to provide a very good deal to service members and retirees — much like our post exchanges, which do not receive direct subsidies. Overseas commissaries and those in remote locations will continue receiving direct subsidies.”

DOD will simplify and modernize the TRICARE health insurance program by consolidating plans and adjusting deductibles and co-pays in ways that encourage members to use the most affordable means of care — such as military treatment facilities, preferred providers, and generic prescriptions, the secretary said.

“We will ask retirees and some active-duty family members to pay a little more in their deductibles and co-pays, but their benefits will remain affordable, as they should be,” he said. “To protect the most vulnerable, under this plan medically retired service members, their families, and the survivors of service members who die on active duty would not pay the annual participation fees charged to other retirees, and would pay a smaller share of the costs for health care than other retirees.”

Under the budget recommendation, the average military retiree would go from paying 8 percent of health care costs out of pocket to paying 11 percent. Retirees old enough to use Medicare and who choose to have TRICARE as well, eventually would be asked to pay a little bit more to enroll in TRICARE, Hagel said.

The approach encourages retirees to use free military facilities if they are close to home, which provide outstanding care and are often underused, the secretary said.

The compensation proposals do not recommend any changes to the military retirement benefits for those now in the services, Hagel said.

“We are awaiting the results of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which is expected to present its report in February 2015, before pursuing reforms in this area,” he added. “But DOD continues to support the principle of ‘grandfathering’ for any future changes to military retirement plans.”

Hagel said the proposals were carefully crafted to reform military compensation in a fair, responsible, and sustainable way.

“We recognize that no one serving our nation in uniform is overpaid for what they do for our country,” he added. “But if we continue on the current course without making these modest adjustments now, the choices will only grow more difficult and painful down the road. We will inevitably have to either cut into compensation even more deeply and abruptly, or we will have to deprive our men and women of the training and equipment they need to succeed in battle. Either way, we would be breaking faith with our people. And the president and I will not allow that to happen.”

Article By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service



Posted by: arbeam | February 24, 2014

Presidents Corner: March

Larry SalterIt has been a busy month for the Council Board of Directors. We are settling into our new roles and figuring out how best to accomplish the Navy League mission as it applies to our council. We approved our operating budget for 2014 which includes new emphasis on youth programs (e.g., how can Navy League help the STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and a renewed emphasis on our youth program support to Sea Cadets and NJROTC).

A call out for membership support—we need your help in recruiting new members! We are currently a 456 member council, which qualifies us as a medium sized council. One of my goals for this year is to get us back to large council status (over 500 members)—to do that, all we need is for 10% of our membership to recruit one new member—how hard is that? 45 new members would get us to 501. Members come and go, so we need a little buffer on the number, but I think you get my message—we need support in recruiting new members!

Annual membership dues will increase to $65 (from $50) on 1 April—so now is a good time to entice new members to join before 1 April. Also, if you were thinking of extending your membership to a multi-year option, doing that before 1 April will save you some money.

Sorry I missed the February luncheon. I was attending the AFCEA West 2014 Conference in San Diego—the largest defense related electronics show on the west coast. I must admit that I also enjoyed the San Diego weather—high 70’s/low 80’s for the week that Tina and I were there—a nice break from the Bremerton winter.

See you at the March luncheon. Captain Chris LaPlatney, Commanding Officer, Naval Facilities Command NW will be providing an overview of what NAVFAC NW does and highlight some of the major construction projects in the region.

Thank you for all you do to support Navy League, Larry


Posted by: arbeam | February 24, 2014

Bremerton NJROTC McTakeover

Kitsap Way McDonaldsBremerton NJROTC Knight Company will be having our annual McTakeover fundraiser at the Kitsap Way McDonalds this Wed, 26 Feb, from 5 – 7 pm. Please come out to support us and bring your family, relatives, friends, friends’ friends, people you see on the street…. you get the idea. Last year, we had one of the most successful McTakeovers for this McDonalds and earned over $1000 for our program! I hope to have similar success this year, but that will only happen with your help. I look forward to seeing you there.

Our Comedy night Fundraiser at the Cloverleaf last Fri was a huge success. We sold out our show and earned over $1200 for our program. The show was very good and I thank each of you who attended and/or sold tickets.

Posted by: arbeam | February 24, 2014

Navy Releases Updated Plan for Future Arctic Readiness

USS Connecticut

090320-N-8273J-295In the coming decades, as multi-year sea ice in the Arctic Ocean recedes, previously unreachable areas may open for maritime use for a few weeks each year. This opening maritime frontier has important national security implications and impact required future Navy capabilities. “Our goal is to have the Arctic continue to unfold peaceably,” said Vice Adm. Michelle Howard, Deputy CNO for Operations, Plans and Policy. “Working with our maritime and inter-agency partners, and by investing smartly in future capabilities, we can contribute to a secure and stable Arctic region.”

The Arctic Roadmap, updated from its original 2009 version, includes an implementation plan that outlines the Navy’s strategic approach to developing capabilities to operate in the Arctic Ocean, and the ways and means to support the desired Department of Defense and National Strategy end states. Read More…

Capt Chris LaPlatneyThe March 11 Luncheon Speaker will  be Captain Chris LaPlatney, Commanding Officer of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest, located in Silverdale WA.  NAVFAC Northwest manages the planning, design, construction, contingency engineering, real estate, environmental programs and Public Works covering six states; Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska.

NAVFAC Northwest is currently supervising one of the largest construction projects  in the Navy, here at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.  The Navy is constructing a second explosives handling wharf (EHW-2) adjacent to the existing EHW in Hood Canal to support current and future Trident Fleet Ballistic Missile program requirements for eight Trident submarines that are currently homeported at NBKB. The existing EHW is not be able to meet the needs to support Trident requirements due to the physical condition of the existing structure and changing operational and weapon systems requirements.

Bangor EHW 2

The new wharf will cover approximately 6.3 acres of open water when completed. The wharf deck will consist of pre-cast concrete sections. The elevation of the top of the wharf deck will be 20.5 ft above Mean Lower Low Water. The Navy will permanently install up to 1,250 steel piles that range in size from 24 inches to 48 inches in diameter. The estimated cost of this new project is $715 Million Dollars and will take approximately 4 years to complete.

Captain LaPlatney received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Auburn University and was commissioned in March 1988. Following Commissioning he entered Naval Nuclear Propulsion training  and served on the commissioning crew of the USS West Virginia. Captain LaPlatney was selected into the Civil Engineer Corps in January 1994. He deployed as a Seabee to Guam and Souda Bay Crete.  Following his Seabee tour, Captain LaPlatney attended graduate school at the University of Illinois where he received his MS in Civil Engineering.

In August 2006 he took command of Officer in Charge of Construction Katrina in Gulfport, MS. He remained in Gulfport following his OICC assignment and began a tour as Executive Officer, Naval Construction Battalion Center in September 2009. He assumed his current position as Commanding Officer of NAVFAC Northwest in June 2012.

Captain LaPlatneys’ personal awards include the Navy/Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards). He is a Seabee Combat Warfare Officer, a Submarine Warfare Officer, a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, and a member of the Acquisition Professional Community.

Doors open at 11 am and the program begins at 11:45 at the Bangor Conference Center Trident Ball Room


  • Please call Evergreen Transfer & Storage at 360 674-2762 for your lunch registration. Please call at your earliest convenience.
  • Cut off for reservations is March 4
  • Please give your name as it appears on your driver’s license.
  • Spell your name to help make certain that it will be correct on the  gate access sheet.
  • If you do not have base access, you will need to provide your date of birth.
EVERETT, Wash. (Feb. 13, 2014) Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class Joshua Thornbloom and Michael Pulkrabek conduct a rapid trauma assessment of a casualty during the HM2 David R. Ray Top Doc Competition at Branch Health Clinic Everett. The event is named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David R. Ray.

EVERETT, Wash. (Feb. 13, 2014) Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class Joshua Thornbloom and Michael Pulkrabek conduct a rapid trauma assessment of a casualty during the HM2 David R. Ray Top Doc Competition at Branch Health Clinic Everett. The event is named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David R. Ray.

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) — Hospital corpsmen and other staff members of Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Everett kept the memory alive of their clinic namesake by holding the “1st Annual HM2 David R. Ray Top Doc Competition” Feb. 13.

The legacy of Medal of Honor recipient Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David R. Ray, who would have turned 69, Feb 14, was remembered by what he accomplished as a corpsman and by his sacrifice on the field of battle.

“It is important to the command that the corpsmen understand where they come from and have an appreciation for what it takes to do the things a Sailor like HM2 Ray did, and to celebrate the accomplishments and sacrifices of Sailors like him,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Michael A Arroyo, BHC Everett Medical Services Leading Petty Officer.

Ray was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (posthumously) for his actions during the Vietnam War at Phu Loc 6 near An Hoa in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, March 19, 1969. BHC Everett, commissioned in 2002, is located within the David R. Ray Health Center.

“His legacy is extremely important to me as a person, as a corpsman and a leader of corpsmen. He is the epitome of what we all strive to be as corpsmen and human beings,” stated Arroyo, an Independent Duty Corpsman from Pomona, Calif. assigned to the clinic since Dec 23, 2013, with more than 15 years of Navy experience.

The top doc competition involved professional and practical testing such as what Ray learned in honing his corpsman skills more than 40 years ago. The goal of the competition wasn’t to replicate that fateful day on a blood-soaked patch of ground in Vietnam, but to bring a hands-on sense of urgency and realism in a training environment.

“This is training that we all need to know because it is the type of scenario that we could find ourselves in, just as HM2 Ray did. In a way, it does remind us of his heroism. We had a lot of interest but due to patient and clinic duties we just couldn’t get everyone out and involved,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Steven Foley, a Federal Way, Wash. native.

There were six two-member teams pitted against the stress of the situation, evaluated by the course instructors, and scrutinized by their peers. They were graded on every detail to render emergency trauma treatment to a wounded casualty.

And the clock was ticking. Read More…

Posted by: arbeam | February 14, 2014

8 Mar: Silver & Gold Charity Auction

Silver and Gold dolphins Logo smallerThis is to introduce you to our event the Silver & Gold Charity Auction. 

The success of our event depends significantly on donations received from businesses and individual donors like you. Each spring, the members of Submarine Officers’ Spouses’ Association (SOSA) join with the Khaki community and the submarine wardrooms and submarine support organizations to raise money for local Kitsap charities and the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation (DSF). The 2014 Silver & Gold Charity Auction is scheduled  for March 8, 2014 at the Plaza Ballroom on Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor in Silverdale, Washington. 

The Silver & Gold Charity Auction is seeking donations of auction items such as merchandise, services, or gift certificates. Monetary contributions are equally appreciated. All businesses and individual donors contributing items will be listed in the Auction program. Read More…

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