File Cabinet

Minutes from Business Meeting of September 26, 2023: 2023 Schedule & Officer Slate (Zoom)

Submitted by CAPT James A. McGinnis, MSC, USN (Ret)

            The business meeting held on ZOOM was called to order at 1600 hours (4:00 PM) Pacific Time by CAPT Jim McGinnis, MSC, USN (Ret), Commander, NOUS Northwest.  A half hour was provided for friendly chat from 3:30 to 4:00 PM Pacific Time.

            Companions who were in attendance were CAPT Joe Valenta, USN (Ret), Planning Officer; CAPT Solon Webb, USN (Ret), Director of Communications; and CAPT Dave Todd, USN (Ret), Membership Director and next year’s Commander of NOUS Northwest.  Others present were CAPT Dick Griffin, ETC Gil Beyer, CAPT John Laible, CDR Ed Murray, MM1 George Jodry, LT Curt Maier, and Mr. Dave Turner. The meeting was chaired by CAPT Jim McGinnis, current Commander, NOUS Northwest.

            The group reviewed and approved the following NOUS Northwest Commandery Executive Council for 2023.

            Commander for 2023-2024:  CAPT Dave Todd, USN (Ret), Portland, OR

            Vice Commander:  CAPT Jim McGinnis, MSC, USN (Ret)

            Treasurer:  Captain Harry Stengele, USAF

            Membership:  Unassigned and TBD

            Communications and Webmaster:  CAPT Solon Webb, USN (Ret)

            Recorder:  Unassigned and TBD

            Education & National History Day (NHD) Coordinator:  CAPT Dick Griffin, USN (Ret)

            Plans Officer:  CAPT Joe Valenta, USN (Ret)

            Historian:  LT Curt Maier and MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret)

            External Events:  CAPT John Liable, USN (Ret)

            Technical Support:   Brad Aungst

            Photographer:  TMC John Gerten, USN, Served as a Torpedoman in Viet Nam 

            Washington State Coordinator NHD:  CDR Ed Murray, USN (Ret)

            Oregon State Coordinator NHD:  CAPT Ken Simpson, USN (Ret)

            Idaho State Coordinator NHD:  Chief Electronics Technician Gil Beyer, USN (Ret)

            Alaska State Coordinator NHD:  Capt James Elie, Alaska National Guard

            Past Commanders:  CAPT Joe Valenta, CAPT John Liable, CAPT Jim McGinnis

            The group also reviewed and approved the following annual plan for 2023 composed by Planning Officer, CAPT Joe Valenta, USN (Ret).

Jan 23, 2023    Mon 4-5:30 PM  First All Zoom Business Meeting:  Regular planning session to start the year off with NHD/1st Qtr Events/New Business & Members, etc.

Feb 25, 2023   Sat 2-3:30 PM  Destroyer (DD) Club All ZOOM Discussion of “My Road to Captain”  Speakers are the present Captains who would do a 10-15 minute brief on their key assignments that helped achieve 0-6, with photos etc.  To include at least Jim McGinnis, Dave Todd, Solon Webb, John Liable, Dick Griffin & Joe Valenta.  Also we might be able to include CAPT (sel) Casey Mahon, USN, CAPT John Derr, CAPT Ken Simpson, CAPT David Hall, and CAPT Bill Hickman.

Mar 25, 2023  Sat Noon-3:00 PM Luncheon Discussion Group & Hybrid ZOOM, “USN and South China Sea Operations.”  Expect to engage CAPT (sel) Casey Mahon to lead, with book reviews & a guest speaker from the Navy and or an author covering the subject.  George Jodry to chair & plan the session.  Possibly held at the Veteran’s Museum in Chehalis, WA.

Apr 17, 2023   Mon 4-5:30 PM Second All ZOOM Business Meeting:  Regular planning session for the 2nd Quarter with NHD, Coming Events, New Business & Members, etc.

May 20, 2023  Sat 2-3:30 PM  Session on Submarines chaired by Curt Maier who will develop a joint zoom with several Seattle Submariner Organizations to share knowledge on current programs & operations.

Jun 24, 2023   Sat Noon-3:00 PM  Midway Luncheon per 5-year plan:  The Nimitz South Pacific Plan in 1943-1944 (Dick Griffin), MacArthur’s “I shall return” story (Jim McGinnis) with guest speaker and author TBD.  Also Joe Valenta will prep brief on Mariana’s Turkey Shoot if needed.

Jul-Aug 2023  Summer break.  Succession planning meeting in mid-August.

Sep 18, 2023   Mon 4-5:30 PM  Last All ZOOM Business Meeting:  Regular planning session to set initial plans for 2024 Events, the Officer slate.  Also review the 4th Quarter Events, membership, & new business.

Oct 18-22, 2023  Wed-Sat All Day National Congress anticipated in San Diego, CA (not yet confirmed).

Nov 11 , 2023  Sat Noon-3:00 PM  Veteran’s Day Luncheon Hybrid ZOOM.  Will engage CAPT (sel) Casey Mahon to lead a topic current Navy TBD, or Artificial Intelligence (AI) follow-up session with book reviews & guest speaker from the Navy and or an author on this subject.

Dec 2, 2023     Sat 5-8:00 PM Pearl Harbor Dinner Hybrid ZOOM at Grazie Restaurant.  This is the new Skipper’s review of the year and to make awards.  Also we can have our own in-house or guest speaker, an author perhaps, maybe Craig Symonds.          

     The group also discussed the next session for the meeting of the Commandery, the Navy Birthday and Veterans Day Celebration, Nov. 5, 2022.  Hybrid ZOOM and in person luncheon at Arnie’s Restaurant in Edmonds, WA.  CAPT Jim McGinnis will chair the session.  CDR Ed Murray will brief the group on U.S. Naval Intelligence.  A special guest author will be Marc Wortman who will give a brief on ADM Rickover:  Engineer of Power and also on The Millionaire’s Unit, Aristocratic Flyboys who invented Airpower.

            After a discussion and approval of these agenda items, CAPT Jim McGinnis adjourned the business meeting at 1700 hours (5:00 PM Pacific Time).

Naval Order of the United States
Northwest Commandery
Meeting of 19Feb2022 (Zoom meeting)

Fifteen companions and guests present. There was some general banter before the meeting
began. MM1 Jodry showed the new book he got, “Greyhound” by C.S. Forester. This book
formed the basis for the recent movie of the same name starring Tom Hanks. MM1 Jodry was
asked to give a report on the book in an upcoming meeting.
At 1600, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order, and introduced our first speaker, CAPT
Steve Craig, USCGR (Ret), author of “All Present & Accounted For.” This book was written about
the near sinking of the Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Jarvis (WHEC-725) off the coast of Alaska,
and covers the heroic valor of all the members of the crew in the fight to save their ship, and each
other. Also speaking was GMC Jack Hunter, USCG (Ret), who was one of the members of Jarvis’
crew during this fight, and their subsequent rescue by a Japanese trawler. Several other former
crew of the Jarvis were on hand as well.
Past NOUS Commander General CAPT Paul Crissy, USCG (Ret) then gave a short talk about
the history of the Coast Guard.
Dr Dave Ulbrich, from Norwich University, then gave a brief talk about his own background and
the school. Norwich University is one of the few “Senior Military Colleges” currently extant in the
United States, and is the oldest. He briefly spoke about the school’s offering of an MA in Military
History, and also a bit about his upcoming scheduled brief regarding the Battle of Tarawa
CAPT Valenta gave a few quick book reports:
1. “Destroyer Captain” by ADM James Stavridis;
2. “The Accidental Admiral” by ADM James Stavridis; and
3. “Command of the Seas” by John Lehman.
CAPT McGinnis gave some closing comments, thanking everyone for attending and their
participation, with our next meeting to be on 05Mar2022.
The meeting was then adjourned at 1730.
Respectfully submitted,
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret)

Naval Order of the United States, Northwest Commandery
Meeting of 24Jan2022 (Zoom meeting)
Eleven companions present for this business and planning meeting. There was some general
banter before the meeting began, mostly talking about some of the different things happening in
our local areas.

At 1600, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order. He then began by letting the Commandery
know that he has purchased a new laptop computer to use for our various hybrid meetings. This
new computer cost $459, and we were going to use the funds allocated to us from National to
cover the costs. It was forwarded that CAPT McGinnis will be repaid from the Commandery
treasury, with any monies we receive from National to be entered into the treasury.

CAPT McGinnis then talked about how we are working on putting together an SOP (Standard
Operating Procedure) for our hybrid meetings, with the SOP to be forwarded to National, so they
can disseminate it to the other Commanderies.

We then talked a bit about the upcoming National History Day. We are working on getting judges
put together for each area within each state in the Commandery, and it was forwarded that we
give an award of $100 for each state for the essay winners, provided that the essays are
pertaining to the Naval and Maritime services.

We finalized our plans for upcoming meetings and discussion groups as follows:

  • 19Feb2022 1600. Book reviews based on Destroyers and the US Coast Guard.
  • 05Mar2022 1430. Focus on the Submarine service, with guest speakers.
  • 02Apr2022 1500. “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” celebration, with short presentations.
    Due to the current restrictions surrounding the COVID situation, we have decided to keep our
    meetings via zoom, revisiting the situation in the future as needed.

CAPT McGinnis gave some closing comments, thanking everyone for attending and their
participation, with our next meeting to be on 19Feb2022.
The meeting was then adjourned at 1702.
Respectfully submitted,
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret) #9915

Naval Order of the United States, Northwest Commandery
Meeting of 04Dec2021 (Hybrid meeting)
Several companions present, both in person and via zoom, with special guest John Ramstead.
This is our annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance, with this meeting held as a hybrid to
accommodate both in-person attendance and zoom for those who could not attend.

CAPT McGinnis welcomed our special guest for this meeting, Mr John Ramstead, a former Naval

Mr Ramstead then gave a talk about launching and flying his F-14 fighter into combat during the
Gulf War, describing some of the emotions he was feeling while waiting for the launch. He then
continued by speaking about mentoring the generations following us, as well as even mentoring
ourselves. He spoke about his book “On Purpose With Purpose”, which talks a bit about his own
personal struggles, and how he was able to turn adversity into a benefit, such as helping him
become one of the top motivational speakers in the country.

This was followed by a period of some really good Q&A, covering not only his service as an
enlisted sailor all the way through commissioning and flying as a Naval Aviator, but also his book
and speaking.

Please note, his book is available on Amazon, and also at his website
CAPT McGinnis gave some closing comments, thanking all the guests for joining us and for
everyone’s participation, with the next meeting scheduled as a business and planning meeting via
zoom for 24Jan2022.

Respectfully submitted,
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret) #9915

Naval Order of the United States, Northwest Commandery
Meeting of 30Oct2021 (held via Zoom)

Nineteen Companions present, with several guests also present.

At 1434, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order.

CAPT McGinnis welcomed all of the guests to our meeting, then gave a quick synopsis for the

CAPT Valenta then gave a short presentation and introduction for CAPT Ahlborn, who then gave
a talk about the Submarine service, ranging from the old diesel boats from World War 2, all the
way through the largest submarines of today, able to deliver nuclear weapons as part of our
deterrent forces. He also mentioned when we sent Tomahawk missiles from submarines during
the Gulf War, using such high precision that they were able to get the missiles through the
bedroom windows of Saddam Hussein (he wasn’t there…). His talk also included the “fast attack”
submarines as well as the missile boats. This was followed by a short Q&A session, where we
learned a little about the Navy’s VLF (Very Low Frequency) radio system.

CAPT Withrow, the CO of the NROTC unit at Yale University, then spoke about his service in
submarines, which included both the SSN’s and SSBN’s, with a focus on his service as the CO of
USS South Dakota SSN-790, taking the boat through building, launching, and commissioning. He
also touched on the forthcoming Columbia-class SSBN’s.

LT Barszowski then spoke a little about the integration of women into the submarine service, both
officer and enlisted.

CAPT McGinnis gave some closing comments, thanking all the guests for joining us and for
everyone’s participation. He also touched on the upcoming Pearl Harbor day dinner and meeting
(scheduled to be a hybrid meeting).

Respectfully submitted,
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret) #9915

Naval Order of the United States (NOUS) – Northwest Commandery

Meeting of August 7, 2021 (held in person and by ZOOM, home of CAPT John Liable, USN (Ret), Woodinville, WA)

Twenty-three Companions were present in person with two Companions connected by ZOOM.

There was some excellent chat amongst Companions before the meeting in CAPT John’s patio and with two persons on the ZOOM connection coordinated by CAPT Solon Webb, Director of Communications.

At 1600 Pacific Coast Time, CAPT Jim McGinnis, Commander, NOUS Northwest called the meeting to order.

CAPT McGinnis welcomed all the Companions and guests to our first hybrid meeting held in person and with a ZOOM computer connection for Companions joining us from remote locations.  CAPT Joe Valenta gave a quick synopsis of our “Destroyer Club” agenda for this meeting and gave a summary of the concepts and speakers for this gathering. 

We then launched into our discussion of Destroyer ships and sailors, and we gave a book recommendation on World War II Destroyer operations in the Pacific Ocean by James D. Hornfischer, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors (New York, NY:  Bantam Books, 2004).  These briefings on Destroyer lore and legend were given at the meeting.

CAPT Joe Valenta said that Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps summer cruises for college students included three summer sessions of first shipboard duties, then Marine Corps and finally again shipboard training.  Joe Valenta had his first summer cruise in 1959 aboard USS Valley Forge (CV-45).  His second summer involved Aviation and Amphibious Warfare components.  His summer cruise between Junior and Senior college years put Joe on board the USS William C. Lawe (DD-763), a Gearing class destroyer for training as Junior Officer of the Deck.  Upon college graduation, Joe was assigned to duty aboard the USS Dahlgren (DLG-12).  This was a Destroyer Leader later converted to a guided missile destroyer.  Joe finished his active duty aboard USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5/CG-5).

CAPT Jim McGinnis spoke as substitute on Destroyer History and Capabilities for ETC Gil Beyer (author of Tin Can about Destroyer stories) and MM1 George Jodry (experienced on Fleet Oiler refueling of Destroyers at sea), who were unable to attend the meeting.  

ETC Gil Beyer told of his experience in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis aboard USS Fiske (DDR-842).  Gil was not able to join his ship as she got under-weigh, so he had to catch up with his ship at sea.  He flew out to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Then, he flew on board a Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft out to USS Enterprise (CVN-65), ending quickly by catching the third wire on the flight deck.  He was sent by a Chief Petty Officer into berthing aboard the aircraft carrier and was transferred the next morning by high line from the hangar deck to the 0-1 level aboard the USS Fiske.  That must have been a steep drop down to the level of the Destroyer.

MM1 George Jodry explained under-weigh replenishment of Fuel Oil from a Fleet Oiler to a Destroyer.  The Navy way to replenish Fuel Oil is called the “STREAM” method, “Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method.”  The fuel is pumped through a hose between ships. The hose is under tension with a wire, so the hose does not part under tension by the movement of the two ships.  Fuel consumption is faster under flank speeds.  At 33.5 knots, a destroyer will burn 5492 gallons per hour and can endure only 1.2 days before refueling.

CAPT Bill Hickman, USN (Ret) gave a briefing on Destroyers/Frigates’ Personnel.  Destroyers and Frigates are fast and mobile weapons platforms.  People aboard are either there for propulsion engineering or there to fight the ship.  CAPT Hickman was Commanding Officer of USS John A. Moore (FFG-19) taking command in 1998.  CAPT Hickman recommended a book, Tom Clancy, Red Storm Rising (New York, NY:  G.P Putnam, 1986).  CAPT Hickman told how collisions at sea involving USS John McCain (DDG-56) and a separate collision of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) were attributable to poor training of junior officers.  CAPT Hickman told a great sea story about leadership to reinvigorate the Chief’s Mess aboard his ship.

CAPT John Liable and Chief John Gerten told sea stories about USS Stoddard (DD-566) when she was fighting the Viet Nam War.  The Stoddard was operating in the coastal waters off Viet Nam and shelling shore facilities.  The ship received return fire from shore causing damage to the ship but no injuries for the crew.

CAPT McGinnis and CAPT Valenta explained the military commemorative coins that were made for distribution among the Companions of NOUS Northwest.  We passed out coins to everyone who attended our meeting.  Other copies of these coins will be distributed later.

The discussion group meeting was finished around 1715, followed by an excellent Bar-B-Que dinner.  CAPT McGinnis adjourned the meeting and the ZOOM session around 1945 hours.

Respectfully submitted,

CAPT Jim McGinnis, MSC, USN (Ret)

Commander, NOUS Northwest.

Naval Order of the United States, Northwest Commandery
Meeting of 19Jun2021 (held via Zoom)

Twelve Companions present, with special guests ADM Garry Hall, USN (Ret) and Paul Bresee.

There was some really good chat before the meeting, and Paul Bresee stated that his son is
going to be entering the Navy soon, looking to be an HM.

At 1600, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order.

CAPT McGinnis welcomed all of the guests to our meeting, then gave a quick synopsis for the
meeting coming up in August for the “Destroyer Club” presentations. He then thanked CAPT
Griffin for presenting the $50 prizes to the two winners of the National History Day essay contest
(from WA state).

We then launched into our discussion of the post-Battle of Midway strategies and developments
from World War Two, led by CAPT Griffin. The discussion included the US/UK global strategy
both before and after the battle (the US was not sympathetic to the colonial desires of our allies).
The consensus was to defeat Germany first and foremost, keeping the lines of communication to
Australia open, and creating a “combined Chiefs of Staff”.

Also about this time, operational control of both the Pacific and Atlantic fleets was vested in the
new COMINCH (created from the prior “CINCUS”), with ADM King (as COMINCH) replacing ADM
Kimmel (who was relieved of duties as CINCUS after Pearl Harbor). One of the issues here is
that his decisions effectively bypassed CINCPAC. Another executive order shortly after had it
where the COMINCH and CNO were to be held by one officer, and ADM King was installed in
that office as well (replacing ADM Stark).

There was also a lot of information regarding the varying conferences and solutions arrived at in
prosecuting the war, along with lessons learned (both at Midway and after), as well as all the
different ships coming out from US yards, along with the new aircraft types and models.

CAPT Webb gave some great information about the amphibious operations, with the central route
(“straight ahead”) and the southern route (“island hopping”). There was some really good
discussion about the different seaborne invasions, along with some of the controversies that
came up.

CAPT Valenta then gave a 5-year plan for the “Midway Event”, where we will discuss all of the
different parts and events of the Pacific War.

CAPT McGinnis gave some closing comments, with the “dry run” for the August meeting to be
held on 24Jul2021, and the 30Oct2021 meeting (Navy Birthday/Veteran’s Day) discussion to be
focused on submarines.

The meeting was adjourned at 1733.

Respectfully submitted,
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret)

Naval Order of the United States, Northwest Commandery

Meeting of 17 May 2021(held via Zoom)

Fifteen Companions present, with special guests NOUS Commander General Col Allan Cruz USMC (Ret), Hon. Dr.John Lehman, Dick Ahlborn,Jim Quin (Navy League, Denver), Paul Bresee, Lou Orsini.

The meeting today was held earlier to accommodate those participating from the East Coast.

At 1406, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order.CAPT McGinnis welcomed all of the guests to our meeting and gave a brief synopsis of the agenda for today.Hon. Dr.Lehman gave a very good report on his book “Oceans Ventured: Winning The Cold War At Sea”, explaining what lead up to the “600-ship Navy” he proposed as SecNav under President Reagan and the “defeat”of the Soviet Navy. This included a lot of the “defeatism”prevalent in the NATO governments, and different scenarios employing both tactical and strategic nuclear weapon in the case of a Soviet/Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe.

During the early days of the Carter administration, defense spending was being curtailed,with the Navy being severely cut back, including many of the different defensive systems we see aboard ship today, and how the incoming Reagan administration worked to reverse those cutbacks.

He also spoke about the capabilities of the US sailor (and our NATO allies) versus those of the Soviet/Warsaw Pact sailor, and of sending US Naval and Military forces into the Norwegian Sea for operations, typically the “back yard” of the Soviet Navy. This was followed by operations in the Northern Pacific…“ This is how WE fight!”

This was followed by a period of Q&A. Some very excellent questions were posed for Dr Lehman, and we all got some really good insight into the growth of the Navy during this time, not only in ships and hardware, but also in the people who man those ships.

CAPT McGinnis Gavea report on the different unmanned vehicles currently in use or development for use by the US Navy. These include air, surface, and sub-surface vehicles, such as the MQ-4C Triton (operated by VUQ-19 out of NAS Jacksonville); the MQ-8, which can be autonomous or operated from an LCS; and several different types of surface and sub-surface vehicles.These unmanned vehicles can be used for reconnaissance, linking dispersed forces, ASW, even attacking enemy forces.

CAPT McGinnis thanked everyone for their participation in our great discussions, and CAPT Valenta gave a brief preview of our next meeting, where the topic of discussion will be the Battle of Midway in World War Two.

The meeting was adjourned at 1530, to meet again on 19Jun2021 (via Zoom).

Respectfully submitted,

MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret) #9915

Naval Order of the United States

Northwest CommanderyMeeting of 19Apr2021 (held via Zoom)

TwelveCompanions present, with special guests CAPT Brian Quin, USN, Chief of Staff, Expeditionary Strike Group Three; MrJim Quin, Navy League (Denver); CAPT Ron Withrow, Commanding Officer, Yale NROTC; JenniferValenta (daughter of CAPT Joe Valenta); Dennis Hickey (National Capital Commandery); John Arscott; Martin Menez.

The meeting today was held an hour earlierto accommodate those participating from the East Coast.At 1500, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order.

CAPT McGinnis welcomed all of the guests to our meeting and gave a brief synopsis of the agenda for today.CAPT Valenta gave a brief on the beginnings of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program, “Naval”including both the Navy and Marine Corps. He included some of the datafrom the schools in the program and the original purposeof the program, noting that the first CO of the UC Berkeley unit was (then) CAPT Chester W Nimitz.

CAPT Ron Withrow, CO, Yale NROTC, gave a very informative briefonthe current state of the program. He also spoke about some of the different ways people can get into the program, and some of the different classes each person must take.He also covered a little of the history of the ROTC program at Yale, noting that only the Navy and Air Force have units at the school right now. This was followed by a period of “Q&A”.

Mr McGinnis then asked a few of the NROTC graduates in attendance to speak about their experiences: CAPT Griffin (Miami, OH), CAPT Quin (Northwestern), Curt Maier (Notre Dame), CAPT Steagall (UCLA), Martin Menez (Marquette), CAPT Valenta (Yale).

CAPT McGinnis thanked everyone for their participation in our great discussions, and then gave a short brief on the agenda for our meeting on 17 May 21, covering unmanned vehicles, some book reports, and a round table discussion. In addition, Secretary Lehman has been invited back to join our discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 1630, to meet again on 17May2021 (via Zoom).

Respectfully submitted,

MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret)#9915

Naval Order of the United States Northwest Commandery
Meeting of 09Apr2021 (held via Zoom)

Thirteen Companions present, with special guests CAPT Brian Quin, USN, Chief of Staff, Expeditionary Strike Group Three; Mr Jim Quin, Navy League (Denver); CAPT Ron Withrow, Commanding Officer, Yale NROTC; Lauren Valenta (daughter of CAPT Joe Valenta).

Some general banter before the meeting. MM1 Jodry showed some of the new books he has (two of them recommended during the previous NWT Zoom meeting).

At 1601, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order.

CAPT McGinnis gave a short brief on the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ships, including details on their capabilities, limitations, and operations. There was a good session of “Q&A” after.

CAPT Brian Quin was then introduced as a guest speaker. He spoke briefly on himself and his family and their involvement in the Navy, and the honor of serving through all sorts of crises. He also gave a short briefing on the different types of Amphibious ships used by the Navy, their capabilities and equipment, and a little bit about Expeditionary Strike Group Three.

CAPT Valenta then spoke about the USS Oklahoma City CL-91/CLG-5/CG-5 and his service aboard her, including some of the important dates during the early period of the Vietnam war.
Mr Jim Quin then spoke about the Navy League, what they are about, and some of the different things that they do in the Denver branch.

CAPT Valenta then gave a brief on the upcoming NROTC presentation.

CAPT McGinnis thanked everyone for their participation and presentations. We then adjourned to a short business meeting

  • CAPT Laible gave our finance report – $1192.14 in the bank.
  • Some talk about upcoming meetings and future gatherings (post-COVID).
  • CAPT Todd gave our membership report – 36 active Companions.
  • We are getting new NWT Commandery coins, with any donations to get the coins to be sent to CAPT Laible. The coins will be great for presenting to guest speakers and for memorabilia. MM1 Jodry will be keeping a record of everyone who sends in funds to purchase the coins

The meeting was adjourned at 1801, to meet again on 19Apr2021 (via Zoom).
Respectfully submitted,
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret) #9915

Naval Order of the United States Northwest Commandery
Meeting of 27Mar2021 (held via Zoom)

Twenty Companions present, with special guests the Honorable Doctor John Lehman, former SecNav under President Reagan (1981-87); ADM Thomas B Hayward, USN (Ret), Chief of Naval Operations from 1978 to 1982; COL Allan Cruz, USMC (Ret), NOUS Commander General; CAPT William Steagall, USN (Ret), NAT Commandery Commander; Hon William Schmidt, NOUS Vice Commander General (At Large); CAPT Brian Quin, USN, Chief of Staff, Expeditionary Strike Group Three; Jim Quin, Navy League (Denver).

There was some informal “Q&A” with Secretary Lehman before the meeting was called to order. He also talked a bit about his ancestor who was a Privateer during the Revolutionary War.

At 1357, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order.

CAPT McGinnis introduced ADM Hayward, who then gave some comments about his service, his time in command of Carrier Air Wing Ten during the Vietnam conflict, and his time as the Chief of Naval Operations. He then spoke at length regarding the pride he strived to instill in those serving in the Naval Services. ADM Hayward has recommended the book “Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam” by Frederick Logevall. He discussed this book at length wehile talking about the US involvement in Vietnam.

CAPT McGinnis then introduced Hon Dr John Lehman, who talked at length about the building of the “600 ship Navy” under President Reagan, and of the current vulnerabilities (from a Naval standpoint) of the China trade routes, especially with the current situation of the blockage of the Suez Canal. He also spoke a bit about some potential strategy for US Forces in the near future given the current political situations in the Far East. His book “Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea” was also recommended as a great resource for insight into the Naval contributions during the Cold War period.

There was then a period of “Q&A”. Both ADM Hayward and Secretary Lehman talked about such things as “unmanned” ships and how there always needs to be a human presence on scene (maintenance, split-second decisions, contingencies, etc). Secretary Lehman also spoke in great detail about the US support for the United Kingdom during the Falklands War, especially focusing on the political maneuverings between himself and the UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Both ADM Hayward and Secretary Lehman then spoke a bit about what they went through to “forcibly retire” ADM Rickover.

CAPT Valenta talked about the 19Apr2021 meeting regarding “ROTC, past and Present”

CAPT McGinnis thanked all of our guests and Companions for their fantastic contributions to our discussions, and then adjourned the meeting at 1532.

Respectfully submitted,
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret) #9915


Meeting of 15Feb2021 (held via Zoom)

Companions present: CAPT Jim McGinnis, CAPT Richard Griffin, CAPT Bill Hickman, CAPT Dave Todd, CAPT Joe Valenta, CAPT Solon Webb, CAPT John Laible, EMC Gil Beyer, HMC Dave Turner, MM1 George Jodry, Dan Withers, Cricket Laible, John Gerten, Edward Murray

Some general discussions and greetings before the meeting began. MM1 Jodry showed the folder he made for containing the “Deck Log” – proceedings of the meetings – to preserve and keep a printed record of what we are doing.

At 1630, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order.

CAPT McGinnis appointed MM1 Jodry as Recorder for the ensuing two year term.

CAPT Todd is doing the Zoom session for today. There was some discussion regarding keeping a written record of our proceedings if we are recording the Zoom sessions, but the consensus is that we keep both types of records.

CAPT Laible was not present at this time to give us our Treasurer’s report.

We discussed our next two upcoming meetings: 27Mar2021 and 19Apr2021. The March meeting is our “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans”, with our discussion to be focused on the “Old Navy” and “New Navy” (Vietnam service versus the new Littoral Combat Ships). Special guests in attendance to give a briefing on the Navy League, as well as a background on the Expeditionary Strike Group concept. It is anticipated that former Chief of Naval Operations (and NOUS Companion) ADM Thomas Hayward will be in attendance. The April meeting will have a briefing on the Navy’s Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) from the CO of the Yale University NROTC unit.

Ed Murray was introduced and welcomed as a new Companion in the Naval Order. He took a few minutes to talk about his service and tell us about himself.

CAPT Griffin gave a short briefing on the National History Day projects we have going in the Commandery. Anybody wishing to volunteer should please contact him for more information.

CAPT Griffin then gave a book report on “A War Like No Other” by Victor Davis Hanson. This book discusses the Peloponnesian War, but from the “how” and “why” perspective, including politics, morals, and the end results (the rise of Macedon – i.e. Philip II and Alexander III [“The Great”]). A very well put together report, and VERY informative. There was some great discussion regarding this book and why the Peloponnesian War is still a topic of discussion at the Naval War College.

After a little banter under “Good of the Order, the meeting was adjourned at 1735.

Respectfully submitted,
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret) #9915

Naval Order of the United States – Northwest Commandery
Minutes of Business meeting, 18 Jan2021 (held via ZOOM)

Companions present: CAPT Jim McGinnis, CAPT John Laible, CAPT Joe Valenta, Cricket Laible, Bill Hickman, Gil Beyer, Dave Turner, CAPT Richard Griffin, Harry Stengele, Fred Wolf, Dave Todd, Dan Withers, CAPT Webb, MM1 George Jodry

There was some really good discussions going on before calling the meeting to order regarding the new Littoral Combat Ships, along with a little bit about Destroyers and such.

At 1626, CAPT McGinnis called the meeting to order. Minutes from the previous meeting were amended to show the correct name of CAPT McGinnis’ ancestor, Charles Philbrook, who was one of the founders of the Naval Order. Amended minutes approved.

CAPT Laible gave the Treasurer’s report. We have funds of $1092.14 in the bank, with $100 earmarked for the winner of the most recent National History Day contest (we will be reimbursed that $100 from National). CAPT Laible also verified that we are listed as a 501(c)(19) organization, with the National Commandery taking care of any tax matters

We then discussed our next two upcoming meetings to be held via ZOOM, 15Feb2021 and 27Mar2021. The March meeting will be our “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans meeting”, and it is hoped that we may be able to return to “normal” meetings by this time.

CAPT Griffin then gave a presentation on the judging requirements for the upcoming National History Day essay contest, along with the requirements for essays to be eligible for awards from the Commandery – to be eligible, the essay must be on a Maritime topic. We will award up to one winner from each state (Washington, Oregon, Idaho). There was some really good discussion on this topic.

CAPT Valenta gave a report on our new “DD Sailors Club”, stating that we are not some “elite” group within the Naval Order , but a group focused on the many and varying aspects of the Destroyer Navy, with a goal of providing some really good presentations and discussions. We are looking at having something put together for the meeting on 07Aug2021 (maybe a BBQ or…?)

A little chatter under Good of the Order, then the meeting was adjourned at 1730.

Respectfully submitted
MM1 George Jodry, USN (Ret) #9915

Instructions for National History Day

All contests are “virtual”
• Volunteer judges needed and must register
• Noto bene 1: Please register ASAP & inform state coordinator.
• Noto bene 2: WA judges must re-register.
• Noto bene 3: WA judges must register separately for regional & state contests.
• Noto bene 4: Virtual contests do not require travel!
• Note bene 5: Judging partners may include spouses!
• Noto bene 6: OR judges needed only for state final contest.

State Coordinators
Idaho: Gil Beyer – 3 potential judges (0 in 2020)
Oregon: Dave Todd – 6 potential judges (1 in 2020)
Washington: Dick Griffin — ~ 24 potential judges (9 in 2020)
Coordinators should contact potential judges

• NOUS National sponsors $100 award for best project dealing with aspect of maritime history
• NOUS National will reimburse NW Commandery
• NOUS provides award certificate
• 2020 winner from WA
• Recommend we sponsor the award in all three states
• Recommend state coordinators inform state and or regional coordinators
•Recommended verbiage for HD coordinators in the following slide
Thanks to Dave Todd for draft!

United States Naval and Maritime History: Preserve, Promote and Celebrate.
The Naval Order of the United States is the living history of our sea going services. Our membership keeps history alive through the restoration of historic artifacts, establishment of memorials at key sites, and the active collection of our shared history through academic papers, published works, and ad hoc stories.
We are a growing community of members spanning multiple generations and military engagements. Using written, visual, aural and social media, we tell our stories and work as a community to build, restore, and commemorate our treasured national history of those who went to sea in the name of our country.
The Naval Order of the United States has initiated and supports various projects and monuments to preserve and commemorate the prominent figures, deeds and memories of our naval and maritime history.

The Northwest Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States offers a prize of $100 to be awarded to the best (insert state) project dealing with an aspect of maritime history. Projects should be related to the 2021 theme of Communication in History: the Key to Understanding.
The criteria to be considered for this prize are:
The project must significantly involve naval or maritime history in one or more of the following aspects –
By exploring a historical event that centers around or had a significant influence on naval or maritime affairs
By exploring a historical technological development that exerted or continues to exert significant influence on naval or maritime affairs
The history of naval and maritime affairs encompasses events, practices and technologies in either or both of military and civilian spheres of activity on the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers.


The Virtual Zoom Meeting of NOUS Pacific Northwest Commandery was called to order at 1630 by Capt. John C. Laible, Commander. Capt. Solon Webb was the Zoom Administrator. This meeting will be recorded.

Present were Capt John C. Laible, Capt James and Carol McGinnis, National Commander General Col Allan Cruz-USMC, Adm Peter Andrus, Capt Paul Crissy, Capt Solon Webb, Capt Joe Valenta, Capt Dave Todd, Capt Bill Hickman, Capt Dick Griffin, John Gerten, Dan Withers, Robert Hansen, Norm Eberly, Gil Beyer, George Jodry, Dave Turner, Brad Aungst, Fred Wolf, Cricket Crockett Laible, Michael and Trudy Schefcik, Shelly Hunt, John and Carlene Rauh, and Ernest Laible.

The National Anthem was played. In honor of the Change of Command Ceremony, Outgoing Commander John Laible, Capt, USN and Incoming Commander Jim McGinnnis, Capt USN were bonged aboard.

The Minutes from the November 16, 2020 meeting were approved as written (displayed on webpage under File Cabinet –

John Laible commemorated the Pearl Harbor Day with references to tv programs shown yesterday and today.

Capt. Laible reflected on his two-year Command of NOUS PNW. He read “I Was a Sailor Once.” Special thanks were given to Solon Webb for his work on our website and communications, to Joe Valenta for chairing the Discussion Group, to Cricket Crockett Laible for her support, and to all the Northwest Companions for their participation in the PNW meetings resulting in the Capt. Jan Armstrong Memorial Award being awarded to Capt. Laible in recognition of Outstanding Local Effort and Success…

The formal Change of Command took place.

Capt. McGinnis, nephew of Charles Philbrook, one of the two founders of NOUS, reminded us of the next Zoom meeting on January 18, 2021 which will include planning for Programs, National History Day, Membership and Budget.

Joe Valenta asked Col. Cruz to speak about the 2021 National Congress. It’s to be in San Diego at the DoubleTree Inn off Highway 8, hosted by the San Francisco Commandery pending the Covid shutdown, airlines, DOD closed bases, and Companions’ travelling decisions.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1725.

Respectfully submitted,
Cricket Crockett Laible, Companion


The Companions began gathering on Zoom at the new meeting time of 1600. A 3-minute video from the Smithsonian was shown on the Doolittle Raid. Capt. Solon Webb was the Zoom administrator.

The meeting was called to order at 1640 by PNW Commander Capt. John C. Laible, USNR-Ret. Present were Capt. John Laible, Capt. Solon Webb, Capt. Jim McGinnis, Capt. Joe Valenta, Capt. Bill Hickman, Capt. Dave Todd, Capt. Dick Griffin, Capt. Dave Todd, Dan Withers, John Gerten, Harry Stengele, George Jodry, Fred Wolf, Cricket Crockett Laible, Janine Whitaker, Cdr. Casey Mahon, and Brad Aungst.

Treasurer John Laible reported that there is a balance of $942.19 in the bank account. A certified check in the amount of $100.00 will be sent to the winner of the National History Essay Contest, along with a Certificate and letter by Education Chairman Dick Griffin. We had hoped to meet the winner in person but the Covid-19 virus has precluded that happening.

A request was made for a volunteer to be the new Treasurer. John Laible has been Treasurer for 5 years (since the inception of NOUS NW).

A request was also made for a volunteer to be Secretary/Recorder. Discussions followed regarding what was involved. Companions agreed that the Minutes should be kept in the same manner as in the past which includes posting the written copy on the web, plus a video copy that will now be posted to the web. The Minutes will list the Discussion Group speakers and topics. Discussion Group Chairman Joe Valenta will keep more detailed information on the DG. Cricket will remain as the Secretary/Recorder.

The National NOUS has requested a copy of the PNW’s By-Laws. Joe Valenta will prepare them.

George Jodry had a correction to be made to the October 2020 Minutes. Replace “the mast from a ship on which Jodry has served” with “the mast from the USS Nicholas.” (Correction has been made.)

John Laible requested a volunteer to take the physical equipment for safe keeping. No volunteers.

Jim McGinnis reported on the 2021 Officer positions that will take place during the December 7, 2020 Change of Command meeting:
Commander Jim McGinnis
Treasurer John Laible
Secretary/Recorder Cricket Crockett Laible
Webmaster/Communications Solon Webb
Membership David Todd
Education/National History Day Dick Griffin
Photographer John Gerten
State Representatives Gil Beyer-Idaho, Dave Todd-Oregon, John Laible-Washington

Dick Griffin reported that the 2021 volunteer recruiting for the National History Day begins the first of 2021.

NOUS PNW Minutes -2- November 16, 2020

Future Discussion Group topics were reviewed. Suggestions were Vietnam Veterans; new ships vs old ships/experiences; Philippines and Marianas Islands, as well as Midway.

April 2021 we hope to have a hybrid meeting – Both in person as well as Zoom. Covid 19 will decide.

John Laible reminded us that there is a Proposed 2021 Calendar in the September 2020 Minutes.

Solon Webb is preparing a Procedure Manual for PNW. Solon requested help in preparing it plus getting a volunteer to help him with the web. George Jodry and Brad Aungst were asked to help and both agreed to help.

A presentation on the Surface Officers Warfare School, Newport, RI was made by Cdr. Casey Mahon. Casey is a member of the PNW NOUS. (An interesting fact is that ships are out for 220 days, 4 weeks total off ships this year because of Covid.)

Because of the timing, John Laible will speak on the start of the US Navy at the December meeting.

No old business.

New Business – Capt. John Laible has been asked to be on the NOUS National Finance Committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 1830.

Respectfully submitted,
Cricket Crockett Laible, Companion



The Zoom meeting opened for login at the new time of 1600. The meeting was called to order at 1630 by PNW Commander, Capt. John C. Laible, USNR-Ret. A short video of the US Naval Fleet Forces Band playing Anchors Aweigh was played.

Present were Capt. Solon Webb, Capt. John C. Laible, Capt. Jim McGinnis, Capt. Joe Valenta, Capt. Bill Hickman, Lt. Jeremy Orosco, Gill Beyer, Dave Turner, George Jodry, John Gerten, David Todd, Dick Griffin, Dan Withers, Norman Eberly, Harry Stengele, and Cricket Crockett Laible.

Capt. Jim McGinnis read the Capt. Jan Armstrong Memorial Award which was presented at the 2020 NOUS Congress: To Northwest Commandery Capt. John C. Laible, USN (Ret). In recognition of Outstanding Local Effort and Success achieved in one or more of the following: MEMBERSHIP GROWTH, INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS, ANNUAL CONGRESS SUPPORT; Local and/or National Commandery Initiatives. Bravo Zulu! Signed by Col. Allan Cruz, Commander General. Capt. Laible thanked everyone present and on the Zoom screen and especially Solon Webb, Web Administrator, and Cricket Crockett Laible, Companion and Secretary/Recorder for their efforts in stepping up and making this award possible.

Treasurer’s Report was given by Capt. John Laible. There was $1,116.14 in the bank as of the September 30, 2020 bank statement. Checks written since then have been $36 for the NOUS Congress (3 members representing PNW votes) and $10 to the State of Washington for their report.

New people were introduced and asked to give some background information: Norm Eberly, Dave Turner, Jeremy Orosco and Bill Hickman. There have been 2 new applications received, from Jeremy Orosco and Brad Aungst. John Laible will forward them on to Dave Todd, Membership Chair.

Jim McGinnis introduced today’s presentations:

Capt. Bill Hickman, author of “Song of the Sea.” Bill has wanted to command a ship since age 7. He gave a very interesting talk about his career including as a Politico Military Affairs Officer/Iranian studies and a Cold War Diplomat. His book is free, just contact him at his email address.

Capt. John Laible spoke on The Defeat of the British at Yorktown. He has personally visited the trenches at Yorktown where the land battle occurred.

MM1George Jodry informed us of the Veterans’ Memorial Museum in Chehalis. They are in the process of acquiring the mast from the USS Nicholas.

NOUS National Congress was held via Zoom this year due to the Covid 19 crisis. Capt. Joe Valenta (1 of 3 PNW representatives) reported that Commander General Cruz has three main focuses: 1. Emphasize membership, especially of younger, middle east/Afghanistan veterans, 2. Succession planning (already underway by PNW), and 3. IRS reporting (John Laible is a retired EA and has already corrected PNW’s reporting status).

Chief Gil Beyer reported on the national budget. Main interest was the amount of money spent on the quarterly magazine; thoughts were expressed to send it out electronically. Perhaps we can have the Spring Magazine done via email, thereby getting a real time cost comparison.

Capt. Joe Valenta said that 45 voting people were in attendance. Overall attendance via Zoom was over 65 and it was thought that there were more than last year’s attendees present. Next year the 2021 Congress will be held in San Diego pending the Covid 19 situation; otherwise it will be held via Zoom again. Washington, D.C. is scheduled to host 2022 pending Covid 19. The Seattle PNW had been asked if we would host 2023 but we declined because of our small number of members at this time. The National Congress accepted this but said they would be happy if we would host sometime in the future.

OLD Business: Succession was discussed (see above).
John Laible talked to Adm. Andrews about the separation of the member dues. The Admiral’s wife is an industrial psychologist who will put together a questionnaire regarding this.
There is no information of the 2021 History Education contests yet per Dick Griffin.
John Laible asked if anyone would volunteer to physically hold the PNW’s assets (projector, screen, etc.).

NEW Business: Future meetings will be 1640 on Monday, November 16, 2020, and Monday, December 7, 2020 which includes Pearl Harbor Day and the Change of Command.

The meeting was adjourned at 1800.

Respectfully submitted,
Cricket Crockett Laible, Companion


The Zoom site opened at 1730 PDT for logging in, and the meeting was called to order at 1800 by Capt. John C. Laible, PNW Commander/Treasurer. At 1810 the meeting was closed to additional people signing in for security purposes. Present were Capt. Solon Webb, Web and Zoom Administrator; Capt. John C. Laible, Commander; Cricket Crockett Laible, Secretary/Recorder; Capt. Jim McGinnis, Commander -elect; Capt. Joe Valenta; David Todd; David Turner; Fred Wolff; George Jodry; Gil Beyer; Harry Stengele; John Gerten; Norm Eberly; and Bill Hickman.

Solon showed a 3-minute video of World War II Navy activities.

John Laible, Treasurer reported that $954.60 (less $100.00 for History Education Day Winner) is in the treasury. The $100.00 has not been disbursed because of the Covid 19 virus prohibiting meeting in person in Yakima. It was agreed that John Laible will request a refund of $100.00 from Grazzi’s for the November/December meetings that were scheduled there. It is unlikely that we will be able to meet because of the Covid-19 virus.

We discussed signers for our bank account at First Financial Northwest Bank. Currently John Laible, Joe Valenta, and Harry Stengele are signers. John suggested Commander-elect Jim McGinnis be added as a signer. Harry Stengele said he may remain as a signer and serve as Treasurer for 2022.

NOUS National has a fiscal year ending September 30. In order for PNW to report/file under National’s tax reporting umbrella, we need to change our fiscal year end to September 30. MOTION made by John Laible, Seconded by Gil Beyer, and unanimously Passed to change NOUS PNW’s fiscal year end to September 30.

The 2021-2022 Officers have been elected. See attached list.

John Laible went over the Planned Calendar for the remainder of 2020:
14 Oct 2020 – Zoom training for Companions just prior to the National NOUS Congresss
16-17 Oct ’20 – Zoom National Congress. Jim McGinnis, Joe Valenta, and Gil Beyer will be our 3 representatives. However, all members are invited to attend the Congress. e.g/, John Laible and Solon Webb. The Congress will run for 2 days, 3 hours each day. MOTION/Seconded/Passed: To pay each the $12 fee for each representative.
Our representatives will request a more equitable disbursement of annual/lifetime fees, i.e., 50-75% of the dues versus 25%. At present, local chapters only get 25% ($10 of the $40 dues). Joe will send a copy of last year’s letter regarding this to John.
19 Oct – @1600 – Zoom Recap of National Congress, John Laible presents The Battle of Yorktown, the final defeat of the British battle.
10 Nov (Mon) 1600 – Zoom US Navy Birthday. John Laible presents the USS Constitution and the original Navy.
7 Dec (Mon) 1600 – Zoom Change of Command: Capt. Jim McGinnis assumes as Commander of NOUS PNW for 2021-2022 from Capt. John Laible. (Note date change due to Christmas holiday.)

Jim McGinnis presented the Proposed Calendar for 2021. Once approved, no one shall change or adjust the times, dates, places, or meeting subjects without Capt. McGinnis’s prior approval:

18 Jan 2021 – Zoom Business Meeting
Xx Feb 2021 – Zoom meeting. Date to be determined with input from Capt Dick Griffin regarding The National History Day event.
27 Mar 2021 – Zoom 1.Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Guest Speaker, Joe and Gil (the old Naval exp) 2. Littoral Combat Ships briefing by Jim McGinnis (the new Naval experience).
19 Apr 2021 – Zoom Business Meeting
17 May 2021 – Zoom Discussion Group, Joe Valenta, Chair/
19 Jun 2021 – Zoom Battle of Midway Remembrance, Battle of the Philippine Sea, combat in the Marianas Islands, Leyte. Venue to be determined.
Xx Jul 2021 – Open
7 Aug 2021 – Bar-b-que party (after Covid-19). Discussion Group ?
20 Sep 2021 – Business Meeting. Election of new officers.
18-22 Oct 2021 – NOUS Congress, San Diego.
13 Nov 2021 – Navy Birthday / Veterans Day Brunch.
7 Dec 2021 – Pearl Harbor dinner.

Jim McGinnis presented ways to increase membership and participation.

Joe Valenta presented Discussion Group topics for 2021.

PNW now has 35 active members.

NEW BUSINESS: A discussion of starting the meetings at 1600-1630 Sign in, 1630 Meeting Starts, 1800 Meeting Ends. Everyone agreed with the new time, beginning immediately – Oct. 2020 meeting.

Reminder: NOUS PNW website is

The meeting was adjourned at 1918.

Respectfully submitted,
Cricket Crockett Laible, Companion


The meeting was called to order by Vice-Commander Jim McGinnis via Zoom at 1800 on August 24, 2020 via Zoom. Solon Webb was the Zoom Administrator. The meeting was closed to attendees at 1810. Commander John C. Laible expressed his thanks to Jim for conducting this meeting due to his being in the Yellowstone area where Wi-Fi is not always reliable, and to Joe Valenta, Discussion Group Chairman.

Present were Capt. Jim McGinnis, Capt. John Laible, Cricket Crockett Laible, Capt. Solon Webb, Capt. Joe Valenta, Dr./LCdr Fred Wolf, ETC Gil Beyer, LtJG Harry Stengele, TMC John Gerten, PN3 Mark Thompson, Capt. Dick Griffith, and George Jodry.

Discussion Group Chairman Joe Valenta introduced “Our Sputnik Moment” based on the Sputnik satellite 63 years ago in 1957. Five book summaries were discussed.

  1. War and Peace in the Information Age by Jim McGinnis. Cyber / reconnaissance warfare.
  2. Kissinger by Joe Valenta.
  3. Shipbuilding by Solon Webb for Dave Todd.
  4. Understanding Normal Accident Theory by Fred Wolf.
  5. Current Events by Gil Beyer.

A round-table discussion and comments followed. Joe mentioned 20 alarm bells including the Covid 19 virus.

A Commandery Growth Ideas List was led by Jim McGinnis regarding future topics, suggestions from the group, i.e., inviting maritime authors to speak via Zoom. We already have a Suggestion Box on Zoom in place on our website

Future meetings are:

Sept. 21 – Business/Organizational/Administrative Meeting, and Draft of 2021 Events.

Oct. 16-17 – Annual NOUS Congress meeting via Zoom (cancelled in person due to Covid 19).

Oct. 19 – Business Meeting, revisit 2021 ideas, NW growth ideas, and the Battle of Yorktown by speaker John Laible.

Nov. 7 – Birthday of US Navy. The Start of the US Navy by speaker John Laible.

Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor remembrance. Change of Command for 2021-22 officers.Hopefully we will be able to meet at Grazzi’s for a dinner meeting in December; if not, then we will have a Zoom meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 1943 by Vice Commander Jim McGinnis.

Respectfully submitted,
Cricket Crockett Laible,

20 July 2020 – Minutes of Meeting

The Zoom meeting was called to order by Capt. John C. Laible, Commander, at 1805. Capt. Solon Webb administered the meeting via Zoom. The meeting was available to sign in from 1730 until 1810. Present were John Laible, Solon Webb, Jim McGinnis, Joe Valenta, Cricket Crockett Laible, George Jodry, Dave Todd, Harry Stengele, Norm Eberly, Gil Beyer, Dick Griffin, and Mark Thompson.

Capt. Laible reported that the NOUS National meeting will not be held at Niagara Falls this year due to the Corona Covid-19 virus. There will be Zoom meetings October 14-15-16. More information will be coming later.

Capt. Laible asked Dave Todd, Membership Chair, for updated numbers for the National Report.

Dick Griffin, Historian/Educational Chair, was asked to contact the winner of the Washington State 2020 National History Day contest to inform the winner that the $100 check is still to be awarded. It has not been presented yet due to the virus in the Yakima area. John will send the phone number and address to Dick.

Nominations for the 2021-2022 Officers were:

Capt. Jim McGinnis Commander
Capt. John Laible Vice-Commander (temporary)
Capt. John Laible Treasurer
Cricket Crockett Laible Secretary/Recorder
Capt. David Todd Membership Chair
Capt. Joe Valenta Historian/Discussion Group Chair
Capt. Dick Griffin Education Chair
TMC John Gerten Photographer
Capt. Solon Webb Webmaster and Technical Support
State Advisers and ETC Gil Beyer – Idaho Out-of-state recruiters – Capt. Dave Todd – Oregon Capt. John Laible – Washington

MOTION made by Solon Webb, seconded, and approved to elect the above officers for 2021-22.

Capt. Laible requested Membership Chair Dave Todd to write up Membership procedures for our Procedure Manual. Any other committee chair was asked to also provide their pertinent procedures.

Upcoming meetings for the remainder of 2020 will be:

Aug. 24, Monday, Zoom meeting Discussion Group – Joe Valenta, “Our Sputnik Moment”
Sept. 21, Monday, Zoom meeting Report on the Battle of Yorktown, John Laible
Oct. 12, Monday, Zoom meeting Future Growth Round Table – Joe Valenta, Jim McGinnis

Oct. 14-15-16, Thurs, Fri, Sat National NOUS Convention Zoom meeting
Nov. 17, Monday, Zoom meeting Veterans Day and Navy Birthday –
John Laible will report on Naval history
Dec. 5, Sat, Dinner at Grazzi’s (?) Pearl Harbor Day, USS Arizona – John Laible, George Jodry
Change of Command (Effective January 1, 2021)

Treasurer’s Report was given by Capt. Laible. There is a bank balance of $916.14 currently, but $100.00 is still pending for the History Contest winner, so the net balance is $816.14. John will check with Grazzi’s for a refund of our $100 deposit if we are unable to have our November and December meetings there, or change the dates to next spring after Covid-19 is over and we can resume meetings.

Joe Valenta and Jim McGinnis presented “The Northwest Future Growth Framework.” Energetic recruiting, canvassing members for suggestions directly following meetings, focusing on the next 6 months and 2021, and doubling the membership by yearend were discussed. Objective: Develop a list of ideas for growth, discussion topics, above topics. Project Team: Jim McGinnis (defense, recruiting); Joe Valenta (topic ideas); and Solon Webb (Maximum security measures), website programs, privacy of individuals, be within the scope of National NOUS charter. Growth through top moderators, expanding Zoom programs to the community regarding maritime history through historical presentations or book reviews to Rotary, Veterans groups, etc. Give people a job to do directly following each discussion group. Ask for contributions from new members. Who can contribute regarding Naval history? Set up a Zoom corner on the website with a suggestion box. Keep members active by getting involved.

Current topics suggested are: Climate change, Second Nuclear Age, US Space Force, 5G Network Capability/National Security implications, submarine fleet capabilities for US, Russia, China and others, new littoral ships (USS Oakland, USS Montgomery, now mission ready), trimaran-hulled ships.

Our NOUS PNW calendar is generally set up as follows:
Jan, Apr, July, Oct – Business meeting. Feb, May, Aug, Nov Zoom Discussion Group Mar, June, Sept, Dec Dinner Meeting Restaurant or Zoom

Items mentioned were request for volunteers, the third weekend of May is Armed Forces weekend and JBLM is more open to groups to have displays at that time, adopt a ship, get active in the Washington, D.C. Book Club and give book reports.

The meeting was adjourned at 1928.

Respectfully submitted,
Cricket Crockett Laible

17 February 2020 – Minutes of Meeting/Discussion Group

Captain John Liable discussed member participation and getting more members involved with our NWNOUS meetings and events. National NOUS has an ongoing book club that meets monthly. General discussions were held about how we might get involved. More research is necessary before we undertake any further actions.

Our discussion group leader, Captain Joe Valenta, led a lively and informative discussion on Arctic Ice Melting and the effects on Naval and International Strategies. Eight members attended and two members SKYPED. We generally agreed that Climate change is happening however, we identified multiple reasons other than Carbon Dioxide emissions that need to be addressed. With Arctic Melting shipping lanes are being created which present multiple challenges. Damage to Global Environments, Security and Commercialization of Natural Resources are some of the major consequences. We discussed major challenges for both our Navy and Coast Guard. Joe finished the meeting with an Executive Summary and handout.

The next Discussion Group meeting is Monday, May 18th. The topic is “China as a World Power”. Members are encouraged to read a book pertaining to the topic and be prepared to provide an overview at the meeting.

Our next general meeting is a dinner on March 28th, at Grazie Restaurant in Bothell, WA.More information will be forthcoming.

(Above Submitted by Harry Stengele, Recorder.)

20 January 2020 – Summary of NOUS Northwest Meeting 

The meeting was called to order by Commander John C. Laible at 1820. Present were Capt. John C. Laible, Capt. Joe Valenta, Harry Stengele , Floyd Kershner, Mike , John Gerten, and Cricket Crockett Laible. Also present via Skype were Solon Webb , Jim McGinnis, and Dave Todd.

Floyd apologized for sending out the wrong address for the meeting.

Capt. Laible thanked Floyd for arranging for (active) Admiral Grey to be our speaker March 28 at the dinner meeting at Grazie’s Restaurant, 23207 Bothell/Everett Highway, Bothell, WA.

Commander/Treasurer Laible gave the financial report. We have not heard from National if they have received the Non-Profit status umbrella for us this year. If not, we will have to file a Form 1120 Non-Profit again this year. The amount in the bank account at December 31, 2019 was $876.14. A reimbursement of $200.00 was requested by Capt. Laible for the reservation holds for the four Grazie rooms. John paid for it on his personal credit card when the reservations were made. Capt. Joe Valenta will sign a check for the reimbursement of $200.00. There were no other questions regarding finances.

Please make sure to send in your membership dues as soon as you are notified.

There was a review and final approval of the Organization Duties.
Capt. John Laible Commander and Treasurer
Harry Stengele Recorder/Secretary-send out notices, keep membership list
Current in coordination with Floyd.
Floyd Kershner Historian, Venues, Skype, current membership list with Harry
SolonWebb Website (

Notices of monthly and quarterly meetings will be sent out 2 & ½ weeks prior to the date with 7 day reminders, including rsvp information, correct address and when needed, the NOUS PNW web site address. The automatic 7 day reminder did not work so we will utilize the standard manual process.

Notices of the discussion group meetings will be sent out 30 days prior with 7 day reminders. The notices will include the topic, reference material and correct address for the meeting. The next discussion group will be February 17 at the Makers facility on Melting Arctic Regions.

The only change to this schedule will be for the March meeting only. Because we are having Admiral Grey as our speaker, will send out a 30 day notice as well as a 7 day notice. We want a great attendance representing NOUS PNW.

NOUS PNW Meeting. Whoever is in charge of a meeting must notify Harry and Solon of the details in sufficient time for them to send out the notices and post on the website. NO ONE IS AUTHORIZED TO SEND OUT ANY SCHEDULES, MEETING DATES OR MEETING DETAILS EXCEPT THAT YOU GO THROUGH HARRY. If you need to send out detailed information, i.e, the “Discussion Group’s study information, make sure you provide the date, time and location of the meeting to allow Harry input to include in his notice.

The National History Day program on June 14-18 was discussed. Richard Griffin is our coordinator but is out of town and left information with John Laible. We need volunteers for this. Contests for the high schools in our area will be 2/29 (SW Ore), 3/14 Idaho, 4/27 Ore, ?? Kent, Wash. John will get more information and will call Solan, Joe, and Floyd. Jim McGinnis volunteered for Oregon. Participation in this project is very important for NOUS’s community involvement. Solan has already posted information on the website ( for the History program.

Discussions ensued regarding the meeting dates/agendas which are not to be changed without the NOUS PNW’s Commander’s approval. Any changes that are modified and approved are to be sent to Solon for announcement changes in our website and will also be sent out by Harry.

January 20, 2020 Monday – Planning meeting at 1830, Makers space. Capt. John Laible.

February 17 Monday – Discussion Group at 1800, Makers Space. Subject: Arctic Changes and It’s Effect on Naval and International Strategies. Leader Capt. Joe Valenta.

March 28 Saturday – Quarterly dinner meeting 1600-1900 at Grazie’s Restaurant, 23207 Bothell/Everett Highway SE, Bothell, Wa. Admiral Grey, Commander, Pacific Northwest is the speaker. Coordinator Floyd Kerschner. Floyd will confirm Adm. Grey’s subject before sending out information. We need RSVPs for this event. Guests are welcome, but we need a head count. Harry Stengele will receive the reservations.

April 25 Saturday – Visit the Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport, Wa. All-day event 10-4. John Gerten Coordinator. We will meet at the Edmonds ferry at approximately 10:00 and carpool from the ferry to the Museum and reverse. John Gerten will arrange the schedule and post it in March. Capt. and Mrs.Laible will search for adequate parking and John Gertin will check ferry schedules.

May 18 Monday – At 1800-2000, Makers Space. Subject to be announced later (possibly the 2nd Nuclear Age). Discussion Leader Capt. Joe Valenta.

June 20 Saturday – Quarterly dinner meeting 1600-1900 at Grazie’s Restaurant, Bothell, Wa. Presentation by LCDR Joe Martin, Battle of Midway. Coordinator Floyd Kershner.

Floyd – please contact LCDR Martin to coordinate the presentation. As a new member he may need some guidance and help to feel comfortable.

July 20 Monday – Planning meeting 1800, Makers Space. Discussion of 2021 Officer Elections.
Be thinking of possible candidates for 2021 Officers. We could start integrating new officer elects over the next few months.
Capt. John Laible will prepare an Annual Report to National.
NOUS PNW Meeting January 20, 2020

August 17 Monday – No meetings this month. Many will be on vacation.

Sept. 21 Monday – Monthly meeting 1600-1900, Makers Space. Election of 2021 Officers and 2021 Events. Determine representatives to the National meeting in Buffalo, NY, Capt. Joe Valenta. Moderator Capt. John Laible.

October No Local Meeting. National NOUS Meeting in Buffalo Oct. 14-17.
Navy Birthday Oct. 13.

Nov. 7 Saturday – Quarterly dinner meeting 1600-1900 at Grazie’s Restaurant, Bothell. Floyd, please prepare a presentation.

Dec. 5 Saturday – Dinner meeting 1600-1900 at Grazie’s Restaurant, Bothell. Honoring Pearl Harbor December 7. Possible presentation by Capt. John Laible and Floyd Kershner – TBD.

Service Organizations presentations – Cricket will be contacting organizations.


Capt. Joe Valenta showed us some NOUS business cards for individuals.

There may be a chance to ride a ship from Astoria to Portland for the Rose Festival. Dave Todd and Floyd Kershner will coordinate.

There may possibly be some involvement in Seafair (ride ships?). Dave Todd coordinator.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1945.

Respectfully submitted,

Cricket Crockett Laible

9 September 2019 – Summary of NOUS Northwest Meeting 

We will discontinue Evite immediately and begin utilizing the feature that is on Outlook.  Floyd will handle the conversion.  Floyd will meet with Harry before the end of Sept. to help him to utilize Outlook.
     Floyd will set up outlook so the officers can get a current membership list.
     Harry is getting a new computer to be able handle the membership list.  Floyd will help Harry to be up to speed by the end of Sept. at the latest.
     Only Harry, Floyd & I can send out emails to the general membership.  The only exception will be Richard Griffin regarding the American essay contests.
       Harry will send out notices of our general meetings, dinner meetings and trip events 2 & 1/2 weeks and again one week in advance.  Outlook can be programmed to automatically send out the second notice.  Discussion group meetings will be sent out 1 month before the scheduled meeting and include suggested sources for advanced study.  Even if it is only to “research the subject on the web”.  Longer lead times may be needed for special tours & events.  All department heads will submit all meetings, events etc. to Harry, Solon & Floyd in sufficient time for Harry to be able send out proper notices.  Once a date/event/meeting is decided upon No one is authorized to change it without my permission.
      Harry will send out the minutes of all meetings & notices to Solon for inclusion in the web site.
       Floyd will take over membership beginning immediately.   Review all applications and add to our membership list.  Then forward to the commanding officer with the applicants checks.  The CO will send it off to National. Solon & Harry will be notified of the new member.
      Cricket Laible has volunteered to contact all local service organizations and local stations to set up our NOUS presentations.  Floyd will have all presentations fully to go by year end.
       It was explained that SKYPE is a powerful tool that we should fully utilize.  We had 6 members on skype for this meeting allowing us to@ directly communicate with 11 members.  Floyd shared that telephone 1numbers won’t work on Skype.  All must provide their skype address.
       Jim has taken the lead with the high school essay contest for WA, Idaho & Oregon.  He will keep us informed on the progress & need for judges for the web site.
      Captain Laible will stay on as Treasure.  He informed the group that National has been told that it is a matter of time now for the IRS to approve the request of group coverage for tax reporting.
      Officers were approved for command year 2020 and the 2020 calendar of events & meetings were also approved.  Some of the scheduled events are ” TBD” but will be fleshed out throughout the year.  Joe has been asked to prepare a midway presentation.  Floyd will arrange for the blimp presentation in Dec.  Floyd will also check out the use of the Old Admirals quarters in Magnolia and/or the blimp hanger at the U of W.  Capt. Laible will make arrangements to use the cafeteria on the Everett station.  Skype will be used at all meetings, events etc. when possible.
                                                                                          John C. Laible

May 6, 2019 – Summary of the NOUS PNW Management meeting

The meeting was called to order at 1545 at the Makers Space.

Floyd assisted all to get up on skype. It is now working very well for all. We are definitely puzzled why more of our members are not signing up so that all can join in and participate with our NOUS PNW

Participants were: John Laible, Joe Valenta, Floyd Kersher, Jim Wold, John Gertin, Mark Thompson and David Todd via skype.

NOUS Midway meeting Everett Naval Base:
• The date has been changed to Saturday June 1, 2019. Same time, 11:30 at the Everett Naval Meal Facility. Floyd is ready to present “Women Code Breakers” that made Midway a success. The manager of the facility and his family have been invited and plan to attend. We will invite all that are eating there from the base to join us as well.

•Everyone will meet no later than 11:15 so we can car pool into the base. The driver must have a military ID and every one in the car must have a military ID or a valid drivers license for admission to the base.

NOUS PNW presentation on Memorial Day:
• We have been invited to make our first “Presentation” to the Veterans at the Overlake Terrace Living and Memory Care facility at 1425 May 27, 2019 for the veterans and staff that are living there.
• Floyd is ready for the presentation and we will have a practice run through on May 18th at Floyds home at 1600 hrs.
• Many of the patients are very active and may wish to join NOUS PNW. Wow that would be so great. We will encourage those who cannon attend our meetings and outings to bring on board skype and join us that way.

Presentations to Service Organizations:
• The 27th will be our test run and then we will hone any changes and begin contacting the various service organizations. Floyd has been asked to set up 4 different presentations and let the service organizations pick and choose which topic that would interest then.

Treasurer’s Report:
We now have $696.14 in our bank account. Captain Laible chatted with National and has been told that the proper documents and check have been sent from National to the IRS to include us under their Non Profit umbrella. This should take effect for tax year 2019.

Sub base tour:
• John Gertin has contacted the Naval Sub Base to work on a tour of a Nuclear Submarine and the Trident Training Facility. It is a complicated process. We MUST have 20 or more participants, All must have proof of Being American Citizens (no your military ID will only get you on the base but not the tour), a valid pass port, birth certificate or enhanced drivers license will be the only acceptable documentation. Several dates were offered by the base. The best date was taken by the day after our meeting. The date of May 13, 2019 has been accepted. Please note that all dates are week days. Members of our NOUS PNW and those who we sponsor (wives, friends and children over the age of 11 are acceptable).
• Floyd will be sending out Evites soon. It is VERY IMPORTANT to respond as quickly as possible so we can have a count of participants. If we don’t meet the 20 minimum, we will have to call off this awesome trip.
• More information on your “evite” notice.

NOUS PNW Discussion Group Meeting:
• Captain Laible will host this meeting with a BBQ at his home. The meeting will be held on Saturday June 22 and will begin at 1800. Lots of delicious food and an open bar will be served while the discussions are being held. The subject is “looking at the future ship mission needs of the Navy”. Captain Joe Valenta will chair the meeting.
• An Evite will be sent out. Again, it will be important to respond so Cricket Laible can anticipate the food and seating requirements. If you should say “no” but change your mind, you are still absolutely welcome.
• Captain Laible’s address is 14519 NE 174th, Woodinville, Wa 98072. Tel # 206-794 Lots of easy parking. His house is easy to find – it has a flag pole with the American and Navy Flag.
• Looking for an informative and spirited discussion.

New Business:
• Floyd has set up a trip on a special tug from Astoria to Portland for the Portland Rose Festival on June 5, 2019 for the Parade of Ships. As of this writing, 2 spots are still open. Any questions about the openings and trip, please call Floyd at 206-669-1382.

The new member luncheon has been canceled for July.

The meeting was adjourned at 2000

15 March 2019 – Annual Vietnam Veterans’ Dinner, Arnie’s Restaurant, Mukilteo, WA

Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Captain John C. Laible at Arnie’s restaurant, Mukilteo, Wa. at 1945. Present were Captain John Laible, Captain Joe Valenta, Commander Dan Limberg, Chief John Gertin, PO3 Mark Thompson, Floyd Kershner, Janine Whitaker and Cricket Laible.

Captain Laible expressed a special Thank You to Floyd Kershner for his fantastic extra effort setting up our detailed membership list and the many hours setting up the NOUS PNW Skype and Evite programs. Great job Floyd.

A hearty Thank You to Captain Joe Valenta for setting up this year’s Discussion Group subjects and meetings. When you attend, you would believe that you were a student back at the Naval War College. Another Great Job Joe.

Floyd and Mark are now working on our next step to educate the PNW about our NOUS organization. Floyd is now working on the script and technical procedures for presentations to all of the service organizations in the Greater Seattle area and to see if we can be spotlighted by our local TV stations for the “local interest” segments.

Mark will work on arranging the presentations to the service organizations and finding a better meeting environment at hopefully $0 cost or very minimum at locations convenient to our area members. Our outlying members can participate via Skype.

Since the theme for the nights dinner meeting was “Remembering our Viet Nam Veterans”, several of our members shared their stories of their service during that time. Captain Joe Valenta also shared about his time as the Gunnery Officer on the Cruiser Oklahoma City. He was on board when Life Magazine did a cover story with awesome pictures of the ship firing in the 8/6/65 issue. In addition he shared a picture of himself with the Oklahoma City in the back ground just before it became a “Reef”.

PO3 Mark Thompson shared his experience attending the commissioning of the USS Tulsa (LCS-16) in San Francisco on 16 February 2019 and showed us the special commissioning challenge coins he received.

Our next meeting will be our second Discussion Group this year conducted by Captain Valenta at address to be advised. The meeting is scheduled from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm, with the first 30 minutes devoted to setting up the Skype connections. And there will be an Administrative meeting to be held on May 6, location and time to be announced shortly. At that time, we will work on more special field trips and lectures for this year in addition to the schedule already organized.