posted on April 01, 2009 00:01
It always seems that in the April magazine I should report on the conference just held.
Unfortunately, with a conference late in the month and publishing deadlines, that just
isn’t possible. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, we all had a good time and
a lot was accomplished. San Diego is next in September and the Eleventh District is
working hard on a great event, so start making plans to attend. Hotel expense will be
considerably less than Fort Worth.
Last month, the Navy Reserve rolled out a new Strategic Plan. VADM Debbink was
personally very involved in creating this vision and is very pleased with it according to our
sources. President Hardy writes about it on page 6.
This month, we bring you an interview with Vice Admiral Thomas Kilcline, Commander
Naval Air Forces. It was conducted during the annual Retired Aviation Flag Conference in San
Diego. Find the feature on page 15. There is a lot of good news in how the Aviation Enterprise
is providing new tools for managing the problems in Naval Aviation. Many of those problems
are the same ones that I remember existed when I was an ensign flight student. They are of a
recurring nature; but due to the Aviation Enterprise, we have a much better understanding of
the particular drivers for a problem and, therefore, a better ability to manage it. One thing
from the conference and the interview that jumped out at me is that the Admiral’s number one
equipment concern is getting the Gerald R. Ford to sea on schedule. This is because, when
Enterprise retires, we will already have a 30-month gap with only ten carriers. I remain
concerned that even this gap will encourage those who want to reduce our carrier numbers
Many of us members of this Association are approaching a time in life when, in spite of our
recent experience in the stock market, we can consider some charitable giving. At least, we
can consider giving some of what we leave behind. This month, our VP for Legal Affairs,
LCDR Marc Soss, has written us a piece on such tax advantaged giving. Find it on page 22.
If you are receiving this magazine, you care about our Navy and Navy people. Your tax
advantaged gift can help your estate and ensure that AUSN can continue to work on behalf
of the Navy and its people.
With all the talk about the new administration, the budget, and the “stimulus” bill, there is
a lot to watch on the legislative front. Legislative initiatives on Capitol Hill are and will
always be a main pillar of what organizations such as ours do on behalf of our membership
and the Navy at large. Check out Captain Puzon’s column on page 9. Thanks to him, we are
always on the Hill for you. I could use a PR person to catalogue all that he does and get the
word out. Jean Byrd is constantly updating the Web legislative section, and I encourage you
to tune in and stay abreast of our issues – your issues.
As usual, CAPT Bill Emslie has given us another great article, on page 12, which helps
explain the “secrets” of selection boards. We should always concentrate on doing what we
perceive as the right thing rather than focus on how to promote ourselves. Nonetheless, it is
a wise individual, officer or enlisted, who takes the time to learn how his or her company
functions. I have sat on a number of selection boards and chaired a couple. I believe that our
processes are sound and that mistakes are few. That doesn’t mean that any of us should leave
things to fate. That is one of the values of our Professional Development Seminars; we teach
As usual, enjoy the read.