SUBVETS Groton Steak N’ Lobster Night

SUBVETS Groton Steak N’ Lobster Night Set for September 6.

Groton – U.S. Submarine Veterans Groton Base will hold their annual Steak N’ Lobster Dinner on September 6th. Please call for reservations: (860) 445-5262. This is one of their most popular dinners of the year.

Dinner will be served in two sittings, at 5:45 and 7 p.m. at their clubhouse, 40 School Street, Groton.

You will be able to have a Steak and a Lobster, or any combination of the two for $28 per person. If that’s too much food then you can get a steak or a lobster for $15 per person. Price includes salad, baked potato and all the fixings.

Advanced Paid Reservations are required.

All events are open to members of U.S. SUBVETS and their guests.

For directions or additional information about SUBVETS Groton visit their Web site at, or contact Jeff Walsh, SUBVETS Groton Base House Committee Chair, at (860) 449–2103 or by e-mail at


United States Submarine Veterans Incorporated is a National Veterans Fraternal Organization chartered in 1964 and recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)19 entity. With over 13,200 members and 160 chapters nationwide, it is the largest organization of US Navy submarine qualified veterans in the world.

If you’d like more information on this topic, please contact Rich Cheatham, United States Submarine Veterans Incorporated Groton Base Public Affairs Officer at (860) 271-6608 or via email at

USS Remora Class Joins the Fleet

GROTON (June 10, 2014) - Sixty-six Sailors of “Class 14280″ USS Remora (SS-487), graduated from Basic Enlisted Submarine School, Friday, 13 June.

Seaman Apprentice Joseph Sampson was Class Honorman with a Grade Point Average of 98.79. Sampson, who was meritoriously advanced as a result of his academic performance, continues in the Apprentice Team Training pipeline.

Seaman Apprentice Javier McMillon was recipient of the Submarine Heritage Award.

Seaman Apprentice Michael Mize received the Navy Core Values Award for best exemplifying the standards and expectations of a United States Navy Sailor.

With Grade Point Averages of 90.0 or higher Seaman Recruit Jesse Guillot, Seaman William Austin, Seaman Angelito Mostajo, Seaman Clay Mayer, Seaman Jamar Williamson, Fireman Recruit Alexander Williams, Fireman Derrick Francis, Seaman Miguel Diaz Morales, Seaman Apprentice Tyler Harrington, Seaman Recruit Thomas Sundell, Seaman Recruit Matthew Harsey, Seaman Nicholas Mabry, Seaman Apprentice Christopher Santana, Machinist Mate 3rd Class Ian Patsfield, Seaman Matthew Gabb, Seaman Andrew Dibble, Seaman Recruit Jordan Guerrerosargent, Seaman Recruit Chase Mikulastik, Seaman Brian Christian, and Seaman Recruit Todd Montgomery joined Mize and McMillon as Graduates with Distinction.

Basic Enlisted Submarine School is a six-week introduction to the basic theory, construction and operation of nuclear powered submarines. In preparation for an assignment, Sailors receive instruction on shipboard organization, submarine safety and escape procedures.

William Kenny
Submarine Learning Center Public Affairs

UNH ROTC Student Awarded Legion of Valor Achievement Award

WEST HAVEN, CT (05/30/2014)(readMedia)– Brett Rankowitz, a University of New Haven senior majoring in criminal justice and a member of the UNH Reserved Officer Training Corps program, has been awarded the Bronze Cross Legion of Valor Achievement Award.


Brett Rankowitz

Brett, a Niantic resident, was awarded the cross for outstanding performance throughout his junior year at UNH. Fewer than 50 cadets and midshipmen nationally receive the cross each year.

“Brett’s constant desire and willingness to achieve a higher standard warranted this prestigious award,” said Capt. Sean Ritchie of the UNH ROTC program. “Every single day he performed to the best of his abilities, and he consistently set a positive example for others within the program.”

Brett, who will be the company commander of the UNH ROTC cadets beginning this fall, has served as an ROTC team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant, platoon leader and company first sergeant. “His peer and leadership evaluations, without a doubt, demonstrated his knowledge and frequently earned him a score of ‘excellent,”‘ Ritchie said.

As a member of the Nathan Hale Battalion Ranger Company, Rankowitz conducted physical training five days a week, and each Thursday he conducted road marches ranging of up to 12 miles while carrying a 50 pound backpack. “Brett’s willingness to push himself and, subsequently, to achieve a higher standard, motivated and inspired his subordinates and peers daily,” said Ritchie.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.

214 New Ensigns Commissioned

Photo  Template for the ResidentBy Mary Belanger

On Wednesday May 21, Cadet Memorial Field is staged and ready to begin the US Coast Guard Academy’s 133rd commencement exercises.

What a picture-perfect scene of a breathtaking celebration to honor such an elite group of young men and women.  The sun shining through the multiple shades of blue in the sky only enhanced the white uniforms of the cadets soon to graduate and be commissioned into the US Coast Guard.

The time is here, there is a vigilance of silence, the chapel bells are chiming, the sound of a 21 gun salute brings a note of honor and the Coast Guard Band captures our hearts with the sound of Pomp and Circumstance as the Cadets march in. 

Distinguished Graduate, Stephanie Jocis of Palos Verdes, California spoke of how she related her four years at the Academy to the likes of entering a revolving door. Stephanie spoke about each turn of the door as being another challenging year.  At times she felt isolated. With last year’s final turn, she was able to exit with the best version of herself.  She concluded that, “Camaraderie of the Academy changes everyone from I to We in the service of their nation.”

Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department Of Homeland Security delivered the keynote address to the 214 graduates.  Secretary Johnson stated that, “Graduation represents an accumulation of four years of hard work, but it is not an end, it is not your destination, it is your next beginning.”  He gave reference to Stephanie Jocis,  “How at times she felt isolated” and said, “Yes, it’s been hard, and we make it hard for a reason, our nation, our department and our Coast Guard requires the best and the strongest.”  He asked the cadets to live by their moral and ethic compass, “Your fellow Americans will expect a lot from you. Set the example, behave as if the whole world is watching.”      

Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., Commandant of the US Coast Guard, who will be retiring at the end of the month, administered the oath of office to the cadets. As the Admiral stood before the cadets for the last time, he asked them, “Turn around and say thank you!”

Class president Bradley Pienta thanked the Admiral and voiced, “We promise to take all that we have learned from you into the fleet.”

Submarine Officer Basic Course Graduation

GROTON (May 22, 2014) - Thirty-seven officers, “Class 14030″, graduated from the Submarine Officer Basic Course Thursday, 22 May

Captain Dale Green, USN, Shipyard Representative, Submarine Group Two, was the guest speaker.

Ensign Austin Anderson received the L. Y. Spear Award and a gold watch in recognition of his overall superior academic performance as the Basic Course Honor Graduate.

Ensign Andrew Moore was recipient of the Admiral Andrew I. McKee Award, given to the graduate who displays excellence in the submarine systems and diving trainer portions of the course and who demonstrates superior performance in the areas of submarine design and safety.

Lieutenant Daniel Cary was awarded the Naval Submarine League Tactical Excellence Award for achieving the greatest understanding of Target Motion Analysis (TMA) as measured by demonstrated proficiency in plotting mechanics and fire control system operation.

The Submarine Officer Basic Course is ten weeks in length and teaches officers the theory, instruction and operation of nuclear powered submarines. In preparation for their first submarine assignment, officers receive intensive instruction in areas to include shipboard organization, damage control, submarine safety and escape procedures, submarine weapons, fire control and sonar systems in order to be a fully contributing member of a ship’s wardroom from the day they report aboard.

New England Newspaper Help Needed to Complete “Faces Never Forgotten” Project

New England publishers and editors,

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is asking newspapers throughout the country to help find pictures of soldiers from their communities who were killed in action in Vietnam for the new “Faces Never Forgotten” project. This project is an online interactive display, and people will also be able to view it at the new Education Center that’s being built near the Vietnam Memorial Wall on the National Mall.

Out of the 58k soldiers killed, the VVMF still needs 24,000 pictures. In light of such a big challenge, they’d like local newspapers to help locate a picture of any of the soldiers from their circulation area that don’t already have a picture in the display. Conceivably, your paper could run an article asking if anyone has a picture of the soldier(s) – perhaps as part of an upcoming Memorial Day feature, and you could also check your own archives for a news, activity or sports photo. Some papers may even be willing to contact the local high school to see if it has a yearbook picture to honor an alum in the display who is missing a photo.

Here is the request from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund:

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund “Faces Never Forgotten” project needs help obtaining missing photos of Vietnam veterans from New England. These photos will help complete an electronic “Wall of Faces” in the new education center at the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

View the gallery in progress at

These are moving tributes to fallen soldiers. Would you please help us locate a photo of each soldier from your area?

Please check the display, and if there is a soldier from your area who is missing a photo, perhaps you could check to see if you have a photo in your newspaper archive and/or run a notice in your paper. If you obtain the photos, please just send them to NENPA and they will forward them on to the VVMF. 

Guide to determining which photos are needed 

The following are instructions are on how to get the updated status of the photos in the display.

1. Go to:

2. Click Advanced Search, to the right of the search box

3. Input the city, county, or state that coincides with your circulation area

4. Scroll to the last box and check: Does Not Have a Default Photo

5. Hit Submit

This will show any names of soldiers from your area that are missing a photo.

Thank you for your help with this very worthwhile tribute.

Please send photos to:

New England Newspaper & Press Association

“Faces Never Forgotten”

370 Common St.

Dedham, MA 02026

For more information please contact Megan Sherman at or (781) 320-8042.

Coast Guard Museum Ground Breaking

CG347: May 2, 2014: History in the Making National Coast Guard Museum Association board members join Adm. Robert J. Papp, Coast Guard Commandant (center) in letting the ceremonial dirt fly. (l-r) John S. Johnson, Treasurer; James J. Coleman, Jr., Chairman;  Richard J. Grahn, Esq., Secretary; Hon. Catherine W.  Cook and RADM John N. Faigle, USCG (Ret.) CG51: (l-r) Seamen Mockler, Linton, King and Yeacer of the United States Ceremonial Honor Guard stand ready to post the colors. CG90: Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. and James J. Coleman, Chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, salute the colors.

CG347: May 2, 2014: History in the Making
National Coast Guard Museum Association board members join Adm. Robert J. Papp, Coast Guard Commandant (center) in letting the ceremonial dirt fly. (l-r) John S. Johnson, Treasurer; James J. Coleman, Jr., Chairman; Richard J. Grahn, Esq., Secretary; Hon. Catherine W. Cook and RADM John N. Faigle, USCG (Ret.) CG51: (l-r) Seamen Mockler, Linton, King and Yeacer of the United States Ceremonial Honor Guard stand ready to post the colors. CG90: Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. and James J. Coleman, Chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, salute the colors.

Coast Guard Museum Groundbreaking

By Jon Persson

On May 2nd, Admiral Robert Papp formally accepted the transfer of the property deed from the City of New London to the United States Coast Guard where the National Coast Guard Museum will soon be built.

The pomp of these ceremonies is underscored by the towering presence of the Coast Guard barque Eagle, and CG36500, the lifeboat that rescued 32 crew members from the sinking tanker Pendleton during a fierce storm in February, 1952.

The first of the two ceremonies, held on the afternoon of May 2nd, officially transfers ownership of the waterfront property bordered by Union Station and the Cross Sound Ferry complex. New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio gives a brief legal tutorial on the procedure for such  transfer: after being sworn in, he signs the document on behalf of the entire city of New London. Admiral Papp then signs on behalf of the United States government. Mayor Finizio has asked that Mayors Henchey and Galbreath of Norwich and Groton witness the signing, in recognition of the two neighboring cities which share New London’s harbor.

Mayor Finizio and Admiral Papp are joined by Governor Dannel Malloy, Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, and Representative Joe Courtney. Senator Chris Murphy notes that “efforts that are most worth it are always difficult,” adding that the Revenue Cutter Service, which later became the Coast Guard, was America’s “only naval force for the first ten years” of the nation. Governor Dannel Malloy offers that the history and presence of the Coast Guard has made it apparent that the “Coast Guard Museum needs to be in New London.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal promises to continue the difficult quest for funding, which has been bolstered by Governor Malloy’s pledge of $20 million dollars from the State. Representative Joe Courtney is quick to remember the work of Senators Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd, and of his own predecessor Representative Rob Simmons, in establishing the legislative framework for the Coast Guard Museum to be specifically located in New London.

Finally, Jimmy Coleman, Chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, is introduced with the most poignant announcement of the day, that of a personal pledge of $150,000 to the museum project. With now-familiar modesty he offers praise for the work and exploits of others engaged in the task to memorialize the contributions of the men and women United States Coast Guard. 

The ceremonies close with a symbolic breaking of ground by the official party, Senators and Mayors wielding shovels embossed with the emblem of the Coast Guard. Funds still need to be raised and appropriated, contracts awarded, logistics worked out all before this museum can become a reality. Celebrity figures, John Amos and Arnold Palmer amongst them, have already joined the effort. The process has begun.

Born To Be Airborne


Kevin Brown

Colonel Kevin Brown meets with former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.



By Alexis Ann

On May 18th, the Town of Montville will hold its Memorial Day parade. Every year, the Mohegan Tribe enters a float in this parade. “This year will be no different,” says Mohegan Chairman Kevin Brown, except that this year, its chairman happens to be a veteran. Colonel Kevin Brown, US Army (ret), will march to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

Chairman Kevin Brown, “Red Eagle” by Tribal name, served as a leader of US Army Combat Troops. The date of the parade is the eighth anniversary of one of his most heart wrenching days in 2007 – when he helped carry four of his fallen troops from the battlefield to their final resting place. Colonel Brown will march in remembrance and respect of those men. He will march as the officer and gentleman soldier he will forever be – always a Warrior.

Some are drawn to military service, others are born to it. Colonel Brown came in to the world at US Army Post Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The son of a decorated Airborne Combat Infantryman, whose 26-year career saw battle in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam; young Kevin Brown grew up to the sound of trumpet calls, the tramp of marching boots and sight of his father parachuting into the drop zone.  

“When I was ten years old, I remember standing on the front lawn with my mother watching the paratroopers jump from the airplane and descend down under their parachutes. My mother said, “He was supposed to be jumper number nine so that’s probably him right there.” “That puts an imprint on your soul.  Though I didn’t really know it, nor made it a lifelong goal of mine, it was always in the back of my mind to join the military.”

After following his dad to various postings, the family came home to their Mohegan Tribe in Montville.  A stellar student/athlete, young Kevin was courted by the finest east coast Division III colleges and Division I-A, I-AA universities for his academic excellence and football prowess. However, after a personal visit by a West Point coach, Kevin’s dad dropped an application packet on the kitchen table. BOOM! “Fill this out!” 

“Without blinking or thinking, I filled it out, signed it and mailed it!” It was a decision made by a boy that would soon mold the man.

After four arduous years of study and intense military training, Cadet Brown stood in a cavernous room with his classmates to “participate in the time honored tradition” of picking his first military assignment, according to class academic standing. Although his father had urged him to pursue military intelligence assignments, his lineage overcame him and he chose the 101st Airborne Division, Combat Infantry, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  Life has a route that always leads forward, but at times returns us from whence we came. “I laughed at the remarkable turn of events that saw my first office located in a building that was 100 feet from the hospital where I was born.” Brown said while broadly smiling. 

The years that followed were to see the young lieutenant go from leading a platoon of 200 troops to leading a task force of 1000 troops in Iraq. In 2006, Colonel Brown served as the operations officer with the 10th Mountain Division, home to as elite a fighting force as there is in the world. He eventually retired as garrison commander of Fort Riley, Kansas; acting as “mayor and city manager for 50,000 persons; to include soldiers and their families.”

Colonel Brown noted that leaving home for deployment is like leaving a base, in that it is where you leave from. And returning home from combat is the base where you return to. That base is the center of our lives.

A warrior does not relish combat; he or she is in it for purpose and cause – protection of our nation and its rights and freedoms. Colonel Brown, during both of his tours of duty in Iraq, did so relentlessly and with honor. He was known as “a soldier’s soldier” – an officer who led from the front, role modeling that which he commanded of his troops. 

He takes justifiable pride in the results of that team effort approach. When asked if he accomplished the mission, he thoughtfully responded, “We fulfilled our Mission – We accomplished all that was asked of us….All paid a price, some returned home to a hero’s burial.”

Colonel John Leach-Memorial Day From A Warrior’s Perspective


Colonel John Leach



By Maya Jung


Over 79 years have not diminished the imposing military bearing and command presence of Colonel John Leach, United States Army (ret.). He looks ready for service and would still command the respect and loyalty to follow into harm’s way.

A Hall of Fame football player at Westerly High School and the University of Rhode Island, John went forth to serve his nation in 1957 – he was decorated with a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and the  Soldier Medal.

His Army career saw two tours in Vietnam as an Airborne Army Ranger – the first tour as a field commander, the second as an inserted combat advisor to Army of the Republic of Vietnam. He was stationed in Germany and South Korea. Many of his missions, operations and career achievements were covert – the results are obvious to this day. Suffice it to say Colonel Leach took a hammer to the Berlin Wall and sent an everlasting message to those who dared to invade the demilitarized zone in Korea.

The Colonel was one of the select few Army officers to attend the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. The college is the “Home of  Thought” for senior military leaders. Upon graduation, Colonel Leach was assigned as an instructor at the college. The Colonel’s assignment there saw him pioneer the use of satellite and computer technology to enhance the effectiveness of soldiers in the field.

Retirement has seen the Colonel, wife Carol and daughter Patty return to establish a final base camp in his native Westerly, RI. The former Bulldog legend takes great joy in mentoring and cheering on the youth of his birthplace. His role modeling inspires new generations.

The Colonel offered this on the importance of Memorial Day – “I wear my Viet Vets Cap only on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. All of the year I seek to honor those in American history who made the ultimate sacrifice that our freedoms and rights would be preserved and flourish – Memorial Day is a yearly event honoring of the timeless sacrifice that our military made and continues to make, that we might live in freedom.”

A hero of few words whose life’s actions speak volumes – American Hero Colonel John Leach at Memorial Day.