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.”

USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT Class Joins the Fleet

USS Theodore Roosevelt

GROTON, Conn (April 29, 2014) - Twenty-five Sailors of “Class 14220” USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (SSBN-600), graduated from Basic Enlisted Submarine School, Friday, 2 May.

Seaman John Yumol was Class Honorman with a Grade Point Average of 96.50. John continues in the Apprentice Team Training pipeline.

Seaman Matthew Hathcock was recipient of the Submarine Heritage Award.

Seaman Eric Reinhart received the Navy Core Values Award for best exemplifying the standards and expectations of a United States Navy Sailor.

Seaman Apprentice Samuel Neumueller was meritoriously advanced because of his academic performance.

With Grade Point Averages of 90.0 or higher, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Tristan Ferguson, Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Keith Fanning, and Seaman Recruit Michael Wurster joined Seaman William Moore 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.