Army and Navy have always had a friendly rivalry since both Academies have been in existence. This rivalry is particularly heightened during one time of the year – The Army-Navy game. For the military academies, there are two football seasons – the regular season and the Army-Navy game. While nobody wants a losing season, it can be effectively reversed with a win over Navy in the Army-Navy game. Real life is much more different.
My experiences have been uniformly positive when working with the Navy. Back in the early to mid 90s, I left active duty and spent my first two years after leaving active duty working for a defense contractor. Who was the government customer? Yes, you guessed it – the Navy, specifically Naval Air Systems Command. I had a great time working with Naval flight officers and other Naval Officers that supported one of the Navy’s largest acquisition commands. I had the opportunity to provide pre-contract and engineering support for the F/A-18 program. I enjoyed my time working with the Navy so well, the Navy ultimately offered me the opportunity to go over to the other side and become a Department of the Navy civilian. I ended up working on contracts for the A-6 and EA-6B programs. In 1997, NAVAIR was moving to Patuxent River Maryland. I had a job and a promotion waiting for me if I moved. My wife had a different plan and a well-paying job in the area, so I parted company on good terms with NAVAIR.
My life took a dramatic turn and I ended up as a Cisco Trainer and consultant. I thoroughly enjoyed the work, but in just four years, the world was set to change dramatically. When 9-11 hit, I returned to active duty after nearly nine years of absence. After tours in Korea, Germany and the Pentagon, I was then assigned to Kuwait to be the G-3 Air for US Army Central (ARCENT). While in Kuwait, I was responsible for all organic aviation assets that also included Navy MEDEVAC. The Navy MEDEVAC “Sand Sailors” were some of the best I had ever worked with and we ultimately helped them jump into Iraq when their mission changed. While I was in Kuwait, I got severely injured and ruptured my C-6 disc. After four days of no sleep and non-stop pain, I had to go to the EMF-K (Emergency Medical Facility – Kuwait). I was pleased to find the entire facility was run by Sand Sailors and they did a top notch job. The orthopedic surgeon correctly diagnosed my condition and had me on the road to recovery.
I figured once I retired I was probably not going to work with the Navy again. Fate had a different answer. I was offered the opportunity to work with NAVAIR again as a test flight engineer on the E-2D Hawkeye program. It was a tremendous opportunity and I jumped on it. The Navy folks were great. Within a year after I came on board, my old agency offered me a position with a promotion and my Navy boss wished me well. In summary, I have had great experiences working with the Navy and welcomed every opportunity to collaborate with them.
It is only fitting that WP-ORG collaborate with the Navy Parents in furtherance of its online mission to provide the communications infrastructure to keep our parents well informed about what is happening for their Cadets and Midshipman. Our Navy parent lists have been around a long time. Towanda Curtis has done a yeoman’s job of subscribing and moderating our Navy lists from the very beginning. She is part of the legions of volunteers who make WP-ORG what it is today. Shown below is Towanda’s welcome message to all new USNA Plebe Parents. Note at the bottom of her signature line, she has more than a few of her children enrolled or graduated from USNA.
Hello Plebe Parents,
My name is Towanda Curtis and I am the Moderator and Administrator for the USNA-PARENTS.Org listserv.
Congratulations to each and every one of you and your new Midshipman. Welcome to the USNA Family. We here at USNA-PARENTS.Org are happy to have you with us. Your sons and daughters are now part of the US Naval Academy and will have a future where they will learn the value of hard work, professional and physical training, teamwork and get a top notch education. They will form friendships that will span their lifetime. There is nothing they will go through during Plebe Summer that thousands of midshipmen before them have not experienced. They have Company Officers who will oversee them. There are midshipmen “detailers” are in charge of them and challenge them to achieve greater heights. Some of the orders that will be given may not make sense to them or you but know they are given for a reason and there will be a lesson learned at the end of the day.
We encourage you to participate in all the events you can to show support for your new midshipman. It will be well worth the effort. We want you to enjoy the experience with your new Navy family. We can assist you in getting answers to questions that arise, address any concerns, dispel rumors and offer comfort and a shoulder to lean on when necessary. We are also the place to share your midshipman’s triumphs(of which there will be many) and joy. The next few months will be stressful and at the same time wonderful. We will be here for you. We offer top notch service with highly qualified parents that are advisors and mentors. We take great pride in our service. We want you to just sit back and enjoy the experience with us, your new Navy family. The journey is described as a roller coaster ride and the parent motto is “Semper Gumby, Always Flexible”. The culmination will be May 2018 with the hat toss and another adventure will begin.
To post to the listserv send your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a private concern or would like to post anonymously feel free to contact me directly, DCandTC@aol.com. To receive your listserv posts at another address please send me an e-mail and it will be changed. You can only post to the listserv from the e-mail address that is subscribed.
Let’s get started. Send an e-mail to the group and introduce yourself. Tell us about your midshipman, his/her plebe summer company, and your hometown. We are looking forward to getting to know you. Ask your questions, share your thoughts and show your pride here(because half of the people think your mid is in Indianapolis and the other half think he/she enlisted in the Navy and is swabbing decks:-). I know you all have given blue & gold Tee shirts to everyone who stopped long enough to hear about your mid and I-Day. Don’t worry, we all did it. As stated earlier, we are here for you. You are now a part of this great big wonderful USNA Family. You Are Never Alone (YANA). We are happy to have you with us.
My background and experience are varied and plentiful. I am the proud mother of four Midshipmen. My son is a USNA class of 2002 graduate who chose the Marine Corps. My daughter-in-law is USNA class of 2003 and chose Surface Warfare. My oldest daughter is USNA class of 2005 grad and chose Intelligence. My second daughter is USNA class of 2010 grad and chose Nuclear Surface Warfare. And my youngest daughter is currently a midshipman in the class of 2016.
Also, I am the loyal and dedicated wife of a grad from the class of ’76. He has served as a USNA company officer and is involved with the Alumni Association. We have “been there and done that” with brigade activities. For those of you who are wondering about the age differences of my children, I am a Navy wife who chose to only have children during shore duty and for our family it was few and far between.
I have created various spouse and family programs that are currently being used today by the Navy. I also raised scholarship funds for US Navy dependents. My participation on many family and USNA committees throughout the years has kept me informed, current and in contact with those “in the know” at USNA.
Add 22 Navy moves, 14 deployments, living overseas twice, time served as a Blue and Gold Officer, and being a sponsor parent and you have my Navy life. With all of this considered, I feel my greatest attributes are my enthusiasm and desire to assist where and when needed. I reside in Annapolis, attend many activities and sporting events so look around and you’ll be sure to see me. Looking forward to serving you with NAVY pride.
Moderator & Administrator
Crystal 2010 Nuclear Surface Warfare
Nikki 2005 Intel
Danielle(DIL) 2003 Surface Warfare
Marcus 2002 Marines
DC 1976 Surface Warfare
Have a great *Navy* day