WaveTops: January 2020 edition. Published by the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation.

Featured Stories
2020 Distinguished Graduate Award Honorees
Example content imageOn 13 December 2019, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Award selection panel selected the following alumni as 2020 Distinguished Graduates: VADM Edward M. Straw ’61, SC, USN (Ret.); Col. Robert D. Cabana ’71, USMC (Ret.); ADM Kirkland H. Donald ’75, USN (Ret.); and The Honorable Sean J. Stackley ’79. Please join us in congratulating the 2020 Distinguished Graduate Award recipients! Read more about the honorees here.
Reflections on an Iconic Dome
The Naval Academy Chapel is undergoing major renovations to its distinctive patinaed-copper dome. When complete, the iconic green landmark will boast shiny new copper that will soon turn brown. It will be about three decades before the green patina returns. The U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation is gathering historical photos of the Chapel dome for a future story. If you have photos from weddings, Commissioning Week, Herndon Climbs or other special events with the dome displayed, please send them—and a short caption and photo credit—attached as a jpeg to jimmy.debutts@usna.com. Thank you.

Alumni Association and Foundation Center Update
At their Fall 2019 meetings, the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association boards authorized the Alumni Center project plan to move forward with groundbreaking expected in 2020. They also authorized a budget increase for the project and the sale of the Ogle Hall complex and Maryland Avenue Athletic & Scholarship Programs office to support this effort. Fundraising for the center has been ongoing, with plans unfolding for both class and individual recognition opportunities throughout the facility and grounds. For more information on the center, visit www.usna.com/alumnicenter.
Pace ’67 Donates Uniform to Hometown Library
Gen Peter Pace ’67, USMC (Ret.), returned to his hometown of Teaneck, NJ, on 5 January to donate the olive green uniform he wore at his 2007 retirement to the local library. “To be here today in my hometown, with my brother, my classmates, to know that you all believe that one of the sons of Teaneck is worthy of having that uniform hang here in this town, is gratifying for sure, but more than that, it’s just one more opportunity for me to say thank you to my guys who are not here, who made it possible for us to be here,” said Pace.
Midshipmen Get Virtual Start to Navy Pilot Training
On Aviation Selection Night on 9 January, prospective flight students got to check out the Academy’s two new virtual reality (VR) trainer devices. The VR trainers will help prepare midshipmen selected for flight training in an “early start” concept. “Our midshipmen are eager to get in and start to get a feel for what’s coming next for those who are selected for flight training upon graduation,” said CAPT Ryan Bernacchi, USN, deputy commandant for leadership and character development.

Honor Our Fallen Heroes Features “First Link” Program
Example content image23 November marked the Naval Academy Alumni Association’s seventh annual Honor Our Fallen Heroes events, which welcomed back more than 200 family and friends representing 33 alumni from the Classes of 1922 through 2008 killed in action or operational losses. In addition, the gathering offered an opportunity to announce the launch of “First Link,” a new Academy program connecting every incoming midshipman with a name in Memorial Hall. Each member of the Class of 2023 has received the name of a graduate recognized in Memorial Hall and has been charged with learning all they can about that person—a process made easier by the Virtual Memorial Hall project developed by Run To Honor, an Alumni Association Shared Interest Group.
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First Woman on the Moon?
LT Kayla Barron ’10, USN, just became the Academy’s 54th alumni astronaut. She and the rest of her astronaut program graduating class are the first to join the astronaut corps since NASA announced its Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024, and eventually send astronauts to Mars. Barron, originally from Richmond, WA, graduated from the Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering. She earned her master’s in nuclear engineering from the University of Cambridge in the U.K.
Marines Select Midshipmen for Cyber Officer Cadre
On 21 November six midshipmen received service assignments no midshipmen in the history of the Naval Academy had before: they will be designated Marine Corps Cyber Warfare Officers. MIDN Allison Annick ’20 said: “This is an opportunity of a lifetime. It is a win-win to follow my passion for the Marine Corps and cyber warfare. The Naval Academy has prepared me for this next step. As a Cyber Operations major, I’ve had an incredible opportunity, to intern…train… and have an academic cross-disciplinary foundation to fight and win within cyberspace.” Annick and five classmates will begin training at The Basic School after graduation before moving into their warfare specialty.
With Our Deepest Gratitude…
The U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation kicked off 2020 with the inaugural Week of Gratitude on 13—17 January featuring emails, social media messaging and phone calls designed to thank alumni and friends for their support and learn more about why you give back to the Academy. We aimed to call 1,845 of you in honor of the Naval Academy’s upcoming 175th Anniversary—and we actually reached more than 2000! In case you missed it, here’s a message of thanks from our friend Bill the Goat. The work we do for the Academy, the Brigade of Midshipmen and our alumni would not be possible without your help and contributions. #GoNavyThankEveryone!
Navy Football: Bring on the Irish!
What a phenomenal year for Navy football! Navy ended 2019 with a 20-17 victory over Kansas State at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN, on New Year’s Eve. The team, midshipmen and alumni traveled to Memphis to celebrate the victory and ring in the new year. This season was one for the books and included a final record of 11-2, tied for the most wins in program history. The 2020 season opens against Notre Dame in Dublin, Ireland. Get your travel package and great seats today. Go Navy! Beat the Irish!
Moving on from the Military? Make SACC Your First Stop
As the only career event exclusively for service academy graduates, the Service Academy Career Conference brings together top industry employers and educators to assist in your job search and advanced education pursuit. Reserve recruiters and Blue and Gold Officer representatives will also be on hand to share information on those opportunities. Join us in Jacksonville, FL, on 26-27 March for the next SACC. Visit our website for more information and to register.
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
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Hudson ’99 Killed Fighting Australian Wildfires
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Discover the Rhine Valley with USNA Alumni Travel
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Distinguished Graduate Honoree Foley ’50 Mourned
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Vernazza ’90: Service Academy Risk vs. Reward
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Top Ranked Online Graduate Engineering Program for Veterans
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Newport Remembers Late NAPS Alum Watson ’19
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Asdal Family Represents in
5th Fleet
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Midshipman’s Sexual Assault Conviction Overturned
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2020 Blue Angels Season
Last Hurrah in F/A 18 Hornets
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Professional Licensure of Engineers & Surveyors
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Gilday ’85: CNO Wants Every New Sailor Tested for Cyber Aptitude
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Staubach ’65 Named College Football’s #11
All-Time Player
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Mids Win
Disney Design Competition
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Preferred Provider of Financial Services
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Athletic and Scholarship Programs’ 75th Anniversary
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Blanton ’93
Sworn in as
12th Architect
of the Capitol
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Wear Your Class Crest with Pride
Correction: Texan of the Year Duke is ’57, not ’61
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