On Monday, 11 October -- Columbus Day and two days before the Navy's 246th Birthday on 13 October -- the USS Iwo Jima returned to her homeport at Maport, Florida. Iwo Jima had completed a 7 month deployment with a full complement of embarked US Marines operating in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility of the Northern Arabian Sea and the Arabian Gulf as well as the 6th Fleet area of responsibility in the Mediterranean. In accordance with the current COVID distancing protocols, happy families were allowed to greet the ship from their cars, parked on the adjacent parking lots, while awaiting the mooring of the ship and for the word to be passed for "Liberty Call!"
Your Mayport Navy League was present to hand out flags to families within the guidelines of the COVID distancing protocols. While we did not get to put smiles on as many faces as we would like, we did get to provide flags to some families -- including the proud parents of a young Gunners Mate -- they had flown in from Los Angeles to greet their son!
With a light breeze and cloudless sky, it was a great Navy Day!
Join the Jacksonville Bar Association, Vets4Vets,
and the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) for a Hero's Welcome
many Vietnam Veterans never received... Honoring their courage, valor and selfless service.
Sunday, November 14, 2021
1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Doors Open at Noon) Procession of Honor of Vietnam Veterans Begins at 12:55 p.m.
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
300 A. Phillip Randolph Blvd, Jacksonville
Guest Speaker: Rocky Bleier, Vietnam Veteran & Pittsburgh Steeler Superbowl Champion Performance by The Navy Band
Lunch & Parking Free (Parking Lot Z) for Veterans and their families
June 2020 - Mayport Navy League Support for Mayport USO!
On Tuesday, 22 June, Mayport Navy Leaguer George Huchting volunteered at the Mayport USO to help sort food donated through the Feeding
Northeast Florida Initiative into individual reusable bags for local military families to pick up the following day. Food from various markets is
donated into a pool at the Feeding Northeast Florida initiative and then is distributed to various non-profit organizations supporting families and
individuals in need. Every other week, our Mayport USO receives pallets of food for distribution to our local military families. George
again joined our Mayport USO team to help sort the donated food into the reusable bags for distribution the following day. You can help on
this great initiative - see the Mayport Navy League Constant Contact notice of 25 May 2021 for more information and dates for helping in the sorting
and then the distribution.
April 2020 - Outstanding Jacksonville University Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipman Awarded Officers Sword
Each year, the Mayport Council of the Navy League awards an officer's sword to the outstanding Midshipman being commissioned as an Ensign in our Navy
at the Spring commissioning Ceremony. Because of the COVID19 pandemic this year, the traditional commissioning ceremony was not conducted 25 April
at the JU Terry Concert Hall. That did not stop Mayport Navy Leaguers from providing the outstanding midshipman with their sword!
The sword was
provided to the JU NROTC staff for presentation as they conducted the commissioning ceremony for the new Navy and Marine Corps officers, in accordance with
Here are pictures of our new Ensign Rhiannon Turner with the Mayport Navy League sword. We think the pictures of Ensign Turner
with the sword and the sea behind her are truly appropriate! We wish Ensign Turner the traditional "Fair Winds and Following Seas" as she sets of on her
career as a leader in our Navy - Marine Corps team!
March 2020 - LCS Training Facility Tour
On 10 March, 27 Mayport Navy League Council members enjoyed a tour of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Training Facility (LTF). fThe LTF is on Mayport Naval Station, the only East Coast homeport for the Navy's newest class of combatant ship.
The LCS Class is unusual in that it was designed to operate with reduced manning, and with both a Blue and Gold crew. Two crews will allow the ship to deploy for longer periods by having the crews swop out overseas. The LTF is critical in maintaining the proficiency of the off duty crew. It is equally important because with a minimal crew, there is little opportunity for On the Job Training.
Our members saw the simulator equipment for the Mission Package portion of the LCS and learned much about its capabilities. We also enjoyed the Bridge simulator. We were fortunate to observe the commanding officer of USS Wichita (LCS 13) and some of his crew "driving" the ship out of port in traffic and on to an underway replenishment. A few of our members looked for handholds to steady themselves when the instructor kicked up the sea state in the simulator.
We greatly appreciate the patience and expertise of our tour guide, LT James Kocsis, a former LCS Navigator and now an instructor at the LTF.
February 2020 - Mayport Sailors of the Quarter Honored
Thanks to the great support of the Mayport Navy League and their partners, on Thursday, 20 February, close to 60 Mayport area Sailors were honored for their outstanding performance during the past quarter!
This luncheon is provided free to the honoree, and their guest, through the support of the Mayport Navy League Council and our supporting partners: Navy Federal Credit Union, Hover Girl Properties, First Command Financial Planning and Crowley Maritime Corporation. The keynote speaker for the day was one of the honorees, a Petty Officer First Class, who stressed the importance of being a mentor. She said that her first mentor, the leading Petty Officer of her work center, set high standard of teamwork, professionalism, dedication to the unit mission and knowing his people - he led by example and she has tried to lead in the same way!
Great Navy Day!
December 2019 - Mayport Navy League Honors Local Sailors of the Year
On 10 December, the Naval Station Mayport held a dinner at the Ocean Breeze Conference Center that honored all the Sailors of the Year from the various commands at the Naval Station. The honorees include the Blue Jacket of the Year, the Junior Sailor of the Year, Sailor of the Year and Senior Sailor of the Year! These categories ensure that truly outstanding Sailors from across all levels of the organization are recognized for their leadership. The keynote speaker was Navy Region Northeast Command Master Chief, CMC Bill Houlihan - who had also served as the Mayport Naval Station Command Master Chief. The over 50 assembled top Mayport leaders are also those who will be mentoring other Sailors in their commands. Master Chief Houlihan took the opportunity to not only commend them for their outstanding performance but also to challenge them to make a difference in combating the high suicide rates in our services. Master Chief Houlihan's remarks were spot on! When he finished, there was a moment of silence as his message and challenge sunk in to all in attendance - and then, as one, the room rose to give Master Chief Houlihan a standing ovation! He had touched all - and they were accepting his challenge to make a difference in suicide prevention by being personally engaged with everyone in their command - really care and let people know you care and are there to help and, most importantly, to listen. Well Done, Master Chief Houlihan!
Pictured are the Mayport Navy League partners in supporting the Sailor of the Year Dinner and 2019 Mayport Navy League Council President George Huchting as they congratulated each honoree. Many thanks to our partners - from left to right: Hover Girl Properties, Navy Federal Credit Union, First Command Financial Services and Crowley Marine!
December 2019 - No Dough Dinner at the Mayport USO
On 2 December 2019, the Mayport Navy League sponsored and served a No-Dough Dinner at the Mayport USO - Free to all active duty and their families! It was a fun night with Pizza as the entree - always a hit
with the kids! The Mayport Council provided the funds and Mayport Navy Leaguers volunteer to serve the dinner. We were delighted to see about 250 active duty and their families show up for this dinner
- on a rather cold night - for Florida! Lots of happy noise - and that is simply great!
November 2019 - An Afternoon with the Commanding Officer, Mayport Naval Station
On 23 November 2019, the Mayport Navy League sponsored an afternoon with the Commanding Officer of the Mayport Naval Station, Captain Canfield, at his quarters on the beach at the Naval Station. Captain Canfield was joined by his wife in welcoming the Mayport Navy Leaguers to a wonderful afternoon with superb weather - we dodged a rain storm that came through later that night! The Mayport Navy League hosted Commanding Officers, Executive Officers and Command Master Chiefs from local commands to the event so folks got to meet and get to know each other. The Navy League's catering was done by the Ocean Breeze Conference Center with support from the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office! All superbly done on a truly beautiful day - before the cold fronts moved in!
November 2019 - Sailor of the Quarter Luncheon
On 1 November 2019, the Mayport Navy League and their partners - Navy Federal Credit Union, First Command Financial, Hover Girl Properties and Crowley Marine - hosted over 55 Mayport area command's Sailors of the Quarter for lunch at the Mayport Naval Station Ocean Breeze Conference Center. The keynote speaker was a Second Class Petty Officer from the newly commissioned guided missile destroyer, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116). The Petty Officer discussed his life before the Navy and the challenges he and his family faced and then related those experiences to his success in the Navy - overcoming difficult times and circumstances give you the strength to succeed in the future! This superb young Navy Petty Officer was given a standing ovation when he finished his remarks - they hit home to all in the room! The luncheon recognizes the outstanding young sailors in four categories: Blue Jacket of the Quarter - a young Sailor who has not yet advanced to Petty Officer; Junior Sailor of the Quarter - a Petty Officer 3rd or 2nd Class; Sailor of the Quarter - 1st or 2nd Class Petty Officer and Senior Sailor of the Quarter - 1st Class Petty Officer. With this broad selection of great young Sailors - one can easily see how the seniors are superb mentors the more junior Sailors!
October 2019 - Naval Air Station Jacksonville Change of Command
On Thursday, 3 October, the Mayport Navy League Council joined members of the community in attending the Change of Command at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville. Captain Michael Connor was completing
his highly successful tour as the air station Commanding Officer and turning over command to his Executive Officer, Captain Brian Weiss. The keynote speaker was the Navy Region Southeast Commander,
Rear Admiral Gary Mayes. After the Change of Command, Captain Connor retired from active duty and returned to his second love: Flying. His first love is his wife and family! Captain Connor
will be flying for Delta Airlines so we may see him again in the skies! The highlight of the retirement ceremony was the "Olde Glory Presentation" by Master Chief Mack Ellis, USN (Ret.). Master Chief
Ellis is simply one in a million and his "Olde Glory" Presentation is something you never want to miss witnessing!
August 2019 - USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) Change of Command
On Friday, 23 August, Mayport Navy Leaguers joined the officers, crew, families and friends of the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) as the ship conducted the traditional Change of Command Ceremony - but this was a
first for this ship!
USS Thomas Hudner was commissioned in December of last year and the Commanding Officer, CDR Nathan Scherry, USN, was the only Commanding Officer that the ship had ever known until that
date! Commander Scherry had reported to the ship's pre-commissioning unit at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, and been with the ship from very early in the start of construction. As the
ship's company reported, Commander Scherry and his Executive Officer, CDR Litchfield, began the process of forming these newly reported Sailors, who mostly did not know each other, into a
cohesive crew. Since that time, the ship has been through may tests and trials and is now in the process of working up for the first deployment. While it was a difficult day for Commander
Scherry as he said goodbye the Thomas Hudner Sailors, he was comforted in knowing that his Executive Officer, Commander Litchfield, was taking the helm and would continue to lead the ship forward!
It was a normal warm and humid Mayport day, however the ship had provided awnings and fans for those attending - AMEN!!
Another fine Navy Day!
August 2019 - Mayport Navy Leaguers Gather for August Evening Social
During the months that we do not have another evening activity, the Mayport Navy Leaguers gather at a local restaurant for a strictly "No Host Social" to bond and catch up with each other and our families.
Starting at 5:30PM on Thursday, 15 August, over 25 of out Navy Leaguers gathered at Joe's Crab Shack in Jacksonville Beach.
The restaurant is on the beach and has great parking across the street - and we have a private room!
It was an evening of "See Food - Eat Sea Food!"
It was a fun evening - we also seemed to avoid the rain that was in the area!
We advertise these events via our Constant Contact messaging - if you are not getting these notices, join the Navy League and the Mayport Council and we will add you to our listing!
August 2019 - Blount Island Command "Marines of the Quarter" Awards
While USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) was having its Change of Command Ceremony at NS Mayport, your Mayport Navy League was presenting Marine of the Quarter awards to two deserving NCOs at Marine
Corps Support Facility, Blount Island Command. Blount Island Command is responsible for the United States Marine Corps' Maritime Prepositioning Ships Maintenance Cycle operations and oversight of the
Marine Corps Prepositioning Program. Gift cards were presented to both NCOs with their unit's leadership from the new CO, Col Livingston and 1stSgt Gragg to both NCOs, officer and senior enlisted leaders
participating in the presentations.
The Navy League of the United States was founded in 1902 with the encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt. It is unique among military-oriented associations in that it is a civilian
organization dedicated to the education of our citizens, including our elected officials, and the support of the men and women of the sea services and their families.
The objective and purpose of the Navy League is twofold: educational and motivational. We must acquire and display before the citizens of our country information regarding the condition of our naval and maritime forces. We must awaken interest and support in all matters which aid our maritime capabilities.
"It seems to me that all good Americans interested in the growth of their country and sensitive to its honor, should give hearty support to the policies which the Navy League is founded to further. For the building and maintaining in proper shape of the American Navy, we must rely on nothing but the broad and farsighted patriotism of our people as a whole." Teddy Roosevelt
To this end, the Navy League works closely with the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and US-flag Merchant Marine through a network of
councils in the U.S. and around the world. The Navy League has
over 35 thousand
The Navy League supports America's young people through its youth programs, including sponsorship of the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps and the Navy League Scholarship Program. Individual
councils are also involved in promoting youth-oriented activities in their communities such as NJROTC, MCJROTC, and ROTC units along with other recognized youth programs. Local councils
and national headquarters provide over $200,000 in scholarships and awards every year.