Twenty-five newly-elected Congressmen visited the Naval Academy Jan. 13th as guests of the Secretary of the US Navy for a Navy and Marine Corps orientation and dinner in Dahlgren Hall.
The Congressmen were greeted by top Navy and Marine Corps leadership on the Academy grounds, including Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Gen. Joseph Dunford, Commandant of the Marine Corps and Adm. Michelle Howard, Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
Hosting the elected officials provided the leadership a unique and intimate opportunity to provide basic facts, figures and context about Navy and Marine Corps operations today, requirements and goals and vision for the future.
Secretary Mabus addressed the group at dinner about his priorities of people, platforms, power and partnerships. He spoke at length about Navy and Marine Corps presence around the world in recent months, including the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) rapid response to launch air strikes against ISIS targets this past fall and Marine Corps missions and accomplishments at home and abroad.
“We are the only global Navy and Marine Corps in the world,” said Secretary Mabus. “We are everywhere we need to be.”
The visit to the Naval Academy included a very brief tour of the Rotunda in Bancroft Hall, the Academy’s dormitory. The members were also treated to a tour of USNA’s Memorial Hall, the Academy’s location for memorializing graduates who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Vice Adm. Ted Carter, the Naval Academy Superintendent, led the tour of the Rotunda and Memorial Hall.
“Hosting members of Congress here is an honor and a fantastic opportunity to talk about what the Naval Academy stands for,” said Carter. “The men and women of Congress have been elected into leadership roles for our nation. There is commonality between what our country asks of them and what the Navy and Marine Corps asks of our graduates.”
The experience at the Academy provided a new perspective for many of the members who had never been to Annapolis.
Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA) was visiting the Academy for the first time on this trip. She was recently elected to represent California’s 35th district.
“Next year I can talk to young men and women about the nomination process, and speak to them knowing more about the Navy and the Naval Academy,” said Rep. Torres. “For example, I didn’t realize the biggest dormitory in the world was here. It’s amazing.”