Senior officers, fellow chiefs and enlisted personnel, family and friends..... First, I want you to know how much it means to me to have you present here to help say THANK YOU to the individuals who made my twenty year career a success. Some of those people are here today, but others could not make it.
For those who know me well, you know that I am not much on formalities. You know I am much more comfortable in a pair of jeans, tee-shirts, sneakers and ballcaps. If I get emotional, please bear with me, this is one of the toughest things I have ever done. I got choked up at Chuck' retirement ceremony and all I did there was be the Master of Ceremony.
A friend of mine sent me this via email just a couple of days ago--It is wise wisdom and I hope to be able to follow it today..... . Stand up straight, speak clearly, and mind your manners. Remember now "Pretty is as pretty does." Grandma
As we all know, protection of the freedoms we hold near and dear sometimes means the loss of life in that effort....I'd like to have a moment of silence to recognize those individuals who have given their life in protection of those freedoms so we could be here today.... Thank you
Where does one start to replay the events of twenty years gone by? How does an individual recognize all the people that have made them into what they are today? I must try to do that now. I am sure I will miss someone, if I do, I apologize, but here goes....
To my darling wife, son and daughter.. Words will never be able to express the love I hold for you.
To my parents, in-laws, and other family members......Your advice was always sound, and you graciously allowed me the freedom to find that out for myself.
For friends of the last twenty years... the closest of which are here today....I would have never gotten to this point without your help along the way. Friendship is something I hold near and dear, I'd much rather have a few close friends than a thousand fair-weather friends.
Coworkers-I have always tried to work with, not for or against people. For those in the other departments here at FTSCLANT that I have interacted with, I hope that principle was evident each time we worked together. I know of no product or service this command creates that does not require teamwork.
Gifts for Cindy Davis, Phil Graziano, and the Prosoft contractor bunch
A wise man once said" The only thing constant is change itself" Today is about change...
Gifts for Chris and Katie
Changes in the Navy...
Many good, some not so good...600 ship Navy to one of just over 330.... To survive and prosper in the upcoming changes in the Navy-- we must get smarter, more focused on the mission and how we accomplish that mission. The need for teamwork will become even more obvious. Blind faith will no longer be a way of doing business and personal character will be even more important. With that thought - I pass the words of Abraham Lincoln along to you:
"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong."
Changes in Society as a whole:
AIDS is first identified.
1982 E.T. – the Extra-Terrestrial,
With the introduction of noise-free compact discs, the vinyl record begins a steep decline.
More than 125 million viewers tune in to the last episode of M*A*S*H.
1985- Arthur James Walker, 50, retired naval officer, convicted by federal judge of participating in Soviet spy ring operated by his brother, John Walker (Aug. 9).
"New" Coke is poorly received, and the company soon reintroduces the original, "Classic" beverage
Prozac released for use in US
Rain Man, Mississippi Burning
1989-After 28 years, Berlin Wall is open to West (Nov. 11).
1991-Cease-fire ends Persian Gulf War (April 3); UN forces are victorious.
The Silence of the Lambs,
1992-Gopher, the first user-friendly internet interface, is created at the University of Minnesota and named after the school mascot.
US forces leave Philippines, ending nearly a century of American military presence (Nov. 24).
Johnny Carson hosts The Tonight Show for the last time.
1993-Twenty-two UN troops killed in Somalia (June 5).
First humans cloned.
1994-ER and Friends debut on NBC, establishing NBC's dominance of the Thursday-night lineup.
1995-Sores killed as terrorist's car bomb blows up block-long Oklahoma City federal building
1996-Approximately 45 million people are using the Internet,
1998-Europeans agree on single currency, the euro
An estimated 76 million viewers watch the last episode of Seinfeld.
number of Internet users worldwide reaches 150 million by the beginning of 1999.
With all those thoughts in mind, today I must change, from active duty to retired Navy. With the closing of this ceremony, I will transit into a new dimension of my life...that of civilian. My twenty year Navy career has changed me forever. If I were to be asked what the one single most important principle the Navy has taught me- It would be the principle of decision making. The right to make our own decisions as a society and individuals can never be taken lightly. You must only do one thing in your life-- Live by the consequences of your decisions.
I searched and searched for the words to close these remarks with- I leave you with the words of the philospher Machavelli....
"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."
The Prince (1532)