Washington Area Lunch - January 14, 2011

Pictures were submitted by Dave Carruth

Following is Dave Carruth's note to the webmaster that accompanied the photos. The photos appear after Dave's note:

The luncheon on Fri. the 14th was very good.  We had an excellent speaker in the Commandant and his message was well received.  I considered including his resume herein but found an interview with him in the May-June issue of Shipmate.   After reading it I concluded that although good and you should read it if you still have that issue, but his resume provides a better look at his background so here it is.

Captain Robert E. Clark II is a resident of West Chester, Pennsylvania, and a 2007 inductee into the West Chester East High school Hall of Fame.  A 1980 graduate of the Naval Academy Preparatory School and 1984 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he became the 84th Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in April 2010.

His sea tours include assignments on board USS BATFISH (SSN 681) as a division officer and Combat Systems Officer, during which time he was named USS BATFISH’s 1988-89 Junior Officer of the Year; Navigator and Operations Officer aboard USS DALLAS (SSN 700), after receiving the David Lloyd Award for Tactical Excellence while attending the Submarine Officer Advanced Course; Submarine Operations Officer for Commander Cruiser Destroyer Group EIGHT (COMCRUDESGRU 8), including support of an emergent deployment to Haiti as part of Joint Task Force 120 (Operation Support Democracy); and Executive Officer aboard USS GRAYLING (SSN 646) and USS HAMPTON (SSN 767).
Captain Clark commanded USS CONNECTICUT (SSN 22) from August 2001 through September 2003.  Under his command CONNECTICUT completed two operations under the Arctic ice pack (LANTSUBICEX 1-02 and 1-03), as well as the ship’s highly successful inaugural deployment to the North Atlantic.  During his tour, CONNECTICUT was awarded consecutive Submarine Squadron FOUR Tactical “T’s”in recognition tactical and operational excellence in 2001 and 2002, several Retention Honor Roll awards, and back-to-back unit awards recognizing CONNECTICUT’s performance during operations of significant importance to the National security of the United States while deployed to the North Atlantic and Arctic.  Of note, these were the first unit awards presented to a Seawolf Class submarine.

Captain Clark’s most recent command tour was as the Commodore of Submarine Squadron FOUR from June 2008 through April 2010.  At times the largest fast attack submarine squadron in the Navy, Submarine Squadron FOUR was the Submarine Force’s center of excellence for the operational development of the Virginia Class submarines.  In addition to deploying world wide in support of Theater and National objectives, Submarine Squadron FOUR submarines consistently lead the Submarine Fleet Forces Command in retention, and six Submarine Squadron FOUR submarines received the 2009 Fleet Forces Command   Retention Excellence Award.  Captain Clark’s shore assignment include an action officer tour in the Operations Directorate of Commander-in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command (CINCUSACOM); Executive Officer of the COMSUBLANT Tactical Readiness and Evaluation Team, during which time he also served as the Deputy Undersea Warfare Commander for the GEORGE WASHINGTON Battle Group for five months; Special Assistant to the director of Submarine Warfare for Plans, Liaison, and Assessments; and Deputy Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief Of Naval Operations.

Captain Clark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the U.S. Academy and a Masters of Science degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Post Graduate School where he received the Naval Institute Award for his thesis work.   Additionally, he completed the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College Seminar course and attended the Armed Forces Staff College.  As a result of completing a Joint tour of duty and all formal Joint training requirements, he received the designation of Joint Specialty Officer (JSO).  Captain Clark’s awards include several personal decorations, but he is most proud of the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Navy Unit Commendation that were awarded to the warriors of CONNECTICUT while he was the Commanding Officer.
He has one son at the Academy now and a second son at NAPS. 

After his talk I spoke with him and asked about drug problems, this was prompted by an item in the Washington Post.  CAPT Clark had said in his talk that he made a point when speaking to the mid’s of defining the rules and spelling out what the limits were.  When he recently had several mid’s brought before him for drug problems he asked them if they had heard him? Did they understand what he had said, and when the answer was “yes” what did they expect from him?  The answer was they thought they would get another chance, to which he responded that this was the United States Naval Academy not a civilian university and they could pack their belongings.

Our attendance at the luncheon, as you can see from the pictures, was only 30 when we normally have 40 plus.  Health problems kept people away and Warren is hoping that the next luncheon in March, when the midshipmen from the 24th Co. (or whatever the company’s designation is then) will be joining us, our group will get back up to 40 plus.   The fact that the cruise was departing on Monday the 17th probably had some impact on attendance also.

Final note, I have now heard talks by the Supe and the Commandant and my impression is that they are absolutely on the same page.  I believe this bodes well for our alma mater.

2462            Marguerite & Charlie Heid;Commandant Bob Clark; Betty Carruth
2463         Bill Bass; Carol Manganaro; Libby Davis; Bing & Anne-Marie Sisson
2464                       Betty Carruth and Rosemary Hogg
2465                                 Warren Graham and Bob Flood
2466                                              Jack & Louise Conable
2467                                         Carol Manganaro and Bill Bass

2468                                                 Dolly & John Rasmussen
2469                                                 Bill Bartow
2470                                                                 Jean & Charlie Mertz
2471                                             Elizabeth & Bill Reed
2472                                                           Gene Mulligan
2473                                                   Mary & Jim Beggs
2474                                                  Joanne & Dick Munly
2475                                                           Cab & Libby Davis
2476                                                                 Anne-Marie & Bing Sisson
2477        Commandant CAPT Bob Clark and his driver QM2 Richard Steele 
2478                                                           Warren & Nancy Graham
2479                                                             Bob & Judith Flood
2480                                                     Marguerite & Charlie Heid
2482                                     Betty & Dave Carruth