Dear Upper Midwest Chapter,
I have traveled back to USNA and Ogle Hall several times this Winter. I have met with several different folks and discussed a number of subjects. Basically, “All’s Well” with the Academy, the Brigade, and in the Alumni Association.
The most important and pleasing observation which I have to report is the success of VADM Ted Carter’s emphasis on developing the ethical character of each Midshipmen to successfully serve as Commissioned Officers. I think that it is truly a deep cultural maturation which is wonderful.
In the LOG, the Midshipmen magazine, their wintertime issue included the Service Selections of the Class of 1915. The one surprise to me which I would like to pass on is that there were a number of women who selected to be commissioned as USMC (Ground) 2nd Lieutenants. Also, the first female officers, fully Submarine Qualified, have begun to report on board VIRGINIA Class Attack Submarines. One has reported on board our USS MINNESOTA! I duly noted as well that, in a different venue, 12 Midshipmen from the Class of 2015 expect to head directly to Medical School upon commissioning to become Navy Doctors.
Of even more significance, the gender composition of the Brigade is to change. The current Brigade classes are about 75% male and 25% female. Our current Minnesota Midshipmen are comprised of 48 males and 12 women. The Superintendent reported that all the Service Academies have been told by the Congress that they should expect that gender ratio to begin increasing to about 50-50 during the next few years.
From the perspective of undergraduate education capability, the Naval Academy has acquired the funding to build and equip the unique Cyberwarfare Center. However, they have requested that the Alumni Foundation to conduct a major fundraising campaign. The institution will require the financial backing to provide and attract and sustain a world class civilian faculty. Initiating this major campaign is in serious planning at present. I shall watch it careful and provide my input to you in subsequent months.