Past Events Library - Virtual Series

The Naval Order of the United States - Continental Commandery cordially invites viewers to click on the link to the collection of all Videos page of the Continental Commandery channel to have easy access to all of the videos.  The videos include the short bio or summary content that is on the web site.  

Please see the list below of the individual links to the virtual lectures on the new Continental Commandery YouTube Channel.

Inaugural Virtual History Lecture

10th Archivist of the United States / Navy Vietnam Veteran

Mr. David Ferriero

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Lively discussion between the Continental Commandery Commander and the National Archivist about the role of the National Archives, the history of the Archives, and a perspective on the collection.

June 2020 - Virtual History Lecture

13th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard

MCPOCG Jason Vanderhaden

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 

A dialogue about leadership and the importance of the Master Chief Petty of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG).  Former MCPOCG, Vincent Patton, Ph.D. also shares his perspectives and insights.

July 2020 - Virtual History Lecture

Navy Safe Harbor Foundation

RADM Christopher Cole & Mrs. Heidi Weller

Wednesday, July 29 - 4:30pm EST 

An inspiring discussion about how the Navy supports wounded Navy veterans and their families.  Please ask for more information about how you can get involved with the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation.

Aug 2020 - Virtual History Lecture

Military Historian; currently curator of military history at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History 

Dr. Frank A. Blazich Jr.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Nov 2020 - Virtual History Lecture

Candid conversation with the distinguished co-author of:  Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton

Tayler Baldwin Kiland

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Reflections on High Performance Teams derived from the life and events of the prisoners of war held at the "Hanoi Hilton" in North Vietnam.

Jan 2021 - Virtual History Lecture

Insights into the Future of the US Navy Museum

Thursday, 28 January 2021

K. Denise Rucker Krepp

Naval History and Heritage Command. 


Ms. Krepp began her career as an active duty Coast Guard officer. After September 11, 2001, Ms. Krepp helped create the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. She served as Senior Counsel on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee. During the first Obama Administration, Ms. Krepp served as the Maritime Administration Chief Counsel and Special Counsel to the U.S. Department of Transportation General Counsel.


Ms. Krepp is also an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Washington, DC.

April 2021 - Virtual History Lecture

"Known But to God:  America's 20th Century Wars and the Search for the Missing"  Thursday, 29 April 2021

Kenneth Breaux, CDR (Ret), USN

Founder & President, MIA Recovery Network, 501.c(3)

The basis for the lecture will be the outline of a book currently being edited for publication entitled “Known  But to God; America’s 20th Century Wars and the Search for the Missing”. 

It will trace the history of accounting for and honoring the dead from World War I through WWII, Korea, the Cold War and Vietnam. Topics will include the role of the Quartermaster Corps in all Wars, and the foundation of the American Battle Monuments Commission. A central theme will be the continuing efforts to recover and identify the more than 75,000 still missing from World War II, and the development of the current actions of the Defense Missing Personnel Accounting Agency and the role of Ken Breaux’s organization, the MIA Recovery Network, a non-profit organization which acts as an advocacy group for families of the missing and researchers pursuing cases of missing in action soldiers.

May 2021 - Virtual History Lecture

"Commodore Matthew Perry and the Legacy of the first US Treaty with Japan"

Thursday, 27 May 2021 (1630 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

HMCM (FMF) Mark T. Hacala, USN (Ret)

Ceremonies specialist, training officer, and historian for the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard in Washington, DC.  

During this Continental Commandery NOUS Virtual History Lecture, HMCM(FMF) Mark T. Hacala, USN (Ret) will brief us on two topics.  The first presentation will be about Commodore Matthew Perry.  MCPO Hacala will review Commodore Perry’s naval leading to his two visits to Japan, his 1853 visits – including the Treaty of Kanagawa – and the legacy of the first U.S. treaty with Japan.  His second presentation will be about the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor, on 15 February 1898. After briefing listeners on the Maine’s commissioning and early service, MCPO Hacala will describe the explosion and its impact.  He’ll wrap up this presentation by showing participants various artifacts from the Maine. 

July 2021 - Navy History Lecture

"Operation Frequent Wind - USS Midway's Final Mission in Vietnam"

Thursday, 29 July 2021 (1630 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

Stephanie Dinh

Volunteer docent at the USS Midway Museum and a member of the Speakers’ bureau.

Stephanie Dinh was born in Saigon, Vietnam. In April 1975, her family, comprised of her mother, father, four sisters & a brother, was brought by the USS Midway from Vietnam to the U.S.A.  She was 15 years old at that time.  Subsequent to her arrival in the U.S., her family settled in Monmouth, Illinois, and later moved to southern California. Her first taste of American food was chicken casserole, when she was onboard the USS Midway. She learned to speak/write English & Spanish and became trilingual.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters degree with strong emphasis in biological science/Safety Engineering. Presently, she is an Agriculture Training/Plant Protection Quarantine officer with the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), having been with the department for over 30 years.

August 2021 - Navy History Lecture

"The Bay of Pigs:  A Perspective after 60 Years"

Thursday, 26 August 2021 (1630 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

Anthony Atwood, PhD.

Director of the Miami Military Museum

Our guest speaker will be Dr. Anthony Atwood, Director of the Miami Military Museum ( During the Eisenhower administration, the Monroe Doctrine still informed U.S. policy in the Caribbean. Although the U.S. initially supported Fidel Castro and his government in Cuba, relations deteriorated rapidly once Castro nationalize all U.S. property and turned to the USSR for support. Relations deteriorated even further in 1961 after the failed U.S. -sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion. In July 1962, at Castor’s request, Nikita Khrushchev agreed to place missile launch facilities in Cuba. Thus began one of the most dramatic crises of the cold war. During this lecture, Dr. Anthony Atwood, will explain the events that unfolded between 16 October and 20 November, 60 years ago.” 

November 2021 - Navy History Lecture

"The USS Midway Story"

Thursday, 18 November 2021 (1630 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

John Landry

Docent USS Midway Museum

John discusses how the USS Midway Museum became the 5th most popular museum of any type in the United States (35,000 museums!). Discover the “secret sauce” that draws nearly 1.4 million visitors from around the world and why Midway has become one of San Diego’s most valued community resources and America’s emerging living symbol of freedom.

Whenever you are in San Diego, please take time to visit.

December 2021 - Navy History Lecture

"The Battle of Coral Sea"

Thursday, 16 December 2021 (1900 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

John Landry

Docent USS Midway Museum

This is a story of a daring, perilous, high stakes gamble by Admiral Nimitz to attack the Japanese navy who had the most powerful, lethal navy in the world.  There was no certain victory for the US Navy fighting in the Coral Sea some 4,300 miles from its base in Pearl Harbor.

You will see young, inexperienced US naval aviators brave the hail of bullets and attacking fighters to deliver a crippling blow to the Japanese plans to capture Port Moresby, New Guinea. In taking Port Moresby, Japan intended to extend its empire, dominate the Pacific Basin and capture the rich resources of the area.

January 2022 - History Lecture

"USS Olympia and the Shaping of the Modern Era"

Thursday, 27 January 2022 (1900 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

Peter S. Seibert

President & CEO, Independence Seaport Museum

Leading America to victory at the Battle of Manila Bay, Olympia is regarded by many as both the herald of American military and political presence in the Pacific and the birthplace of an independent Philippines. Olympia’s history includes carrying supplies to combat the Spanish Flu epidemic in the Adriatic, supporting American interests during the Russian Revolution, and honorably transporting the Unknown Solider of World War One back home.

Peter S. Seibert brings an award-winning, three-decade career from notable institutions including the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Millicent Rogers Museum, the National Council for History Education, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.  He currently serves on the Board of Pennsylvania Museums and is a former Board member of the Demuth Foundation, the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau and the National History Day Advisory Board.

February 2022 - History Lecture

"Second Chances at Sea"

Thursday, 24 February 2022 (1900 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

Lieutenant Garrett Richards, USN

Operating a Naval Warship on the high seas has long been a dangerous and difficult job. Accidents and mishaps have befallen many Captains and Junior Officers of America's sea services, including some of our Navy's most revered leaders. Before Alfred Thayer Mahan and Chester Nimitz were to redefine the legacy of the U.S. Navy, they both were involved in significant incidents that put America's ships and sailors at risk. As history reveals, these two men were offered a chance at redemption, however today's leaders are rarely afforded the same opportunity. This lecture explores the histories of Naval leaders.

Lieutenant Garrett Richards is a native of Hershey, PA, Garrett graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2017 with a degree in History and Latin American Studies. While at Vanderbilt he participated in the Naval ROTC program under a four-year scholarship and was commissioned as a Naval Officer upon graduation. Prior to his service on the USS Detroit, Garrett served as the Gunnery Officer onboard the USS Benfold, a Guided-Missile Destroyer forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

March 2022 - History Lecture

The World War Two Art Collection at Brown University Library.

Thursday, 24 March 2022 (1900 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

Peter Harrington, Curator, John Hay Library at Brown University


The talk will describe how the World War Two Art Collection, which is part of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, was created over the last 25 years, and will include some of the highlights and a special focus on the Naval and Marine Corps artists represented.

Peter Harrington is an author, military historian, and archaeologist, who curates the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection in the John Hay Library at Brown University where he has worked for over 37 years. A native of Manchester, England, he studied at London, Edinburgh, Simmons and Brown, and his research over the past three decades has focused on artists and images of war. For many years he taught a distance learning graduate course on the subject. His other area of research is Conflict Archaeology. He has authored and edited a number of books.

April 2022 - History Lecture

The Battle of Midway: Fresh Insights

Monday, 18 April 2022 (1900 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

Dale Jenkins, Author of the upcoming book:  Diplomats and Admirals

Japanese Admiral Yamamoto planned an attack on Midway Island to draw out and sink the Pacific Fleet carriers.  US cryptographers decoded the Japanese attack plan and Admiral Chester Nimitz planed a simultaneous concentration of force by the planes from Midway and the Pacific Fleet carrier planes.  The Japanese were almost ready to deliver a devastating attack against the Pacific Fleet carriers, but at 1025 the Enterprise air group commander led Enterprise dive bombers, supplemented by Yorktown planes, that destroyed the Japanese carriers in the last possible moments to win the Battle of Midway.

Dale A. Jenkins has had a lifelong interest in the Navy and international affairs.  He served for three years as an officer in the Navy, mostly on a destroyer in the Pacific.  During his active duty he was home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan, and Pacific Fleet commitments took him to the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore.  While on active duty was awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.  As a result of his active duty experience and recent new revelations, Dale provides fresh insights into strategies and tactics of the Battle of Midway.

May 2022 - History Lecture

“The Navy’s Key Role in the Halsey-Doolittle Raid”

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 (1900 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

Dr. Dennis Okerstrom is Professor Emeritus at Park University


One of the best-known and feted events of World War II was the daring bombing raid on Tokyo and other Japanese cities by Army Air Corps fliers led by then-Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle.  Just four months after Pearl Harbor, this first-ever strike against the islands of Japan lifted the morale of Americans; it was featured during the war in films and books; it is credited with destroying the early illusion of invincibility of the Imperial Japanese Forces.  The response of Japanese military leaders to the raid resulted in what is often credited as the turning point in the Pacific war: the Battle of Midway.

Dr. Dennis Okerstrom is Professor Emeritus at Park University near Kansas City, Missouri, retiring in 2018 after 35 years of teaching; the Mary Barlow Professor of Language and Literature, he held posts as head of the Liberal Studies Department and chair of the English Department.

June 2022 - History Lecture

“Aircraft Carriers on the Great Lakes during World War II”

Thursday, 23 June 2022 (1900 hrs Eastern Standard Time)

Christopher N. Blaker


During the early twentieth century, scores of Americans sailed the Great Lakes on luxury excursion steamships that were built for speed, comfort, and extravagance. While all those ships provided passengers pleasant voyages between freshwater ports, two of their number— Seeandbee and Greater Buffalo—went on to serve an even higher purpose, being converted to the United States’ only freshwater aircraft carriers during World War II. To keep aircraft carrier pilots-to-be far from any combat area during their training and qualification, many were sent to the Great Lakes region to learn the ropes aboard these two training carriers, now named USS Wolverine (IX-64) and USS Sable (IX-81).

Christopher N. Blaker works for the U.S. Department of the Navy as an editor of scholarly books and journals at Marine Corps University Press in Quantico, Virginia. He is an American historian specializing primarily in Navy and Marine Corps activities during World War II and in the Great Lakes region. His articles have appeared in Marine Corps History, Leatherneck, and Michigan History, and he served as coeditor of the Marine Corps History Division anthology U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2010–2014 (2017). He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Albion College and a master’s degree in American history from Oakland University. A native of Farmington, Michigan, he now lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

September 2022 - History Lecture

Torpedo Development During the 1920's

Thursday, 29 September 2022 (1930 hours)

Military Historian; currently curator of military history at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History 

Dr. Frank A. Blazich Jr.

In 1922, the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport, Rhode Island initiated Project G-53 to develop a magnetic influence torpedo exploder. Four years later, this effort produced a prototype suitable for live-fire testing. Refined and “perfected” by the late 1920s, the now-designated Mark 6 Mod 1 Exploder seemingly offered the Navy’s Submarine Service a “wonder weapon” capable of efficiently and effectively destroying targets. To complement the magnetic influencer, the Torpedo Station also included an impact detonator element in the complete Mark 6 exploder. 

In January 2017, Dr. Blazich assumed his current position as curator of modern military history at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. His first edited book, Bataan Survivor: A POW’s Account of Japanese Captivity in World War II, was published by the University of Missouri Press in February 2017. His second book, “An Honorable Place in American Air Power”: Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol Operations, 1943-1943, was published by Air University Press in December 2020.

October 2022 - Virtual Lecture

Revenue Cutter Captain “Hell Roarin’” Mike Healy—tamer of America’s final frontier

Thursday, 27 October 2022 (1900 hours Eastern). Join us as we honor the USCG.

William H. Thiesen, PhD.  Atlantic Area Historian, US Coast Guard


Michael Healy made a lasting impression on American history as the first man of African-American heritage to receive a U.S. sea service commission and first to command a Federal ship. As a powerful law enforcement officer in Alaska Territory, he helped shape the history of this lawless maritime frontier. During Healy’s career in Alaska, he explored, policed, protected, nurtured, defended and helped preserve the humans and animals that survived in that forbidding land. This paper will explore the life and career of Captain Michael Healy, the most colorful and controversial officer in the history of the United States Coast Guard.

Dr. Thiesen serves as Atlantic Area Historian for the United States Coast Guard. Dr. Thiesen earned a master’s degree from East Carolina University’s Program in Maritime History, with a concentration in naval history; and a Ph.D. in University of Delaware’s Hagley Program in the History of Industrialization and Technology, with a specialization in maritime industries and technology. His books include Industrializing American Shipbuilding: The Transformation of Ship Design and Construction, 1820-1920 and Cruise of the Dashing Wave: Rounding Cape Horn in 1860

November 2022 - Virtual Lecture

Mastering the Art of Command: A Reflection

Thursday, 17 November 2022 (1900 hours Eastern)

Mr. Trent Hone.  Naval Historian and Vice President, ICF International.

Admiral Chester Nimitz was one of the most effective military leaders of World War II. In his new book, Mastering the Art of Command: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Victory in the Pacific War, Trent Hone examines Admiral Nimitz's leadership and argues that Nimitz's effectiveness was based on an artistic approach that allowed him to maximize the potential of his command, wrest the initiative from the Japanese, and create the conditions for victory in the Pacific. In this talk, Mr. Hone will explore Nimitz's artistic approach in detail and highlight how core attributes of Nimitz's leadership allowed Nimitz and his subordinates to readily adapt and adjust to new information and maximize the effectiveness of their command and organizational structures. Mr. Hone will integrate command and operational history to describe the war as it appeared from Nimitz's headquarters and how Nimitz mastered the art of command. 


Trent Hone is an award-winning naval historian and Vice President with ICF International, based in Fairfax, Virginia. Mr. Hone's work is fueled by an interest in organizational learning and operational effectiveness. He consults with organizations to improve their art of practice, accelerate learning, and innovate more effectively.

Northern Lights illuminating the Norwegian Sea

December 2022 - Virtual Lecture

Kerfuffle Over the Norwegian Sea

Thursday, 15 December 2022 (1900 hours Eastern)

Dr. James Tritten Author and retired National Security Department Chair, Naval Post Graduate School, Monterrey, CA.

Kerfuffle Over the Norwegian Sea is a true story that occurred on September 26, 1972, on a flight in an S-2G that originated aboard USS Intrepid (CV-11). Dr. James Tritten has written extensively about strategy, doctrine, nuclear issues, etc. but decided to focus one essay on the challenging events that occurred one day, on one flight, that would show the reader what really goes on in the cockpit when things go south.  Dr. James Tritten retired after a forty-four-year career with the Department of Defense, including duty as a carrier-based naval aviator. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Southern California and formerly served as a faculty member and National Security Affairs department chair at the Naval Postgraduate School. Dr. Tritten’s publications have won him sixty-three writing awards, including the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award from the Navy League of the U.S. He has published twelve books and over four hundred chapters, short stories, essays, articles, and government technical reports. Dr. Tritten was a frequent speaker at many military, arms control, and international conferences and has seen his work translated into Russian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

February 2023 - Virtual Lecture

Thursday, February 16, 2023 (1900 Eastern Time)

Ms. Cinzi Lavin, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Award-winning musical dramatist Cinzi Lavin shares the humorous, poignant, and inspiring story of creating and producing a musical about Joshua James, widely known as the “Father of the U.S. Coast Guard.” James, the most highly decorated civilian lifesaving crew commander in United States history, personally saved over 600 individuals and took part in scores of life-threatening rescues at sea in Hull, Massachusetts. While researching his life and work, Lavin was awed by the magnitude of his heroism as she translated it into action and song for the stage. The technical, comical, and personal aspects of bringing the show to life are revealed in behind-the-scenes stories that only its creator/producer can provide, such as that of the musical number written just hours before opening night, or the excitement of a surprise cameo role.

Born in Manhattan and raised in Texas, Cinzi Lavin began studying piano at the age of five and was working regularly as a paid performer by age 16. She is the award-winning creator and producer of three full-length original musical dramas. In 2010, she performed by invitation at the White House. In 2020, she was honored with an award from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) for her influence on American culture and has been voted into the National League of American Pen Women for distinction in both Letters and Music.

March 2023 - Virtual Lecture

Commanding in the Last Frontier: A USCG Patrol Boat Skipper in Alaska 

March 30, 2023, Thursday, at 1900 hrs (Eastern Time)

LT Will Singletary, USCG, Commanding Officer, USCGC Naushon 

Join LT Will Singletary for a virtual tour of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter NAUSHON (WPB-1311) in Homer, Alaska. He provides an overview of the Cutter’s characteristics, crew, spaces, and life onboard. Moreover, he offers a glimpse of serving in the austere Alaskan environment, for those who have not sailed her waters. The USCG’s 110 ft, Island Class Patrol Boats have served with distinction since 1986, with only 7 remaining in Commissioned Service. As skipper of one of the “last of the fleet” LT Singletary pays homage to their service and briefly touches on the future of Patrol Boats in the Coast Guard. LT Singletary looks forward to the lecture and engaging with the audience.

May 2023 - Virtual Lecture

Col James Holman, USMC (ret.): "The A6A Intruder: Up, Close & Personal"

May 25, 2023, Thursday, at 1900 hrs (Eastern Time)

This presentation reveals the A6A Intruder as the author "remembers it”! The operational capabilities made it unique and one of the few aircraft designed for a specific mission! All Weather, All Attack! First, the presentation will detail the impressive combat capability! Then, Col. Homan will apply those capabilities to missions he flew in Vietnam and Laos: Close Air Support (CAS), Beacon, Armed Reconnaissance (AR), Mining Operations, Tactical Interdiction,

Commando Bolt, Landing Zone Prep, and wild weasel simulation!

Colonel James Homan joined the Marine Corps as part of the Platoon Leader Commission (PLC) Program in 1965. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt upon graduation from Creighton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History & Economics in June 1967. He earned his Naval Flight Officer (NFO) Wings in 1968 and flew 250 Combat Missions as an A6A Intruder Bombardier/Navigator (BN) with VMA (AW) 225 out of DaNang RVN over ICorps and Laos1969-70. He earned 16 Air Medals and claims responsibility for expending 3 Million Lbs 500, 1000 & 2000 Lb bombs. He left active duty in 1971 but remained in the Marine Corps Reserves until 1997 in various aviation command and control billets, most importantly as USPACOM Deputy Director Crisis Action (DDCA) during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Colonel resides with his wife of 55 years in Northern Illinois and has 3 children and 12 grandchildren!

June 2023 - Virtual Lecture

"Cold War Termination"

June 29, 2023, Thursday, at 1900 hrs (Eastern Time)

Sarah C. M. Paine, William S. Sims University Professor of History and Grand Strategy, Strategy & Policy Department, U.S. Naval War College

There is much dispute how and why the Cold War ended when it did. I will present differing internal, external, and overarching explanations. The five external explanations are: Ronald Reagan crushed them, the Helsinki Accords undermined them, Nixon’s China card played them, cumulative presidential effects overwhelmed them, or submarines cornered them. The four internal explanations are: imperial overextension, sick satellites, economic decline, or flawed leadership ruined them. The two umbrella explanations are: either any of the above (i.e. the outcome was inevitable) or all of the above plus careful coordination between President Bush and Chancellor Kohl (i.e. the West barely won).

Professor Paine, William S. Sims University Professor of History and Grand Strategy, has taught at the U.S. Naval War College since 2000. She lectures on geopolitics, Mao Zedong, World War II, the Chinese Civil War, and the Russo-Japanese, Korean, Vietnam and Cold wars. She has spent over eight years overseas, with multiple yearlong stints in Taiwan and Japan, and a year each in China, Russia, and Australia.

July 2023 - Virtual Lecture

"Did the Spanish Discover Hawaii before Captain Cook?"

July 21, 2023, Thursday, at 1900 hrs (Eastern Time)

Captain Michael A. Lily, USN (ret.). Author and past Attorney General of Hawaii.

The conventional wisdom is that Captain James Cook was the first European to “discover” Hawaii in 1778. As a teenager, however, Capt. Michael A. Lilly read an account that Gaetano, a Spanish navigator, first recorded the discovery of Hawaii in 1542. Lilly believes it was not possible for these galleons to miss seeing the 13,000-foot mountains of the big island of Hawaii, from which smoke from lava eruptions sometimes rose high above. In 1743, a British ship captured a Spanish galleon that had charts showing a group of islands in the general location and exact latitude of Hawaii. He also will present Hawaiian legends of white men landing in Hawaii long before Cook.

Captain Lilly, USN (Ret.) had a distinguished career as Hawaii's Attorney General and as a trial attorney. He is a founding director emeritus of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, which operates the Missouri as a memorial and tourist attraction. He authored Nimitz at Ease, relating how his grandparents helped Nimitz cope with the stresses of command and win the Pacific war. He retired as a surface warfare captain after 30 years of service, active and reserve.

August 2023 - Virtual Lecture

"Practical Solutions for the US Merchant Marine"

August 24, 2023, Thursday, at 1900 hrs (Eastern Time)

Kempton Baldridge, licensed 1600 Ton Master and 2nd Mate of Unlimited Tonnage.

The decline in the US merchant fleet and the number of available merchant mariners have been reported numerous times since 2000. Combined with the modern dilemma of life becoming more polarized and politicized, the detached sense of reality in the modern digital age, and a clash between conflicting generation’s work ethics, there is a very real crisis deserving of a rational, apolitical solution drawing resources and insight from private and public institutions.

Baldridge spent much of his childhood in Delaware but lived in Belgium during his formative years. He has also lived in the Marshall Islands, Kentucky, Michigan, and Saipan. Baldridge earned a BA in History from Johns Hopkins in 2010, where he was nominated for the Kougell Prize in History for his Senior Thesis, Guadalcanal: The Decisive Campaign. He also earned his BS in Maritime Technology from Great Lakes Maritime Academy in 2017. When not sailing, Kempton Baldrige lives in Baltimore, MD, contributing research to Eric Wertheim’s Proceedings column, Combat Fleets of the World.

September 2023 - Virtual Lecture

Professor Marco Tabili, Member of the Naval Order of the United States and a member of the Accademia dei Cavalieri di Santo Stefano of Pisa 

The maritime republics (Italian: repubbliche marinare), also called merchant republics (Italian: repubbliche mercantili), were Italian thalassocratic port cities which, starting from the Middle Ages, enjoyed political autonomy and economic prosperity brought about by their maritime activities. The term, coined during the 19th century, generally refers to four Italian cities, whose coats of arms have been shown since 1947 on the flags of the Italian Navy and the Italian Merchant Navy: Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa, and Venice. In addition to the four best known cities, Ancona, Gaeta, Noli, and, in Dalmatia, Ragusa, are also considered maritime republics; in certain historical periods, they had no secondary importance compared to some of the better known cities.

Uniformly scattered across the Italian peninsula, the maritime republics were important not only for the history of navigation and commerce: in addition to precious goods otherwise unobtainable in Europe, new artistic ideas and news concerning distant countries also spread. From the 10th century, they built fleets of ships both for their own protection and to support extensive trade networks across the Mediterranean, giving them an essential role in reestablishing contacts between Europe, Asia, and Africa, which had been interrupted during the early Middle Ages. They also had an essential role in the Crusades and produced renowned explorers and navigators such as Marco Polo and Cristopher Columbus.

October 2023 - Virtual Lecture

BIRTH OF A NAVY: Samuel Rhoads Fisher - 

First Secretary of the Navy for the Republic of Texas 

Adm. Dallam Masterson, Ph.D., Texas Navy. Member, Sons of the Texas Republic. 

Samuel Rhoads Fisher met Moses and Stephen F. Austin in Missouri in 1819, and in 1830, decided to move his shipping business from Philadelphia to Austin’s colony in Mexican Texas. The 1832 house that ships’ carpenters built for Fisher’s family in Matagorda has survived several major hurricanes and is one of the oldest homes in Texas. Fisher was instrumental in creating the Texas Navy in November 1835, beginning with acquiring the first Navy schooner William Robbins (renamed Liberty) that captured Mexican supplies and diverted them to the Texian army to ensure their victory at San Jacinto in April 1836. Fisher signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and was appointed the first Secretary of the Navy for the Republic of Texas by President Sam Houston. When Mexico threatened the survival of the young Republic with a naval blockade of the Texas coast in 1837, Secretary Fisher ordered the Texas Navy on a diversionary cruise to Yucatán that broke the blockade. President Houston was not pleased that Fisher volunteered for the Yucatán cruise on leave and fired him when he returned to a hero’s welcome in Texas. Fisher was cleared of all Houston’s charges by the Texas Senate, and in his farewell letter, Fisher closed with “God prosper Texas! and to you, my friends and fellow citizens, happiness and thanks.” 

Speaker: Dallam Masterson is a 7th-generation Texan, an Admiral in the Texas Navy, and a member of The Sons of the Republic of Texas. He is a retired geologist with degrees from Yale University, the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas. His 4th great-grandfather was Samuel Rhoads Fisher, the first Secretary of the Navy for the Republic of Texas.

November 2023 - Virtual Lecture

"Operation Stress Control: Mindfulness for Stress Reduction and Prevention"

 LCDR Aroon Seeda

In today's demanding environment, stress is an ever-present challenge that can significantly impact our mental and physical well-being. "Operation Stress Control" is a transformative workshop to equip individuals with mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and prevent its harmful effects on their lives. Through mindfulness, participants will develop awareness, presence, and self-compassion, allowing them to handle life's challenges better. This interactive workshop will guide attendees through mindfulness practices, including the single-breath return to resting point meditation technique, breath work, and body scans, to build a strong foundation for stress reduction. Participants will also explore the science behind stress and the benefits of mindfulness, helping them to recognize their personal stress patterns and triggers. Armed with this knowledge, they can create tailored stress management plans that promote resilience and balance in their lives.

Lieutenant Commander Aroon Seeda, a native of Thailand, is a certified mindfulness instructor and a highly experienced Navy Chaplain. With a background in Buddhist studies and a Master’s of Divinity from the University of the West, Rosemead, California, LCDR Seeda creates a safe and supportive environment for participants to explore and learn, ensuring that everyone leaves the workshop with practical tools to manage stress and lead a balanced life.

December 2023 - Virtual Lecture

"Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 – The Long Road to War"

 Stephen Cross - December 21, 2023

Amidst a flurry of diplomacy and code-breaking efforts, U.S. Armed Forces preparations struggled to gain momentum, facing a two-ocean challenge of Germany and Axis powers Japan and Italy and the rising specter of Japan’s superior Army and Navy in the Pacific.  Preparations in Hawaii rested with the Navy, Army Air Corps, and regular Army leaders, all taking orders from Washington, DC. The U.S. population was primarily opposed to entering foreign wars, struggling with the effects of the great depression and the disturbing influences of the American Communist Party and the American Nazi movement. Diplomatic talks were not productive. U.S. intelligence and code-breaking were partitioned into units that produced helpful information that was valuable but unshared with fellow crypto analysts.  The Pacific Fleet received a “war warning “message from ADM Harold Stark on November 27, 1941, to reinforce previous messages. December arrived; there was no update from the silent Japanese fleet.  Commanders wondered, “What next?” A look at the road to war and the events that provide thoughtful review to naval officers.

Stephen Cross was raised in Wyoming, experiencing rural ranch life in North Central Wyoming and city life in Casper, Wyoming. He received a scholarship to Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, where he graduated with a degree in Economics.


After graduation, he worked for a large bank in Los Angeles.  With the banks’ support, he applied and was accepted to the Navy OCS 16-week program.  His first orders were to Naval Intelligence, where he was awarded the Navy Unit and Meritorious Unit commendations.  In late 1966, Stephen was ordered to the newly repaired USS FRANK KNOX DDR-742 as an ASW officer.  In December 1968, Stephen returned to his job with a central bank.  He completed additional degrees in finance and investments.

In retirement, he volunteers in Rotary, at the USS MIDWAY Aircraft Carrier Museum, and La Jolla’s historic Coast Walk Trail. At USS MIDWAY, he worked as a Docent, was a library volunteer, and served as Chairman of the Docent Council.

January 2024 - Virtual Lecture

"All Hands": Yankee Whaling and the U.S. Navy

January 18, 2024 (Thursday, 1900 EST)

Michael P. Dyer, Curator of Maritime History, Mystic Seaport Museum

First conceived as a scholarly book, the culture surrounding this subject was so intensely strong and interesting that the project morphed into an exhibition of the same name, opening at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on September 1, 2023. Subsequent publishing of the show catalog included contributions from prominent scholars including Gordon Calhoun, Mary K. Bercaw-Edwards, Robert Madison, and Greg Gibson.

The intersection of these two sea services, the Navy and the whale fishery, offers a fresh interpretation of an important theme in American maritime history. The Navy and the whaling fleet together enabled important advancements in geopolitics, oceanography, cartography, and national self-awareness and were pillars of American maritime culture.

"All Hands" turns to objects in museum collections, such as patriotic scrimshaw, logbooks and journals, sea charts, navigating instruments, and other significant pieces, to tell a story stretching from the War of 1812 to the First World War. It documents the willing participation by whalemen in the Navy including author Herman Melville, artist Robert Weir, and Medal of Honor recipient Joaquim Pease. Likewise, the Navy relied upon whalemen as a nursery for seamen, as well as information gatherers, constructing important building blocks in a growing nineteenth-century American global influence.

Attached images include a view of the cover of the catalog, manuscript notation on the flyleaf of NBWM/KWM #43, journal kept by Oliver Wilcox onboard the ship Canton of New Bedford, 1834-1838, indicating that Capt. Daniel McKenzie had transcribed the journal for Lieut. Matthew Fontain Maury and the U.S. Naval Observatory, a U.S. government-issued poster requesting the loan of navigating instruments from merchant mariners for use in the Naval operations of World War I.

February 2024 - Virtual Lecture

Women on Aircraft Carriers – Has it Really Been 20 Years?

February 22, 2024

Captain Valerie Ormond, USN (ret.), Founder, Veteran Writing Services LLC

Secretary of Defense Les Aspin made life-changing history in 1993 when lifted the combat exclusion policy permitting women to serve on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. By 1994, the first American female aviators flew combat missions launched from the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Navy women then had career opportunities previously unavailable to them. But was it all smooth sailing? As one of the first women on a combat deployment onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, retired Navy Captain Valerie Ormond shares personal perspectives on this pivotal period of time.

Valerie Ormond retired as a Navy Captain after a 25-year career as an intelligence officer and founded her own business, Veteran Writing Services, LLC. She provides companies and organizations professional writing, editing, and consulting services. Valerie has authored three novels centered around a military family, Believing In Horses, Believing In Horses, Too, and Believing In Horses Out West, which have won fourteen national and international awards. Her fiction and non-fiction stories and poems have been published in books of multiple genres, and her articles have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and blogs. She is the Vice President of the Military Writers Society of America, is on the board of the Virginia Press Women Foundation, and is a member of numerous equine, writing, and veteran organizations.

March 2024 - Virtual Lecture

A Short History of Submarine Technology From Bushnell’s TURTLE to a VIRGINIA Class SSN

March 21, 2024

Commander George Wallace, USN (ret.)

The story of submarines has been a story of men and technology fighting the sea. We will explore submarine technology, its advantages and limitations, over the history of the US Navy.

Commander George Wallace USN (ret.) served in the US Navy for twenty-two years as an officer on nuclear submarines. After receiving his commission through Naval ROTC and a degree in Engineering at The Ohio State University, he served on USS JOHN ADAMS (SSBN 620) and the USS WOODROW WILSON (SSBN 624). He commanded the USS HOUSTON (SSN 713) from February 1990 to August 1992 and completed his active duty career as Assistant Chief of Staff, Submarine Group Five. 

George and Don Keith teamed up to write the best-selling novel Final Bearing and then Firing Point, which was adapted to become the major motion picture Hunter-Killer. Their other submarine thriller novels include Dangerous Grounds, Cuban Deep, Fast Attack, Arabian Storm, Warshot, Silent Running, and Snapshot. Their latest story, Southern Cross, will be released in May. Independently, he is the author of Operation Golden Dawn. George holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a degree in International Studies from the Naval War College. In addition to numerous technical papers and articles, he holds two patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. George recently retired from NTT Data Federal Systems, where he was Vice President – Navy Business, overseeing all of NTT Data’s Navy work.

April 2024 - Virtual Lecture

The Marines Who Raised the Flag on Mt. Suribachi: Correcting the Record

April 25, 2024

Colonel Keil Gentry, USMC (ret.)

Vice President for Business Affairs, Marine Corps University

Acting Director, National Museum of the Marine Corps


Correcting the historical record spanned 70 years; however, when the Marine Corps first associated names with the faceless figures in Rosenthal’s photograph in April 1945, it assumed a responsibility to get it right. General Vandegrift, Commandant of the Marine Corps, articulated that duty in a letter to Sergeant Hansen’s father following the del Valle Board’s positive identification of Corporal Block in the position previously assigned to Sergeant Hansen. He wrote, “…I hope you will agree that, in fairness to all parties, the Marine Corps was obligated to correct the mistaken identification.”   That sentiment was true in 2016 when the Huly Board partially corrected the identifications. The mandate for historical accuracy and integrity asserted itself again two years later when additional evidence was brought to the attention of the Marine Corps. This brief outlines the research efforts leading to and the conclusions of the Bowers Board.

Col. Gentry served in the Marine Corps for over 30 years in various billets.  Spending most of his career in operational billets, he commanded at the battery, battalion, and regimental levels.  Additionally, he served as the Head of National Plans for the Marine Corps, Deputy Legislative Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Director of the Marine Corps War College.  He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2016.


He currently serves as the Vice President for Business Affairs for Marine Corps University/Education Command. Col. Gentry also participated in multiple named contingency operations, including PROVIDE COMFORT, PROVIDE PROMISE, JOINT ENDEAVOR, ASSURED RESPONSE, QUICK RESPONSE, IRAQI FREEDOM, AL FAJR, and TOMODACHI.