Formerly President of the United States Naval Academy’s Alumni Association’s North Carolina Research Triangle Park Chapter

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Not exactly MacArthur’s address to Congress and I, too, was honored to have served and to have helped to improve our Chapter’s sense of self. By complete coincidence, I published this reference to Admiral Alan Shepard on the 50th anniversary of his walk in space, May 5, 2011.

Shipmates and Friends of the Chapter,

A final reminder re our guest speaker tomorrow, LtCol Mike Franzak, author of A Nightmare’s Prayer. Registration: We may even get to share a few thoughts on the Pakistan OBL operation by our comrades in Spec Ops.

And tomorrow will be our annual meeting for the purpose of electing the 2011-12 Chapter Board of Directors. This evolution will not take long as the Chapter has effectively decided on its officers and directors. And this brings me to my story about Alan Shepard, astronaut and admiral. One pleasant spring afternoon circa 1973, Admiral Shepard visited our Academy for lunch and our beloved Wednesday P-rade on Worden Field. After Brigade Seats, Admiral Shepard was invited by the Supt. to say a few words to the mids in the mess hall- that’s what it was called in those days. Of all the P-rades and March-Ons and Monday practices that I enjoyed (which admittedly were few), I’ll never forget this one because Astronaut Shepard turned to the seated Supt. and suggested that since he never liked marching in P-rades as a mid that he would appreciate and respectfully requests that today’s 1530 P-rade, where he is the slated guest of honor, be cancelled and the mids given town libs. As Salty Sam would say, “I kid you not.” The mess hall exploded in cheers; the Supt. complied with Admiral Shepard’s request.

Regaling you with this sea story is my own way of informing you that this is my final correspondence as Chapter President. Thank you for this honor. Hope to see you at lunch tomorrow. And for the information of all hands, there will be no parade for tomorrow’s change of command of the Board of Directors.

That is all. Go Navy.

Christopher Perrien
NC Triangle Chapter, USNA Alumni Association