By Jim Hull. VADM USCG (ret.)
It has been a busy few months. I have met with Admiral Bob Papp, the Commandant of the Coast Guard. several times since he became Commandant, and I am very happy 10 say that he is living up to his promise to honor History. He has chartered two separate initiatives to make this a reality.
In the first initiative. the Academy recently reached out to our organization, and I was invited to participate in two meetings to discuss the development of Coast Guard History courses as part of the curriculum at the Academy.
The first meeting was a planning session with CAPT Glenn Sulmasy. Head of the Humanities Department at CGA. and other interested parties. The Commandant attended the final planning meeting and gave his approval to efforts to create Coast Guard-specific history courses as part of the curriculum. It is anticipated that an elective will first be offered as pan of the Government major. to be followed by other course developments.
The second initiative is still in !he planning stages. I have been asked 10 chair a meeting at the Academy, Yorktown, or some other suitable location 10 bring together individuals and organizations interested in Coast Guard History. The intended result is to create a blueprint for preserving. displaying, and enhancing the history of the Coast Guard.
Please stand by. as I am sure there will be opportunities for those interested to participate and contribute. I would be happy to hear any and all thoughts. We hope the meeting will take place before the summer transfer season. Captain Ron LaBrec is leading this effon,
with the full support of Admiral Schultz and the Commandant.
These two developments give me pride on two fronts. One is thaI our organization was recognized for its leadership role in what we try to do: promote and preserve Coast Guard History. Secondly. we are seeing a manifestation of a lot of hard work by many to highlight the
rich background of the Coast Guard.
Lastly. it's worth noting that ADM Papp uses Coast Guard History in almost every speech he gives. In his recent State of the Coast Guard" presentation (see it at www.uscg.mil).. he highlighted the history of building ships. He also recognized the present Coast Guard Historian. Dr. Bob Browning. for giving him the facts he needs whenever he needs them.
I would say v.e now have our marching orders. and should take pride that the Foundation's advocacy has provided a foundation for the work ahead.