Now Hear This – July 2021




To take a short summer break, and since the first Wednesday in July closely follows the 4th of July holiday, we will not hold a monthly meeting in July.  HOWEVER –



Instead of that meeting, we will hold a family “Pin the Tail on the Mule” picnic on 18 July.  We want this one to be “just for us” – no big supply effort, no massive communications work.  We have reserved Shelter #605 at Picnic Island Park in south Tampa.  Beach, games, and food by Mission BBQ!  The email notice is out.  Kids 12 and under are free.  Register here  by Sunday 11 July –


RDML “T.R.” Buchanan ‘92, the immediate past USNA Commandant, is coming to Tampa and CENTCOM.  We have already reached out and are in touch.  Welcome aboard, Admiral!!

Colonel James “J.P.” McDonough III, USMC, ’94 has been selected to become the 89th Commandant of Midshipmen.  I believe he officially started his job on 1 July.  He is at least the third Marine to hold that position.

If you’re curious about Rear Admiral (lower half) and what happened to “Commodore” – RDML (as opposed to upper half/two star RADM) is equivalent to the rank of brigadier general in the other uniformed services, and equivalent to the rank of Commodore in most other navies.  In the United States uniformed services, Rear Admiral (lower half) replaced the rank of Commodore in 1983.  One reason, as I understand it – to the community, when they reached O-7, they wanted to be called Admiral, dammit!  I hear ya’ –


VADM James J. Malloy ’86 has reported aboard as Deputy Commander US Central Command.  He had read our SHIPMATE column and asked Marty Drake ’78 how to get active.  Glad to have you, Admiral –


Midshipman Michael Myles James, 22, of Hiram, Georgia, was found unresponsive the morning of June 23 while on leave from the Naval Academy. The cause of death is being investigated; foul play is not suspected.  Obviously, MIDN Myles was a rising firstie.  Very sad.


  1. LOSS OF A MOTHER (from Fox News)

More sad news – A mother who was in Annapolis to see her son off to USNA, died after she was hit by a stray bullet early Tuesday 6/29.  Michelle Jordan Cummings, 57, from Houston, was with her husband and another couple outside The Graduate Hotel at about 12:20 a.m   They had just said good-night and she stood to return to their room.  According to reports, an argument a block away led to gunfire, and a bullet carried through bushes and hit Ms. Cummings, killing her.  Her son, Leonard Cummings III, is a NAPS graduate entering the academy.  He decided to continue through I-Day and continue his USNA journey.  Blessings to him and his family –

  1. THE BOARD MET on 14 June to address several important items and plan events for the rest of this year. A couple of highlights –
    1. Events and dates confirmed – (mark your calendar!)
      1. Family Picnic – 18 July
      2. Football watch parties – 4 Sept, 11 Sept (and more)
  • Founders Day Dinner – 13 October/Feather Sound CC
  1. Tampa Bay Wine Society (Social) – 13 November
  2. Army-Navy Football – 11 December
  1. SIG Chapter Liaisons
    1. The Alumni Association has asked chapters to name liaisons to these Special Interest Groups (SIG). We had volunteers –
      1. Run to Honor – Steve Swift ‘87
      2. Women – Jane Lochner ‘84
      3. NAMA (Naval Academy Minority Assn.) – TBD
    2. The Chapter and Board strongly support efforts to strengthen these communities of our shipmates. If you would like to play an active role, please contact me.  Chris
  2. 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Tampa Bay Chapter! (Hint:  The founder is still active with us!).  Watch for future news about how we plan to celebrate our Golden Anniversary –
  3. New LinkedIn Page – The Board agreed to establish (sanction) a new Chapter LinkedIn page. Its primary purpose will be to connect Alumni people and businesses in the Tampa Bay area.  We’re still ironing things out, but it is up and running.  Thanks to Dave Spoerl ’82, Mark Arnold ’80, and Steve Swift ‘87 for taking ownership of the site to keep it current and meaningful.  The link will be included in future communications. Here it is –



 Bruce Bachman ’73 of Winter Haven passed away.  Bruce was not an active member of the chapter, but we respectfully note his passing, and we contacted his family.  Here’s a link to his obituary –

  New face at the June meeting:

  • John Miles ’93 (St. Pete)

 Kevin Sinnett ’79 and wife Doreen wrote in to make contact.  They have recently moved to Dunedin.  Kevin said that he has been following our Facebook page.

 I also met this month John Delcamp ’85.  He, wife Debra, and family have landed in St. Pete Beach.  John is with Southwest Airlines.

 Welcome aboard, all!


  • 18 July – Family picnic – Picnic Island Park, Tampa (Reservations required)
  • 4 August – Chapter meeting– Tate’s Pizza at 1800
  • 4 September – First football watch party (Marshall at Navy)
  • 11 September Football watch party (Air Force at Navy)
  • 13 November – Tampa Bay Wine Society (social/potluck)
  • 11 December – Army-Navy football (Navy hosting)


Chapter website –

Chapter Facebook page –

Chapter LinkedIn page –

Next chapter meeting – 4 August at Tate’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, West Shore Blvd., Tampa, at 1800.  We hope to see you there. 

One more note – as you read above, we gained new members and activity because of our “distinguished” communications efforts on Facebook, email, our website, and now LinkedIn.  That doesn’t just happen – it is the result of hours of work each month by our talented and dedicated volunteers.  We should all appreciate the efforts of Steve Swift ’87 (Chapter Comms Director/email), Dave Spoerl ‘82 (Chapter Board Member/Facebook), Angela Orlando ’85 (Website), and Leon Jablow ’91 (Chapter Secretary/SHIPMATE).  Let them know when you get a chance.  They’re terrific!

Now – scroll back up and register for the picnic!

Carry on,

Chris Heath ‘72

Chapter President

Pin the Tail on the Mule Picnic

Tampa Bay Alumni and Families Come on out to the PIN THE TAIL ON THE MULE PICNIC 18 July 2021 from 1-5 PM
Dear Tampa Bay Alumni,
Let’s celebrate!  Our chapter was named as one of 13 Distinguished Chapters (among 102) in 2020.  In part to celebrate that achievement, we are pleased to invite you and your family to the PIN THE TAIL ON THE MULE PICNIC.  Bring the kids for a fun picnic with a beach, games, good food, and Navy/Marine Corps friends.  We will have a catered lunch at a nominal price, and RSVPs are required (see below) to ensure food and drink for everyone.
WHEN:  Sunday, 18 July 2021 from 1-5 pm
WHERE: Picnic Island Park in south Tampa, shelter #605 – 7404 Picnic Island Blvd, Tampa
FOOD:  Catered BBQ meal from Mission BBQ, featuring pork and chicken BBQ, sides like mac ‘n cheese, bread, and dessert.  We will also provide non-alcoholic drinks.
ALSO INCLUDED:  Picnic shelter, playground, beach, kids’ activities, and restrooms nearby
COST:  $10 per person, with children under 12 free
PLEASE RSVP BY 11 JULY with the number of adults and children 12 and over.  Use the following link to register and pay via PayPal or credit card.  Our Treasurer, Fr. Tim Corcoran, will acknowledge receipt of your payment for adults and children 12 and over and inquire how may children under 12 (which are free) you are bringing.  Please look for that acknowledgment and inquiry and respond promptly so we will have a good head count.  Because we are ordering food, we will not allow walk-ups. Also, no phone-in or email reservations, please.
Please contact Chris Heath or phone 813.210.2615 with any questions.

V/R – Chris Heath, Chapter President ’72

All Hands on Deck for a Busy March!

All Area Alumni –
Sometimes we control the calendar and sometimes it controls us.  March is a mixture of both phenomena, but it adds up to a busy month for your USNA community.  We wanted to give you a heads up on all the exciting events ahead for your participation –
Wednesday, 4 March (1800-1930) – Monthly chapter meeting – Tate’s Pizza, West Shore Blvd, Tampa
Sunday, 8 March (1200-1500) – Candidate Information Picnic, Picnic Island Park in south Tampa.  See the chapter website to sign up (no cost).    We time this event to coincide with USNA spring  break, so  we get several current Midshipmen (hopefully including members of the USNA Parachute Team) to attend and “recruit”.  We need max alumni to do the same, plus grilling and event support.  Come on out – free food included!
Thursday, 12 March (1900-2100) – The USNA Glee Club will perform a concert at Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 W. Platt St., Tampa.  The Glee Club is spending their spring break in Florida, and is coming over from Orlando for this one-night special event.  No charge – come on out for an inspiring evening of music.  The public is invited – bring your family, friends, and neighbors!
12-15 March – The Players’ Championship Golf Tournament, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL – the tournament sponsors are offering free and discounted tickets to veterans for this prestigious golf tournament.  Steve Swift sent out sign-up information within the last few days.
Saturday, 28 March – All Service Academy Lightning Game – we will be leading the charge to attend the Lightning versus the New York Rangers with Army (and Air Force if they send anyone) alumni.  Looks like $104 for the ticket and all you can eat and drink for 2 hours before the start of the game.  Save the date and look for reservation info shortly.  If you know you are in now – please send your confirmation to Steve Swift at
And as long as you have your calendar out, please note 7 May – the date of the annual Army-Navy golf match.  We will return to the Vinoy Golf Club in St. Pete to retain the championship trophy.  Sign-u[ info will be available well  before the event.
So mark your calendar and join your shipmates for fun and service.  We look forward to seeing you.  BEAT ARMY!
Chris Heath ‘72
Chapter President

Picnic Details and Signup / USNA Summer Seminar / More

Active Alumni –
fyi – below at bottom on how to get Free Tix for Military for the TPC in Jax.
Also  – see attached for our annual Information Day Picnic on March 8th in South Tampa!    Sign up is at this link:    
Lastly Naval Academy Summer Seminar (NASS) is open for Juniors – please see the link here for details!    
The United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar is the first step in navigating your future to becoming one of our nation’s next generation of leaders.  
If you are currently in your junior year of high school and considering the Naval Academy as your college of choice, we strongly recommend you consider applying to Summer Seminar. Summer Seminar will introduce you to life at the Academy, where you will experience first-class academic, athletic, and professional training at the #1 public college in the U.S.* (Top 25 Public College in the U.S. 2017, Forbes). Your Summer Seminar application will also serve as a preliminary application to the Academy that you will complete before or during your senior year.

You will live in Bancroft Hall, experience life on The Yard and learn from some of our best midshipmen and most esteemed faculty.

MAY 30- JUNE 4
JUNE 6 – 11
JUNE 13 – 18

THE PLAYERS is once again proud to continue its policy of providing free or affordable access to the tournament for men and women of the U.S. Armed Services. All Active Duty, Military Retirees, Military Reserve, National Guard, and military spouses, along with dependents, will receive complimentary admission to the tournament all week. Veterans also have the opportunity to purchase up to two (2) discounted tickets per day.

Below is the link to TPC Military Tickets

All you need to know follows below.

Join your Shipmates in this week of great golf and offerings from The Players and Birdies for the Brave!


2020 Annual USNA Information Day Picnic

The United States Naval Academy Admissions Office in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Alumni Chapter and Tampa Bay Parents’ Association cordially invite you and your parents to a picnic and ongoing information session about the Naval Academy and its application processes.

On hand will be Officers from the Admissions Office, local Naval Academy Information Officers (Blue & Gold Officers), Naval Academy Alumni, Midshipmen, and Parents of Midshipmen to answer any and all questions about the Naval Academy (and NROTC). We also may have on hand local Congressional Staff to provide info on the Congressional Nomination Process for USNA.







Location: Picnic Island Park – Shelter #TBD at 7404 Picnic Island Boulevard

Dress is Picnic Casual – shorts, sandals, etc.

Register here.