December 2013
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
University President Continues Campus Communications Effort
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

NPS President, retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route, meets with leadership and staff from the university’s Contracting and Logistics office for the latest campus communications session, Nov. 14. Route is slated to meet with all academic and administrative departments campus-wide over the next few months to hear directly from the faculty and staff that service the NPS community.

“The meetings I’ve held so far have been highly informative, and I look forward to continuing them over the next several weeks,” said Route. “It's very important to me to hear from our faculty and staff first-hand.”

Route noted that one of his primary goals for the sessions is to understand “what is working well” and “where our challenges are” from the perspectives of those on the front lines.  

“These candid discussions have proven to be invaluable in this regard,” said Route. “I am committed to continuing them, as well as finding other ways to receive direct feedback from this institution's outstanding faculty and staff.”.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
Marine Corps Students Honor NPS Enlisted Recreation Committee
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

Members of the NPS Enlisted Recreation Committee (ERC) are presented with a donation on behalf of all Marine Corps students as well as Letters of Appreciation from retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route, NPS President, right, and Marine Corps Capt. Robert Epstein, second from right, during a short ceremony in Herrmann Hall, Nov. 25.

The committee was recognized for providing Color Guard as well as hailing cabs for departing revelers in an effort to ensure participant safety in support of the NPS Marine Corps Birthday celebration held earlier in the month.

“They did a magnificent job … As part of an initiative to ensure that all the ball guests made it home safely following the event, the Birthday Ball Committee coordinated for a local taxi service to provide rides home from Herrmann Hall,” said Epstein. “[ERC members] were able to fill the cabs as they arrived, greatly reducing the overall costs incurred.”

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
New Ombudsman Ready for the Challenge
By Javier Chagoya

NPS Ombudsman Kate Brandt, left, is stepping down due to the permanent change of station associated with her husband’s upcoming December graduation. As Ombudsman, Brandt served as a conduit between students, their family members, and the Office of the Dean of Students.

Incoming Ombudsmen Crystal Culwell has accepted the challenge of replacing Brandt, and was welcomed to the position by NPS Dean of Students Capt. Tom MacRae.

“I am so thankful for the volunteer work Kate has done, and I’m sure Crystal is up to the task,” said MacRae.

“I want Crystal to think about her goals and continue building on the ombudsman program that I’ve put together over the past two years,” added Brandt.

Culwell expressed optimism about her new responsibilities, and spoke of her desire to work with NPS students and their families.

“I want to make sure that I’m visible to the families and able to be as proactive an ombudsman as Kate [Brandt] was. A big part of my job is to make sure that our community is aware of the resources available to them and ensuring NPS students and families that I am accessible,” said Culwell.

Photo courtesy Capt. Michael Smith
NPS Royal Australian Navy Rep Appointed Member of the Order of Australia
By MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

The Honourable Kim Beazley, Australian Ambassador to the United States, left, presents Royal Australian Navy Capt. Michael Smith with the Medal of the Order of Australia during a short ceremony in Washington, D.C. last month. Smith serves as the Royal Australian Navy’s liaison officer to the Naval Postgraduate School

The investiture ceremony was conducted in support of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which was announced earlier this year. Smith was given the award for his exceptional performance of duty in Navy workforce design and management.

“The award is very special, however, I don’t regard it as an end point,” Smith said. “The fascinating journey of life goes on with continued questioning, challenging and learning!”

Smith made a point to recognize the many people that he says helped make his recognition possible.

“I was blessed to have a talented team working with me, who shared the passion and commitment for such an important strategic activity. There were numerous senior officers who supported and encouraged the work, including those in the U.S. Navy and NPS staff who readily gave their time and advice,” said Smith.

Smith has been working to improve Australia’s maritime capabilities as the Royal Australian Navy’s strategic workforce designer since 2005.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
Guest Lecture Encourages NPS Students to Reinvent Fire
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Cofounder and Chief Scientist Dr. Amory B. Lovins spoke during a Defense Energy Seminar at Glasgow Hall, Dec. 6. Lovins discussed his book, “Reinventing Fire,” which encourages a transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy by 2050.

"We don't need an act of Congress for this to work," said Lovins. "This can be led by businesses for profit, enabled by administrative and state policy innovation and sped by military innovation."

Lovins has long contended, “Military advances can accelerate civilian energy efficiency.” His goals mirror a growing recognition by military leaders that there is a need to invest in energy efficient and renewable technologies that will allow the U.S. to maintain its strategic edge.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
SIGS Associate Dean Recognized for Meritorious Service
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

Capt. Bernie Wang, NPS School of International Graduate Studies (SIGS) Military Associate Dean, is presented with the Meritorious Service Medal by retired Vice Adm. Ronald Route, NPS President, during a brief ceremony, Dec. 9. Wang, a Foreign Area Officer, served with SIGS from Jan. 2011 through Dec. 2013.  

“We are training the next generation of Naval officers,” said Wang. “And SIGS, specifically, is helping to educate Sailors to work out problems internationally.”

Wang was recognized for his work as an administrator where he oversaw the education of some 700 resident DOD students and 7,000 international outreach program participants. He was also applauded for his efforts with the Regional Security Education Program, where teams of faculty and regional experts deploy to Navy ships in transit to provide a tailored educational program for the region in which they’ll be operating.

Wang’s next assignment will take him overseas where he will serve as the Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché to the Republic of Singapore. The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to servicemembers who have distinguished themselves with outstanding meritorious achievements within the U.S. military.

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

NPS Honors Top Students of the Fall Quarter
By MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

A select group of the Fall Quarter’s top U.S. and international NPS students were honored during the quarterly awards ceremony in the Barbara McNitt Ballroom, Dec. 10. The students were recognized for excellence in their respective fields of study as well as other scholarly achievements.

“The students being recognized today are indebted to NPS’ superlative faculty … [who’ve] spent countless hours educating and training them to conduct scholarly research, and inspiring them in countess ways,” said NPS Dean of Students Capt. Tom MacRae.

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Jacob C. Urban, a student in the national security studies program, was honored with the Navy League Award for Highest Academic Achievement.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to attend graduate school here at NPS, and to be able to interact with so many intelligent, knowledgeable and talented people - both students and instructors,” said Urban.

“Being surrounded by people of this caliber has really motivated me to dig into my studies and learn as much as I possibly can,” he continued. “I hope that my efforts are worthy of this great institution, and of the money that taxpayers have contributed to give me this opportunity.

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Danica M. Sirmans
DRMI Welcomes New Executive Director
By MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

NPS Associate Professor Dr. Natalie Webb has been named executive director of the Defense Resources Management Institute (DRMI). Webb has been a professor of economics, budgeting and performance management at NPS for more than 21 years.

New leadership is not the only significant recent change at DRMI, with the institution transitioning from within the School of International Graduate Studies (SIGS) organization to the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy (GSBPP), effective this past Sept. 1.

“It was a great experience to work with SIGS,” said Webb. “Working with GSBPP presents an opportunity to network with faculty and staff within the same subject matter areas.”

In addition to serving as executive director, Webb teaches several courses on resources management, budgeting and performance to DRMI’s diverse U.S. and expanded international student body.

“The institute’s student population is made up of approximately 70 percent foreign nationals,” noted Webb. “Our student population used to be pretty evenly split between foreign nationals and American students, but the restrictions on travel right now have presented a challenge to some of our U.S. students.”

In recent months, DRMI has been able to open its doors to select regional residents in an effort to offset the affects of travel restrictions on the program, and to serve the local community.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
NWC Monterey Celebrates Final Class of 2013
BY MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

The 57th graduation class of the Naval War College (NWC) Monterey partnership with NPS for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) stands for a group portrait on the steps in front of Herrmann Hall, Dec. 12, 2013.

NWC Monterey Chairman Professor Fred Drake presided over the quarterly ceremony where a total of 102 U.S. Navy, Army and Marine Corps officers earned their NWC Command and Staff diploma with JPME Phase I certification. Through the partnership, more than 3,500 officers have earned this certification since the program’s inception in September of 1999. 




U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Danica M. Sirmans
Safety Coordinators Training Details NPS, NSAM Hazardous Materials Plan
By MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

Representatives across multiple departments and functions at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and Naval Support Activity Monterey (NSAM) gather for a joint meeting in Spanagel Hall, Dec. 12. Encompassing the Hazardous Material Control and Safety Coordinator/Representatives Committees, delegates from each department throughout both NPS and NSAM joined to coordinate their efforts as designated liaisons in regard to all Occupational Safety Health and Environmental (OSHE) matters.

At the helm is OSHE Director and Safety Officer Lt. Angela Weyrick, who is working with both committees and their respective department heads to help open communications and streamline processes in the wake of a new hazardous materials control and management plan.

“The inspector general came through and concerns were identified, but that was the tip of the iceberg,” Weyrick said. “There is a lot of ‘iceberg’ beneath the water that wasn’t necessarily apparent at the surface level, and that’s what this is all about, addressing those issues by applying integration and streamlining our efforts.”

Working hand in hand with Weyrick are NPS Research Safety Department Head Debora Waxer and NSAM Environmental Management Systems Program Officer Todd Wills, both ensuring that the new policy roll out is being disseminated.  

“Proper planning is going to lead to more efficiently-run projects,” said Wills. “These meetings are to ensure that people are aware of the new processes and that we’re building upon them to continually improve.”

Waxer agreed, emphasizing the importance of communication’s role in creating a campus-wide culture of safety and proper procedures when dealing with hazardous materials.

“It’s an attitude and an awareness to keep up that communication and to know who your safety rep is,” Waxer said. “It’s not just an abstract thing –this is real and people do get hurt. We want to keep our workplace safe, strong and smart.”

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Shawn Stewart
Students Join Community Effort to Build Home for Wounded Warrior
By Kenneth A. Stewart

Army Sgt. Brian Jergens and his family are welcomed to his new home by countless community members and volunteers – including a large contingent from both NPS and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center – during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in nearby Hollister, Dec. 12.

Volunteers working in conjunction with national non-profit Homes for Our Troops built the new home for Jergens who was recently medically retired after suffering debilitating combat injuries in Afghanistan. U.S. Army Maj. Alex Williams, a student in the defense analysis program, coordinated much of the NPS volunteer effort.

“All of us have friends, colleagues and comrades who have been injured or damaged in some capacity,” said Williams. “It’s kind of cathartic for us to see that people do get better. The courage of this Soldier and his wife is truly inspiring … It puts your own problems into perspective.”

Homes for Our Troops has built a total of 155 homes for wounded warriors in the last eight years.

“We are strongly committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious injuries since September 11, 2001,”said Homes for Our Troops Community Outreach Coordinator Autumn Hotaling. “The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at no cost to the veterans we serve.”

For more information and photos from the ceremony, check out the story on the

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
“Pete the Bartender” Hangs Up His Apron
By Javier Chagoya

After 33 years of working the bar at the Naval Support Activity Monterey’s Trident Room, Peter Charette, known by his loyal customers as “Pete the Bartender,” officially hangs up his well-used apron, Dec. 17.

Well-wishers from years past, including current and former employees, a retired admiral or two, and plenty of fans, showed up at Charette’s retirement ceremony to celebrate the iconic Trident Room mainstay.

“I started here after a four-year stint in the Marines in 1980,” said Charette. “It’s been a lot of fun working in a place with so much history.”

History, and specifically the history of the Hotel Del Monte, is one of Charette’s passions. He is the proud owner of one of the largest known private collections of old Hotel Del Monte antiques and memorabilia, and proclaims he knows as much about the hotel as he does bartending.

And now it seems Charette will be able to add perhaps the largest piece of the former Hotel Del Monte to his collection. During his retirement ceremony, Naval Support Activity Monterey Commanding Officer Capt. Gerral David stated, “From now on, the Trident Room will also be known as Pete’s Bar!” David then revealed a replica of a wooden sign produced for Charette’s 25th anniversary, clearly proclaims his ‘ownership.’  

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Shawn J. Stewart

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, CNO Keynotes Fall Graduation
By MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) honored its latest round of graduates during the 2013 Fall Quarter Graduation Ceremony held in King Auditorium, Dec. 20.

Presiding over a graduation ceremony for the first time was NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route, who after welcoming the graduates and their families, acknowledged the work of faculty and staff in preparing today’s soon-to-be alumni.

Route, himself an NPS alumnus, went on to introduce a fellow operations research graduate in the day’s keynote speaker, retired Adm. Michael G. Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 28th Chief of Naval Operations. As Mullen took the podium to address the graduating class, the alumnus first expressed his gratitude to the graduates’ families and friends.

“There’s not a graduate here that could succeed without the support of their families,” said Mullen. “Having done this for awhile, I can tell you that you have set the standard for that kind of support and we are eternally grateful.”

He went on to offer his praise to the students for achieving such an accomplishment, and reaching an important milestone in their career.

“Thank you to the students for your service and your dedication. You are beacons for hope, and you set the example for so many different institutions and countries around the world,” Mullen said.

“And it doesn’t stop here … That service is going to be equally, if not more challenging, than that of the past. But that optimism will prove to deliver,” he continued. “As the economy gets better, and as wars come to an end, it is the battalion, shift and squadron commanders who must focus on retaining our best junior officers – many of whom are in this room."

December 2013 Title

December 2013