Countdown to the 25th : The run for the presidency

DISCLAIMER: Below, I announce my decision to run for class office. The content does not represent the views of the Military Officers’ Association, nor does MOAA endorse my candidacy.

I have toyed with an occasional series, “Countdown to the 25th,” soliciting thoughts and feelings from my classmates in the Naval Academy Class of ’84. When we were mids, classes from the 1950s were having their 25th reunions. They seemed as old as we were invincible. Where does that leave us now?

Well, I am running for class president.

My early queries turned up little more than frustration with a class that is admittedly pretty far down any list of memorable classes. We were nice enough. Even well-meaning. But we never coalesced as one might expect. Apathy is a word that comes to mind. There are reasons for that, but they are best discussed over alcohol. Oddly, alcohol consumption may be our greatest hallmark. Are we social misfits as some have written? No doubt, but we are a class of misfits and would defend one another to the death, or at least serious injury.

A classmate reminded me of how he knew no one who loved the academy more than I. Despite critical entries appearing in “Inside the Headquarters,” it’s true. I grew up not far from this picturesque college on the Severn. My mother (thankfully) got work at the hospital as a secretary in 1974. I worked in the Yard during high school. I owe the academy a lot. It became my home early on.
So in my Countdown to the 25th, it became important to run for class president. People run for myriad reasons such as “giving back” (though I have never considered this a philanthropic endeavor), change, seemed like a good idea, or more concrete reasons. Some have a plan, a vision. Others don’t. My preference is to have a plan. While I remain critical of the academy and vigilant of its policies, my vision for the next five years includes

  • Continuing the growth of the class’s voice at the academy. This is done two ways. 1) Continue current efforts in participation with the academy’s current leadership and 2) Grow class participation in the alumni structure. (Strength in numbers so to speak.) At this 25-year milestone, we are not too far removed from life in the Yard to understand its workings, and we have invaluable experience beyond its walls to make meaningful contributions.
  • Supporting the academy. Support that which makes sense for the long-term health and mission of the school. Avoid enabling ill-advised monetary (and other) practices.
  • Supporting awareness outside the gates. The academy seems to cobble together its awareness efforts. We have a class full of proof sources, and though the academy is enjoying record numbers of applicants, positive awareness and good will are invaluable.

(Yes, these have been blog entries. They may continue to be entries.)

Early on, my personal Countdown to the 25th was more along the lines of Gucci vs. Prada, chunky or traditional highlights, and diamonds vs. pearls. The weighty issues.

But there is a class to lead, much to discuss, decisions to be made. If you are a classmate, I (Gina DiNicolo) am running for president and I kindly request your vote. Please encourage your posse or krewe (our classmates) to do the same. If you know ’84 grads, tell them to vote (preferably for me!) and read the information about our great classmates also running. (You must have user IDs, passwords, etc.)

Mine is but one Countdown to the 25th , and it is a fascinating endeavor.

Vote early, vote often!

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