July 2017 Newsletter
Vol 4, Issue 6
Not Always Reunions, But Always Military!
In nearly 30 years, AFR has had one common thread – the military. Beyond reunions, we also plan military association meetings, Navy Reserve reintegration events, and we just wrapped up the first U.S.-based Service Academies Global Summit, a 3-day event to develop, inspire and promote Fellowship, Leadership/Professional Development and Service for the “super-community” of graduates worldwide from the five U.S. Service Academies. Over 200 attendees were on hand at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center (in National Harbor, MD) to hear inspiring stories from many of our nation’s top leaders and educators. The Summit’s theme of “Addressing Today’s Challenges and Creating Opportunities Together” was brought to life by speakers, panels, networking and conversational opportunities. It was an honor to have been chosen to plan this event, and wow did we meet some terrific people!
Pictured here is AFR’s Founder, Ted Dey, and President, Molly Dey, with The Honorable Robert A. McDonald (USMA ’75), 8th Secretary of Veteran Affairs and The Honorable Charles F. Bolden (USNA ’68), former Administrator of NASA. In addition, the Superintendents from the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy, the Military Academy at West Point, the Merchant Marine Academy and the Vice-Commandant of the Coast Guard were in attendance. The Global Summit will likely be held at the Gaylord in 2018 and beyond. If this is something of interest to you or service academy graduate you know, please contact Ted.
The Featured Veteran this month is Col. Scott K. Harrison, USA (Ret), a Platoon Leader during the fall of the Berlin Wall and a developer of the Global Force Management process. Scott served his country on the ground, in cyberspace and continues to provide support through the Blackhorse Association.
The Featured Reunion Destination this month is Norfolk, VA, home to the world’s largest naval base, Battleship Wisconsin, and the MacArthur Memorial & Museum. Norfolk recently welcomed the new Waterside District, a dining and entertainment complex on the Elizabeth River. By year’s end the city will also offer new retail outlet shopping and more dining options.
The Must-See Museum this month is The National Museum of the Pacific War, located in Fredericksburg, TX – just outside of San Antonio. It is the only institution in the continental U.S dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific and Asiatic Theaters in World War II.
For reunion groups with less than 50 rooms per night BookMyReunion.com can get your group attrition-free contracts nationwide. For larger groups seeking a wide array of event planning services (including tour planning and onsite management) please visit www.afri.com.
Named one of 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017 by a well-known travel publication, Norfolk is a city with vibrant entertainment and culture, delicious cuisine and 144 miles of beautiful shoreline. Groups staying in Norfolk are accommodated in a wide variety of hotels, most of which are located within walking distance of the city’s downtown meeting venues, shops, restaurants, attractions, and nightlife options.
Norfolk recently welcomed the new Waterside District, a dining and entertainment district, located on the Elizabeth River. Waterside houses eateries such as Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, Rappahannock Oyster Company, Cogan’s Pizza, Blue Moon Taphouse and many more. By year’s end the city will also offer new retail outlet shopping and more dining options.
Cruise the Elizabeth River harbor on a Tall Ship or lunch/dinner cruise. Dine at one of Norfolk’s 80 chef-owned restaurants or sign up for a pub crawl and taste Norfolk’s craft beers. Explore the Chrysler Museum of Art & Glass Studio or experience the annual Virginia International Tattoo. Navy buffs can engage in lively tours of Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval station and home to more than 100 ships in the Atlantic Fleet. Norfolk is also home to Battleship Wisconsin, one of the largest battleships in the world. And History enthusiasts can tour the Douglas MacArthur Memorial, the final resting place for General Douglas MacArthur and his wife.
Located within a day’s driving distance from two-thirds of the U.S. population, Norfolk is accessible from most major cities on the East Coast. Nearby Norfolk International Airport offers hundreds of flights daily.
For more information, call VisitNorfolk at 800-368-3097 or visit the Web site at www.visitnorfolktoday.com
From Fall of the Berlin Wall to Fighting Global Terrorism
“No one planned for a peaceful opening, and our training was for combating the Russians in conventional warfare,” said Harrison, 57. “We had to move the tanks and armaments out of sight. We didn’t want to reveal we were ready for a fight but it turned out to be a peaceful transition, and a pleasant surprise. From then on we just spent the next six months basically counting heads.”
After Operation Desert Storm, Harrison returned stateside in 1992 to pursue a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Dayton and joined the Army National Guard as a First Lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain in the Army Reserves in 1993, while also working for IBM, gaining expertise in computer technology that would serve his country well in the years ahead. In 2002, Harrison was mobilized in successive active duty tours over the next 10 years, including with the US Army Medical Command, Office of the Surgeon General and Army Operations Center, as well as the Joint Staff and National Military Command Center.
“Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense and the incumbent Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, was my boss on the Joint Staff,” Harrison said. “We had to design a system to efficiently distribute and account for an incredible array of resources and manpower, which required an advanced process of supply chain management, providing rotational forces for every given mission, plan and program. From personnel, troops, armaments, supplies, transport and everything in between, the goal was to match requirements with capability and make efficient allocations. It was, and remains, a massive wave of moving parts critical to mission success.”
Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2006, Harrison served six years with Central Command in the U.S., Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped implement the Global Force Management process for U.S. forces and NATO. While Harrison received many medals in his career, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, it’s the Global Force Management process he is most proud of.
After his last assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Army Reserve Medical Command, Harrison retired from the Army on Sept. 19, 2016. For the past eight years he has remained connected with the Blackhorse Regiment as a member of the Blackhorse Association, and as the director of reunions for the last four years. The regiment was constituted in 1901 and the association in 1969, which has its roots in a commitment made by Major General George S. Patton IV, son of famed World War II General George S. Patton. In Vietnam, Patton IV promised a dying regiment trooper that he would take care of his family, which became the seed for the Blackhorse Association’s mission.
“The association has about 13,000 members and a focus on caring for the regiment’s families” said Harrison, who lives in Apollo Beach, Florida with wife Linda. “It’s our commitment to Major General Patton’s promise and we work to identify families and how best to help them, through college scholarships to children of Blackhorse veterans and those on active duty. We now provide about 20 scholarships a year and hope to soon establish an endowment.”
The June reunion in Atlanta, which served as a fundraiser, marked the first time the event was managed by Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. Harrison prefers to locate the group’s reunions at sites that have historical relevance to the Blackhorse. Accordingly, in 2018, the event will be in Boston, not far from the Patton family farm.
“General Patton’s widow still lives on their Massachusetts farm and it’s time to take Mrs. Patton up on her gracious invitation,” Harrison said. “It will be a real honor to visit the home of the family who provided the inspiration for the Blackhorse Association’s core mission.”
Scott McCaskey is a contributing writer for BMR.com; Account Director at Goldman & Associates Public Relations and former staff writer for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
The National Museum of the Pacific War is the only institution in the continental U.S dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific and Asiatic Theaters in World War II. The museum’s mission is to honor the millions of Americans who served in the war against Japan and the more than 100,000 who gave their lives. The best way to honor them is to truthfully and respectfully tell the story of their struggles, their sacrifices, and their triumphs, so future generations may learn the price of freedom. The mission began February 24, 1967 with the establishment of the Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Museum in the restored Nimitz “Steamboat” Hotel.
Since 1967, the Museum has expanded to occupy a six-acre campus and gained a reputation as one of the premier military museums in the nation. Over the years the Museum was upgraded and enlarged, and the campus grew to accommodate the Memorial Courtyard, the Plaza of Presidents and the Japanese Garden of Peace. We opened the expanded George H. W. Bush Gallery in 2009. The Gallery’s state-of-the-art 33,000 square foot exhibition features 40 media installations, approximately 900 artifacts in 97 climate-controlled cases, 15 macro-artifacts, and hundreds of photographs. Two blocks east of the main campus is the Pacific Combat Zone for guided tours of macro-artifacts and regularly scheduled combat re-enactments.