Navy League President Emphasizes U.S. Merchant Marine's Importance

Official Reflects on Tour of Paul Hall Center


September 2010

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The president of the Navy League of the United States devoted a recent editorial to the ongoing importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine. Published in the August 2010 edition of Seapower, the Navy League’s official monthly magazine, the editorial also features a complimentary description of the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, which Navy League President Daniel B. Branch Jr. toured on
June 30.

 

In his column, Branch wrote that American-flag commercial ships crewed by U.S. citizen mariners “continue to play an indispensable role in this nation’s economic and national security, providing strategic sealift support for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as humanitarian missions around the world.”

 

He said the U.S. depends on “the commercial shipping industry to provide safe, reliable and environmentally friendly domestic waterborne transportation, maintain a U.S. presence in international shipping and help sustain the ship construction and repair, marine supplier, and vessel operating and management industrial base.”

 

Branch added that it is “imperative” to “remind others of the importance of a viable, actively sailing U.S.-flagged Merchant Marine fleet manned with sufficient numbers of skilled licensed and unlicensed mariners to meet this nation’s needs in times of war and peace.” With that in mind, he said, the Navy League has teamed up with the International Propeller Club to promote the industry and encourage cooperation throughout its various segments.

 

He went on to recap his recent visit to the Paul Hall Center, during which he was accompanied by Rear Adm. Albert J. Herberger, USN (Ret.), former U.S. maritime administrator. Branch described the school as modern and comprehensive, and said the trip “taught me a great deal about what it takes to become a skilled mariner.”

 

The entire column is available online at www.navyleague.org.

 

Founded in 1902, the Navy League describes itself as being “unique among military-oriented associations in that it is a civilian organization dedicated to the education of our citizens, including our elected officials, and the support of the men and women of the sea services and their families. The objective and purpose of the Navy League is twofold: educational and motivational. We must acquire and display before the citizens of our country information regarding the condition of our naval and maritime forces. We must awaken interest and support in all matters which aid our maritime capabilities.”


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