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Mark Mhley takes “mission-driven” to a new level. On Friday, March 26th, we get to hear from Mark about two big transitions: the first from active duty into civilian life, and the second from one business venture to another. The pivot in his business is an extraordinary one, led by both an evaluation of the market and a steady commitment to his purpose. If you’ve struggled with the balancing act of making the “smart” decision with staying true to yourself, ideally hoping to make the “right” decision, you’ll want to join us! Mark faced down fear and uncertainty, built connections, and found fulfillment and success on a very different path than the one he started on. Learn more about how he made the difficult decisions required to execute such a shift.

The New ’96 Hour with Mark Mhley
Topic: Navigate the Pivot
Date/time: March 26 at 1pm ET

Register here! Remember that you’ve got to be *LIVE* with us to get your questions answered. See you then!

You can’t miss this event on Friday! Whether you want to transition into a new role or sector, or you have entertained entrepreneurial ideas, you’ll want to join me as I interview Eddie Buckles Jr for the New ’96 Hour. Eddie’s track record is incredible. He has held a wide range of roles and has started companies across multiple sectors, and when we talk on February 26, he’ll be sharing his insights on how his Naval Academy and active duty experience set him up for success.

The New ’96 Hour with Eddie Buckles
Topic: Seize the Initiative: What a USNA Grad Can Contribute to the Corporate World
Date/Time: February 26 at 1pm ET

Register here. Remember that you’ve got to be *LIVE* with us to get your questions answered. See you then!

On Friday, 25 Sep, at 1pm ET, Harrison Schramm will be our first guest of the 2020-21 season of the New ’96 Hour. While on active duty, Harrison (then, a helo pilot) entered the realm of Operations Research at NPS and has made it his full-time pursuit since retiring in 2016. What’s Operations Research? I’m glad you asked, and…you’ll have to tune in to learn more! Harrison will be sharing his insights on how to get people to believe your model, listen to you, and follow your recommendations.

Join us to hear Harrison talk on the subject of Persuasion: Bridging the Gap between Analysis and Policy by registering (ahead of time) here. Sure, you can stream the recording when it’s over, but for Q&A, you’ve got to be *LIVE.* I know you’ve got questions, so we look forward to seeing you then!

If you haven’t seen Kim’s latest publication, which ran online/in RealClear Policy on 26 August, please check it out here. Great article, Kim!

Executive summary: Most workers have never been faced with the prospect of re-training for entirely new roles and industries to remain economically relevant – and employed. However, there is a segment of our economy for whom re-skilling – and reinvention – is commonplace. In the military, lifelong learning is part of the mission. For the 80 percent of active-duty military retire or leave the military before full retirement eligibility, reinventing themselves to thrive in “second” or even “third” careers is a way of life.

If you know anyone looking for a career opportunity, please pass this along! I’m wondering if any of these jobs will get me free (or deeply discounted) cereal, Pop Tarts, Eggos, and Cheezits for life. Hmmm…

Kellogg’s is recruiting for careers in Sales, Supply Chain, Information Technology, Finance and more! Speak directly with Hiring Managers and Recruiters seeking veterans for professional roles. Participate in a virtual Q&A session with our KVets team who have navigated careers at Kellogg’s! Female attendees may participate in our Women Veterans Roundtable hosted by Morgan Dennis, USA (Information Technology Manager.) View List of gr-r-reat opportunities at Kellogg.

Senior Manager, Continuous Improvement (Cary, North Carolina)
Manufacturing Reliability Site Lead (Kansas City)
Global Real Estate Portfolio Manager (Battle Creek, MI)
Data Architect – Remote Virtual Location

Kellogg’s looks forward to meeting you virtually on September 25th! Need more info? Please email niki.ramirez@kellogg.com

Virtual Networking All Call, Thursday (6/11), sponsored by Re4ormed LLC:

Veteran and mililitary-spouse entrepreneurs and small-business owners, if you’d like to pitch your business and find help addressing your challenges, or you just want to provide mutual support to our tribe, please join this month’s Annapolis All Call sponsored by Re4ormed (CEO and founder – Mark Mhley). The event will be held virtually this Thursday (6/11/2020) at 5pm EDT. Whether you’re in the DC/Baltimore/Annapolis area or beyond, please join the Annapolis All Call for some powerful virtual-networking and mutual-support.

Virtual meeting Zoom link here.

And don’t forget this transition tip – LinkedIn offers a 1 year free Premium subscription for veterans and their family caregivers, which includes a number of powerful tools to help you take your next step. LinkedIn Veteran Subscription

The Alumni Association announced today that DC SACC (Washington DC, June 2020) has gone virtual and will be held online from 10-12 June 2020 in lieu of the in-person gathering slated for Crystal City. I suspected this would happen ever since I read the recent Jacksonville event had been held online (Jacksonville, 16-17 April). The SACC team is still working on a number of details about the event, but here is what has been released so far:

  • Two days of webinars
  • Connect virtually with recruiters from industry-leading employers
  • Connect with representatives from advanced education institutions
  • Learn more about Blue and Gold Officer opportunities

Registration is open, both for candidates and companies looking to recruit. The list of companies participating has not been posted yet. You can visit the website to see what has been posted so far (they are also active on FB and Instagram). Stand by for further details when they are finalized. In the meantime, you can probably guess at least some of the details by looking at the notes for the Jacksonville conference.

A week ago, Kitch Kennedy posted on the Class of 1996 Facebook page, asking any classmates who own small businesses to post a link in the comments so that he could support it in some way – either by purchasing or sharing to a wider audience. A couple of days later, I saw William Marks’ post (also on the class FB page) about Facebook-sponsored grants for small businesses – then read about efforts by the Alumni Association to champion Almuni ventures in both Nagel’s 24 April update to the class and the April 2020 edition of WaveTops (released 29 April). I decided to try to synthesize all of this information one place. Please reach out if you have additional information you’d like to share, and I will update this post! I will also work on a static page here for all of this, so please send me ideas or feedback.

Roundup from Kitch’s post:

I’m adding Brian Faquet’s Prohibition Distillery (Roscoe, NY) to this list, as well. as anything else I can dig out of people’s FB posts and from LinkedIn (below). Please send me others!

From William Marks – Facebook is offering MILLIONS of dollars in cash grants and ad credits for people who own small businesses in 27 different cities around the nation. More information here and you can PM William about it as well (ans see his 23 April FB post).

As you probably read in Nagel’s recent update to the class, the Alumni Association has launched a business directory to help alumni support and showcase alumni-owned businesses by class, location, or industry. If you are a small business owner, consider registering your business to help them build the resource – and help get more folks interested in your product or service.

Email sent via Classmail 12/10/19

Greeting ’96 Classmates.

It’s time for an annual update.  In no particular order…


First, a moment to recognize our classmate (CAPT Tim Kinsella) for the incredible leadership during the horrible events this last week in Pensacola.  Let’s also remember ENS Joshua Watson, a recent USNA graduate that helped save peoples’ lives after being shot 5 times.  A true hero.


I attended the COCP on 6 Dec and captured some of the highlights:

From the Alumni Association (full brief):

  • They are looking to fill an open position for their V.P. of Finance.  If you have a CPA/MBA/accounting background and are interested, they would love to have you.
  • Ground breaking for the new Alumni building in ~1 year.
  • They will sell the old building that we know outside gate 3 (Ogle Hall).
  • Next week, they will begin dismantling the chapel dome.  90 years of neglect took a toll on the dome and it will be completely replaced.  Once replaced, it will be a bright copper for ~7 days, then for ~25 years, it will be brown until the patina chemical reaction occurs.
  • They will recover all of the copper and make a variety of keepsakes to sell.

From the Supe (full brief):

  • ADM Buck hasn’t made any drastic changes since CoC on 26 July 2019.
  • They have introduced numerous outdoor small-team leadership programs in austere environments to force people outside of their comfort zone (e.g., not just leadership in a company or sport team).  Similar to YP training but with a variety of options.
  • USNA Grounds are in bad shape.  The yard is underfunded.
  • Flooding is a huge issue.  Affects Hampton Roads and downtown Annapolis too.
  • Sleep deprivation is a big issue.
  • Addressed recent Satanic Cult rumors.  At no point has USNA ever (or will ever) allow a Satanic Cult to worship as an official club/activity.  If they choose to meet on their own time, they have the freedom to assemble.
  • King Hall is in bad shape.  There are issues with quality and quantity.
  • 96% of Firsties got their 1st or 2nd Choice at Service Assignment night.  2020 is a very small class so there are minimal people that selected Restricted Line.


30 Year Class Gift.  We are currently just over $200k pledged/donated toward our class gift (with 190 classmates participating.  About 30/190 is on recurring monthly pledges).

Help up improve midshipman development and the Yard: Consider pledging ~$1 a day.  You can set up the $30/month to be charged straight to your credit card.

Side Note: You could be on recurring pledges but they *may* not be going to the CLASS GIFT (so ’96 gets credit for your donation but it isn’t going towards our $600k goal).  The only way to know is by calling USNA or contacting Brian Reardon at Brian.Reardon@1996.usna.com.

Give here and make sure you choose “other donation options” then “support my class project” then select “pledge”.  Or call 410-295-4115 to donate.


If you are in Philly for the game, we will have a no-host social at Tir na Nog Saturday morning about 10:00.  Show up and order what you want.  If you prefer tailgating at the stadium, Johnny Harnett will be there in the parking lot.  Contact him for details (john_a_harnett@yahoo.com).


Don’t forget to plan for the trip to Ireland to watch Navy/Notre Dame 29 Aug 2020.  People are planning to meet up with friends and classmates.  Last time was a blast!


A message from Shane Macdonald to remember to update your profiles with the Alumni Association.  We spent time collecting a lot of updated details on people, however, USNA has now changed their policy and we can no longer make changes for people.  You are responsible for yourself now.


As a reminder, for those that don’t have Facebook (or can’t stand going on it any more), Cara Albright maintains our class web page that repeats much of the same information from our class Facebook page.


As a wave of or classmates approach their retirement, don’t forget to reach out to your class for questions, recommendations, help, etc.  Other resources include:

  • Jenn Campbell runs The New ’96 Hour. An opportunity to hear about various topics monthly. UPCOMING EVENTS: Rhoan Boucher is booked 24 Jan 2020 spot, TBD on the 21 Feb 2020 spot.
  • Our LinkedIn page
  • Service Academy Career Conference (SACC)
  • Benefit Finder


The class of ’96+2 is still pushing suicide awareness very hard after their string of incidents. Please consider downloading the app OBJECTIVE ZERO and becoming an ambassador today.  You just need to be ready to answer the phone if someone needs you.


The class of ’96-7 has organized a group Bremont USNA watch-buy.  Cost is $3k (retails for $6k).  Details here.


There were questions about why some teams sing their alma mater after home & away games and others don’t.  The Academy coordinates with each team a couple of months before the game and asks if they would like to sing their alma mater after the game.  Some schools agree and some don’t care.  It is up to the individual school.


USNA is looking for more people to be B&G officers.  We have several in our class so if you have questions about what it entails and job satisfaction, please reach out to Sharon (Eliassen) Barbins.


Most of our large muscle movements are done and we eagerly await our 25th Reunion.  It is scheduled for 1-3 Oct, 2021 (USAF Game) and our home base hotel will be the Westin.  We are working on some alternatives for other hotel blocks to give people options.  Put it on your calendars now and start saving!


Cruise Planners has put together a cruise trip that will provide a great opportunity to share in our 25th and ’96-5’s 30th anniversary of being commissioned. The 25th anniversary commissioning cruise that we have put together is a 9-night Norwegian Cruise Line cruise aboard the Norwegian Escape from May 28th, 2021 through June 6th, 2021 (second option is July 3rd –  12th, 2021). The cruise sails from Copenhagen, Denmark and sails to Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany; Tallin, Estonia; Overnights in St Petersburg, Russian Federation; Helsinki, Finland; and Nynashamn (Stockholm), Sweden before returning to Copenhagen. The current pricing has a 30% discount promotion running through December 16th, 2019. There may be other sales, and while our group pricing is better than “regular” prices, this promotional pricing should be the lowest we can get. Deposits are only $50 per person and refundable, so if you are interested, please contact Dan so he can give you more information as well as reserve a cabin for you. He can be reached at: 844-GoNavy-1 (844-466-2891); via email at Dan@GoNavyTravel.com. (price is ~$5k/couple)

Dan will be on this cruise with members of his class on the May/June cruise as well and he looks forward to sailing with you for your 25th anniversary of commissioning.


With that, I sign off.  Please feel to reach out with any questions or comments.

Nagel Sullivan


From Jennifer (Campbell) Stillings: My interview with Tony Magrogan for last month’s New ’96 Hour was so much fun! Show notes will be coming soon. In the meantime, you can enjoy the video recording (available for a limited time only) right here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on strategy, Tony!