The Scoop Deck

Cleveland slugger wins 2014 Bob Feller award for military outreach

Bookmark and Share
Cleveland Indians outfielder Nick Swisher, left, and former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, right, will receive the Bob Feller Act of Valor award Nov. 5 in Washington, D.C.

Cleveland Indians outfielder Nick Swisher, left, and former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, right, will receive the Bob Feller Act of Valor award Nov. 5 in Washington, D.C.

This year’s Bob Feller Act of Valor Awards go to…………….

Major League Baseball’s Nick Swisher, a Cleveland Indians outfielder; Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tommy Lasorda, former Dodgers manager; and Senior Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Carl Thompson, the calibration laboratory lead chief petty officer on the carrier George Washington.

“This is a tremendous honor and such a humbling experience for me,” Thompson said in a statement after the awards were announced Oct. 10. “I am overwhelmed and extremely excited at the same time. I would have never dreamed that I would receive an award for the way I live my life, but I am extremely grateful for my parents and all those teachers, mentors, and community leaders along the way who instilled in me the morals and ethics that I live my life by.”

The award was inspired by former chief and Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller, a Cleveland Indians pitcher who dropped everything at 23 years old to join the Navy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  He served for four years, making chief before returning to the MLB and spending another decade with the Indians.

In addition to the MLB honorees, the award goes to one chief, nominated by his chain of command and approved by the master chief petty officer of the Navy.

Swisher, a fellow Cleveland Indian like the awardee’s namesake, is active with Operation Homefront and the USO, with whom he has traveled to Afghanistan.

“The first thing that comes to mind is honor and pride,” Swisher said in a statement. “For me, just to be in the same breath as a man like Bob Feller, I could not be more honored to be in this position. I could not be more grateful to receive this award, something that is near and dear to my heart.”

Fun fact: Lasorda also took a sabbatical from baseball from 1945 – 1947 to serve in the Army, and today stays active with military outreach, including a 2009 USO trip to Iraq.

“It is a privilege and an honor to receive the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award,” Lasorda said in a statement. “I have the highest respect and admiration for the men and women who serve in the United States Navy, as well as the other branches of the military. I loved Bob Feller and am so grateful to receive an award that bears his name.”

The three men will be honored in a Nov. 5 ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., where MLB guests will come together with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens.

Unrequited mid love has a home on Facebook

Bookmark and Share
(Photo via Facebook)

(Photo via Facebook)

Dating at a small school can be complicated, particularly when there are all kinds of rules about canoodling outside of your rank or within your company.

Luckily, the Naval Academy midshipmen looking to cross over to the dark side have a place to publicly declare their affection for one another on the USNA Crushes site, where the moderator (moderators?) posts anonymously submitted love notes.

There are 100 posts as of Friday, with 952 likes and counting. Most of them are unique, but there are a couple of popular kids with more than one admirer. Allison Shafer and Ryan Breznik, congratulations.

Several good Samaritans are also tagging the objects of affection in the comments, tipping them off to their shout-outs. Others are using the page to make a love connection:

#43 Angie Zacardi will you join me on a plebe date this Friday at 18th Company table 14.

#9 Brooke Merchant you wanna go on a steerage date after muster?

Here’s a selection of the greatest hits:

#95 Jacoby Getty not only does your personality make me swoon but so do your muscles

#81 Nick Neighbors your glutes just won’t stop will they?

#78 Victoria Oakes has eyes that pierce my soul. No mid goggles required.

#74 Will Gurzynski…now there is a man who knows how to handle a goat#dreamy

#65 Liam Gregory, I’d share a dubtub with you any day.

#50 Christina Blackburn’s workout shorts in Wes B melt my soul. I would buy her a nice dinner and definitely call her afterward.

#29 Mike Tupica has the strongest jaw line and the biggest biceps. I just wish he would invite me to his farm one weekend.

#3 Brooke, you make restriction worthwhile

To follow the action, check out USNA Crushes, while it lasts.

‘American Sniper’ trailer drops ahead of Christmas release

Bookmark and Share

If you’re looking for some cinematic firefights after Christmas Day presents and brunch, you’re in luck.

The film version of former Navy SEAL Chief Special Operator Chris Kyle’s best-selling American Sniper memoir is coming to theaters Christmas Day, the tale of his path toward 160 confirmed kills, the most of any shooter in American history.

Actor Bradley Cooper was able to meet with Kyle once before the SEAL was murdered in 2013.

“Thank God I got to talk to him once on the phone. It was a very quick conversation. But I did tell him how serious I was about making this movie,” Cooper told USA Today. “And he should just know that whatever fears he had about Hollywood, to just put them aside and trust me. That I was going to do everything I could to tell this story.”

Kyle published the book in 2012 and became an icon in American military lore and marksmanship culture.

Unfortunately, he was killed in 2013 by a fellow veteran, whom he’d taken shooting to help relieve the man’s post-traumatic stress.

Here are your 2014 Bob Feller award nominees

Bookmark and Share

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Anne Feller, Justin Verlander, HMC Garth Sinclair and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Nov. 6, 2013 at the first Feller award ceremony (Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation).

Last year, Chief Hospital Corpsman (DV/FMF) Garth Sinclair, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra were the first to receive the Bob Feller Act of Valor award, named for a man who was also a chief petty officer, a pitcher and a baseball legend.

Earlier this year, The Bob Feller Award Act of Valor foundation opened the nomination process for the award’s second year. Each Major League Baseball team was asked to nominate an active player and/or hall-of-famer who has made significant contributions to the military or veteran communities.

Active finalists include:

- Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche

- Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler

- Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Ziegler

- Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton

- Baltimore Orioles pitcher Darren O’Day

- Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia

- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce

- Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

- Colorado Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer

- Miami Marlins pitcher Mike Dunn

- Cleveland Indians outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher

- Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Doolittle

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Darren O’Day poses July 3 with sailors and the Oriole Bird after learning of his nomination at Oriole Park (Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation).

The award was inspired by former chief and Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller, a Cleveland Indians pitcher who dropped everything at 23 years old to join the Navy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  He served for four years, making chief before returning to the MLB and spending another decade with the Indians.

In addition to the MLB honorees, the award goes to one chief, nominated by his chain of command and approved by the master chief petty officer of the Navy. This year’s ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 5 at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

To read more about the award, as well as the nominees and their work with troops and veterans, visit http://www.actofvaloraward.org/.

Behind the scenes with The Last Ship

Bookmark and Share

WARNING: Drinking and swearing ahead.

As it turns out, actors playing sailors sometimes get up to just as many shenanigans as their real-life counterparts.

Following the season 1 finale of the The Last Ship, Jocko “Lt. Dalton Burk” Sims posted this video to his YouTube account.

On the show, he plays a member of a destroyer crew who activates comms four months into an Arctic deployment, only to find out that 80 percent of the world’s population is dead or dying of an virus with no known cure. Yet.

But off camera, the crew knows how to let loose. Tell us in the comments how many violations of uniform regs and UCMJ violations you can spot.

Navy football dons ‘summer whites’ for OSU game

Bookmark and Share

The 2014 Navy football team will play their season opener in these summer whites-inspired uniforms. (USNA photo)

Naval Academy football opens the season Saturday versus the Ohio State Buckeyes, and for the likely summery day, they’ll rush onto the field in their summer whites.

Not their short-sleeved summer whites, of course, but an Under Armour-designed athletic uniform inspired by them.

The jerseys and pants will feature “shoulder boards” with each player’s rank, a gold belt buckle, a helmet with a gold ring, and all-white cleats and socks as a nod to white uniform shoes.

Team captains Noah Copeland and Parrish Gaines will wear a star and three stripes on their shoulders, representing the rank of midshipman lieutenant.

This season will also feature microchipped footballs that log the ball’s usage, and verify its authenticity for collectors.

A full slideshow of the uniforms is here.

Let’s hope they don’t get too many grass and mud stains on their whites. That’s definitely out of regs.

midwhites3

Naval Academy superintendent throws first pitch at Camden Yards

Bookmark and Share
Vice Adm. Ted Carter, the U.S. Naval Academy superintendent  throws the opening pitch on Aug. 25 at Oriole Stadium at Camden Yards in Baltimore.  (MC2 Tyler Caswell / Navy)

Vice Adm. Ted Carter, the U.S. Naval Academy superintendent, throws the opening pitch on Aug. 25 at Oriole Stadium at Camden Yards in Baltimore. (MC2 Tyler Caswell / Navy)

 

U.S. Naval Academy's Glee Club sings the national anthem on Aug. 25 at Oriole Stadium at Camden Yards in Baltimore.  (MC2 Tyler Caswell / Navy)

U.S. Naval Academy’s Glee Club sings the national anthem on Aug. 25 at Oriole Stadium at Camden Yards in Baltimore. (MC2 Tyler Caswell / Navy)

VIDEO: Bush sailors build bombs for Iraq airstrikes

Bookmark and Share

The aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush is getting ready to wrap up its Persian Gulf deployment, but before they head home, they’re lending a hand to American operations against the Islamic State in Iraq.

In this official Navy video, ordnancemen pack explosives to assemble bombs for the strikes. In the clip below, you’ll see what happens after they’re loaded onto F/A-18 Hornets and dropped onto targets. The video shows an airstrike in northern Iraq on Friday.

The Bush carrier strike group and Carrier Air Wing 8 left Norfolk back in February and are scheduled to make their way home soon. It’s currently unknown whether operations in Iraq will extend their deployment, or if they’ll be relieved by the carrier Carl Vinson as planned.

The “ultimate” Naval Academy patrol boat could be yours

Bookmark and Share
(Photo via Craigslist)

Always wanted your own Navy ship? It may not sport guns, but this former training vessel could be your next floating home. (Photo via Craigslist)

If you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind 100-foot yacht at a bargain basement price, has Craigslist got a deal for you!

This 1985 Naval Academy trawler that took generations of midshipmen on summer cruises, according to the seller’s description, sports one of the “best” hulls built in history, made from double-planked Alaskan cedar.

In its former life, the yard patrol boat now billed as the “ultimate trawler yacht” was a training vessel for mids that went on umpteen cruises up and down the East coast, giving mids their first taste of at sea life and liberty ports.

The academy is now bringing in a new class of YPs, but it’s unclear how this one got into the present owner’s hands; Navy Times reached out to the owner for its more recent history, but they did not immediately respond to requests.

YP 678, once typically helmed by a senior enlisted craftmaster, has five state rooms, three showers, a 15-seat mess deck, massive stainless steel galley, air conditioning and a large main salon. With 1,900 square feet, it’s more spacious than most apartments. But be forewarned: the buyer will need to sink some money into it.

“No leaks in hull,” the ad states. “Boat needs work.”

All this for only $30,000 bucks. Any takers?

How the Coast Guard spent its 224th birthday

Bookmark and Share

The Coast Guard turned the big 2-2-4 on Monday, celebrating with some guest appearances and other festivities all around the country.

Pop quiz: Did you know that the Coast Guard is actually older than the Navy?

The CG came together in 1790 as the Revenue Cutter Service, a customs enforcement agency. That same year, the United States disbanded the Continental navy, the Revolutionary War fleet, and didn’t officially form the U.S. Navy until 1798. (Although the U.S. Navy cites theirs to the founding of the Continental navy in 1775.)

In 1915 the RCS  merged with the United States Lifesaving Service to create the U.S. Coast Guard as we all know it.

Today, the service’s missions include everything from drug and migrant interdiction to port security, buoy tending, vessel and fisheries inspections and even deployments to war zones, as they did during the Iraq invasion in 2003.

Here’s a look at how the Coast Guard spent its big day this year.

In Baltimore, Maryland; Wilmington, North Carolina; and Virginia Beach, Virginia (with a little help from Sammy the Sea Otter), Coasties took to the marinas to hand out balloons and birthday gifts to local boaters. Birthday gifts included life jackets and other safety gear.

Capt. Jeffrey Dixon, Coast Guard Sector New York commanding officer,  and his shipmates rang the opening bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York City.

Capt. Jeffrey Dixon, center, and members of CG Sector New York open the NASDAQ on August 4 in New York City (Coast Guard photo).

And commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft spent the day on patrol at Station Washington near headquarters in Washington, D.C. Check out his Coast Guard Day message, from the service’s All Hands Blog.

Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft on patrol Aug. 4 in the Potomac River near Washington, D.C. (Coast Guard photo)