Thursday, January 31, 2013


Current Information Regarding DD-214's

Please pass on to other vets.
DD-214 discharge papers are NOW ONLINE. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following
copied this off the MTWS site. Thought some here might find it handy.

website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s online:

This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy
of his/her DD-214 for employment purposes. NPRC is working
to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet
access to obtain copies of documents from their military files.

Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military
members may now use a new online military personnel records
system to request documents.

Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete
the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the
online web site. Because the requester will be asked to supply
all information essential for NPRC to process the request,
delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans
for additional information will be minimized. The new web-based
application was designed to provide better service on these
requests by eliminating the records centers mailroom and
processing time.

Please pass this information on to former military personnel you
may know and their dependents.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Al Konetzni,.VADM Ret

It's well known that the suicide rate in the military is linked to stress.

 For example, back in 2005-6, the U.S. Navy was concerned when the suicide rate among submarine crewmen went to 35 per 100,000. At the time, the rest of the U.S. military Army had a rate about a third of that.

 The suicide rate for submariners was eventually brought down to 20 per 100,000, mainly because the navy identified the causes of the stress and did something about it. But it's always understood that the suicide rate among the 20,000 submarine sailors will be higher, simply because it's more stressful work.

NEWS-02: US Submarine Veterans of WWII
Submitted by: Office on 1/21/2013

Al Konetzni, VADM Ret, delivered the Decommissioning speech for the SVWWII Organization when it closed at the Norfolk VA USSVI-SVWWII convention in 2012.
That speech is linked below.






At the Groton Sub Vets Holland Club monthly Luncheon the guest speaker was Captain Jane F. Vieira. For half of her career she has served as a Submarine Force Chaplin. She will be retiring at the end of the month. I think after reading what she prepared for today you will see how special she is.

When God Created a Submariner

15 May 2012

When the good Lord created a Submariner, it was almost 2300 on the sixth day. An angel appeared and said, "You're having a lot of trouble with this one. What's wrong with the standard model?"

And the Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? It has to be able to think independently, yet be able to take orders; have the qualities of both a scientific mind and a compassionate heart; be able to mentor juniors and learn from seniors; run on black coffee; handle emergencies without a Damage Control Manual, respond competently to critical incidents, decipher cryptographic codes, understand pneumatics, hydraulics and sonar, have the patience of a saint and six pairs of hands, not to mention the strength of three its size."

The angel shook its head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands - - No way!"

And the Lord answered, "Don't worry, we'll make other Submariners to help. Besides it's not the hands which are causing the problem. It's the heart. It must swell with pride when a Shipmate earns his Silver Dolphins – which above all else signifies the crew members trust it with their lives, sustain the incredible hardship of life at sea in a steel tube, beat on soundly when it's too tired to do so, and be strong enough to continue to carry on when it's given all it had."

"Lord," said the angel touching the Lord's sleeve gently, "Stop! It's almost midnight!"

"I can't," said the Lord. "I'm so close to creating something unique. Already I have one whose hands blend knowledge with skill to perform the most intricate procedures, yet are strong enough to patch a ruptured seawater pipe; whose ears can discern the sonar sounds of a myriad of ocean life, yet detect the slightest shift in ventilation; whose mind can (perfect the art of Diesel Electric "Smokeboats") and practice the science of nuclear submarining, yet not lose sight of the art of teamwork; and whose eyes can peer through a periscope to identify a hull down ship, yet search within to embrace and personify honor, courage and commitment."

The angel circled the model of the Submariner very slowly. "It's too serious," the angel sighed.

"But tough," said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this Submariner can do or endure."

"Can it feel?" asked the angel.

"Can it feel! It loves Ship, Shipmates and Country like no other!"

Finally the angel bent over and ran a finger across the Submariner's cheek. "There's a leak," pronounced the angel. "I told you you're trying to put too much into this model."

"That's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear."

"What's it for?" asked the angel.

"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, frustration and pride!"

"You're a genius!" exclaimed the angel.

The Lord looked pleased and replied, "I didn't put it there."

Filled with pride, the Lord continued, "Great things are planned for this Submariner. It will be one of many and together they will lead a legacy of excellence like none has known before."

And with that the Lord rested. It was the seventh day.

CAPT Jane F. Vieira Chaplain Corps, United States Navy

Friday, January 18, 2013


NEWS-01: 2013 USSVI National Convention Vendor and Sponsor Opportunities

Submitted by: Bob Ehr - 2013 Convention Advertising Chairman on 1/12/20

The USSVI National Convention will be held in August 25 - September 1, 2013 in Rochester MN.
We would like to offer your base or a member of your base the opportunity to provide products or services to the attendees to the National Convention by being a Vendor.

Many new customers and friends and sales are made through presence in the Vendor Room.
You may wish to become a Sponsor for the convention. This provides necessary funding for the convention, as well as getting your name out to the membership. Your information will be listed in the Convention Magazine and at the convention. Thank you for your considerations of these opportunities.

This is a good way to get your company name out and provide your product or service to many Submarine Veterans.
Complete information and benefits is available on the convention website
To take full advantage, you may consider both.
We request your response by July 15, 2013.
D. C. (Andy) Anderson, Chairman
Please pass this information to your base membership.

NEWS-02: 2013 National Convention Advertising
Submitted by: James A Fox on 1/12/2013
The Minneapolis / St. Paul Base (MSP) is the host base for the 2013 National Convention to be conducted August 25 – September 1, 2013 in Rochester MN. We are soliciting advertising for inclusion into the convention magazine. Purchasing space in this free handout will give the various USSVI bases, boat reunion groups and veteran friendly organizations good exposure to their units.

Complete information is on our website, This magazine will be presented to all who attend the National convention as well as many other interested individuals across the nation your information will be in front of many for a small investment. Ad space prices are:

Size Location Cost
Full Page General $195.00
½ Page General $105.00
¼ Page General $ 60.00

Business Card General $ 35.00
USSVI Bases and Reunion groups discount 15% off these fees.
Make checks payable to: USSVI 2013 Convention Mail to:
USSVI 2013 Convention
PO Box 91
Crosslake MN 56442

Enclose camera ready copy or typed layout with payment:
Or – Submit your ad in PDF format via email to:
Advertising deadline is April 30, 2013.
Rochester, Minnesota August 25 – September 1, 2013 D.C. (Andy) Anderson, Chairman email:

NEWS-03: USSVI Sea Scout, part of the BSA Program, announcement

Submitted by: James A Fox on 1/12/2013-
The Scout Award Committee announces that they now are presenting the Quartermaster Award to Sea Scout who has been awarded the Quartermaster Rank. We now have a patch and certificate approved by the Scouting National Director of Sea Scouts, BSA. The patch is now in the National Store Keeper inventory and will cost $2.00 each. Paul Orstad, Past ENRD will be the Point of Contact (POC) for the Certificate. He is going to be provided by the National Director office a list of Current Sea Scout Ships and locations. That will allow him to see how they can be interfaced with the USSVI Bases. If the closest Base does not to participate then all they need to is let us know and we'll send the certificate and patch with a cover letter to the recipient if requested by recipient Ship’s “Bridge of Honor” committee.

The National Director will be seen out a message and a sample copy of the certificate and patch to each Ship skipper and Regional Commodore. Then they will contact Paul Orstad and he will contact the closest Base Cdr to see if they want to participate like we are doing the Eagle Scout program. There are normally approximately 35 to 40 Quartermaster per year. If you have any questions concerning the new program send Paul Orstad an email at or you can call him at (1-860-334-6457) and he will try to answer any questions you have. Groton Base is a sponsor of a Sea Scout Ship Sea dragon 584.

Second Call for bases interested in submitting bids for the USSVI Convention in 2015 and 2016.
Bids from bases wishing to host the USSVI Convention in 2015 and 2016 must be received by the NSVC by March 1,2013. To request any additional information please contact the NSVC
or 501-843-7855
Carl Schmidt
NSVC 2015-2016

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


From: "USSVI POC: James A Fox"

Subject: USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2012-107
Date: 12/3/2012

NEWS-01: New Era Of Sub Training Ahead With Opening Of Groton Facility

Groton - From his post at the top of the submarine's sail, Lt. Andrew Pyle looked out Wednesday at the buoys that mark the entrance to New London Harbor. He saw New London Ledge Light to his right.
Sailboats darted in front of the submarine, and Pyle had to react. It began to snow, and the sea grew rougher.
But Pyle was not in a submarine returning to the Naval Submarine Base. He was in a building at the Naval Submarine School.
Go to the link for the story...

NEWS-02: BZ to West Tennessee Base!

Submitted by: Office on 11/29/2012

Six members of the 74 member West Tennessee Base each contributed $ 125.00 towards the Washington DC Memorial Plaque Project, bringing the total donations to $ 8,071.00 to date!
BZ and thanks to Bob Medearis, Jerry Beckley, Johnny Pederson, Bill Buckingham, John Backus and Douglas Nunnery for their thoughtful gift to help us recognize and honor all American Submariners, living and on Eternal Patrol, at the "Quarterdeck of the Navy."

NEWS-03: Clamagore Base Established in USSVI

Congratulations to Bob Dewar, Base Commander of the newly established USSVI Clamagore Base.
Administratively, this new base is assigned to the SE Region (Dick Kanning, Reg Dir) and SE Dist 4 (William "Doc" Sweaney, Dist Cdr.)
All 130 past crewmen of USS Clamagore (SS-343)in USSVI are invited to make Clamagore Base their own, in addition to whatever other base they cuurrently belong to. Base dues at this time is a very affordable $ 0.00 per year. Contact Bob Dewar at to join our new base.

NEWS-04: So your Base wants to have a National Convention
Submitted by: Carl Schmidt on 12/3/2012

At the USSVI convention in Norfolk it was voted at the Annual Business Meeting ( ABM)to have a Convention in 2015 that was approved by the USSVI members in attendance at the ABM. Any base that would like to host this special 2015 convention will need to sent their request and appropriate information to the National Senior Vice Commander prior to March 1,2013 to which will be reviewed by the National E-Board at their Mid-Term Meeting in March 2013, Any base having any questions regarding hosting the special 2015 convention please contact Carl Schmidt NSVC 501-843-7855.

Carl Schmidt
NSVC 2012-2014


From: "USSVI POC: James A Fox"

Subject: USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2012-093
NEWS-01: Veterans propose submarine monument at Library Square
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 10/9/2012

Periscope up. Salt Lake City’s namesake nuclear submarine may be coming home for the first time and docking permanently at a park near you.

More accurately, a veterans group wants the 180-foot-long deck and 27-foot-tall conning tower of the decommissioned USS Salt Lake City to be implanted downtown at Library Square.
The Utah Chapter of World War II and Retired Nuclear Submariners rolled out the proposal recently to the Salt Lake City Library Board of Directors. The board has an advisory role — but will not make the final decision — and took the matter under advisement.

Go to the link for the story...

NEWS-02: Redo: Subvet Memorial Plaque in Washington DC

The recently sent POC with info on this National Project had a link that was non-functional.
Here is another link that will explain the project and show a picture of the plaque as well.

NEWS-03: Submarine Force Makes the Case for a New Sub

The leaders of the submarine force talk amongst themselves about the importance of building a new class of ballistic-missile submarines, but now they are making a more public case.
Nearly all of the senior officers attending a classified conference on undersea warfare technology at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton last week spoke about how critical it is to replace the aging Ohio-class boats, Rear Adm. Barry Bruner said Wednesday.
Go to the link for the story...

NEWS-04: EB group's job is envisioning what submarines will do in the future

Nearly everyone at Electric Boat is focused on current submarine programs. Three people are not.
They are the concept formulation group, or in EB lingo, CONFORM. Their sole job is to figure out how today's submarines can be made to do more and how future submarines should be made for what they may be called on to do.

Go to the link for the story...


NEWS-05: 50th USS Thresher Memorial Service Invitation to all USSVI Members

Submitted by: James A Fox on 10/10/2012


On April 6, 2013, United States Submarine Veterans Thresher Base along with the Commander, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard will jointly host the 50th Annual USS Thresher Memorial Service, honoring the memories of the 129 men lost aboard USS Thresher on April 10, 1963.

The service will be held at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard starting at 1300.

Our invited keynote speaker is the Navy’s most senior submariner, Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations.

A reception area will beup adjacent to the memorial service area, featuring the USS Thresher family storyboards. The post-service reception is open to all and will include light refreshments.

Join us in celebrating the lives of the men lost by showing your gratitude and support to the family members they left behind simply by showing up in uniform and taking time to meet the family members.

Many of the children of the men lost were too young to remember their fathers, and they have a strong desire to learn and connect with them. If you knew one of the men lost, you have the unique ability to provide them with a direct connection to their fathers, sharing information they will treasure for the rest of their lives and pass on to subsequent generations.

Some of the children will be attending our service for the first time, a number of which have never been aboard a submarine. As a submarine veteran, you can provide the family members with an increased understanding of what their father experienced while serving aboard a submarine.

The event will be open to those who have received and RSVP’d to a formal invitation, and by those who possess a current military ID (active duty and retired). If you do not have a current military ID and would like to be added to the invitation and PNS gate security access list, please email Kevin Galeaz at with your address, and with the names and addresses of those that will attend along with you to permit PNS access security vetting. Those without email access can leave me a detailed phone message at 603-232-6201.

If you are unable to be with us in person, please consider contributing to the pre-service slide and video presentation with an email or video message from your Base to the family and former crew members in attendance. The memorial service will be filmed and transmitted via satellite over the internet by the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System on the website: I encourage your Base to consider viewing the event live as a group, joining with us to perpetuate the memories of the men lost aboard USS Thresher (SSN-593) on April 10, 1963.

Kevin Galeaz
USSVI Thresher Base Commander

Friday, January 11, 2013

Old Warships Museums

October 7, 2012: There is a growing crisis in dealing with the growing cost of maintaining old warships maintained as museums and tourist attractions. Most of these vessels are in the water and literally rusting away. Many are now in need of major refurbishment, which can cost over $100 million for a carrier or battleship. Even smaller ships (cruisers, destroyers and submarines) can require over $20 million to put back into shape to just sit in the water, receive visitors and not sink or fall apart the next time a major storm hits. Most of the largest of these museum ships are American, largely because the U.S. has had the largest fleet in the world for nearly a century.

Go to the link for the story...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tommy Cox Prayers

Thomas G “Tommy” Cox

3 Farrell St
Caribou ME 04736

Shipmates... You have probably heard one or more of Tommy Cox’s songs. His contributions to the Submarine service in songs and music about this amazing community is loved by all. I have been informed that he is going through a tough time with failing health.

If you can, take a moment to get a get well card off to him. I am sure he would appreciate it very much.

God bless,
Ray Fritz
National Chaplain USSVI

WWII Submarine Veterans Birthdays

Birthday's of note: (Thanks to Vinny McCrum for the idea)

Birthday cards are encouraged.

Frank S Kimball of 406 Copper St, Salmon ID 83467 will be 102 on 8/5/2013. (Born 8/5/1911). A Hawkbill Base member, He served from 1929 to 1957 and retired a CDR, having been a EMC(SS) prior. Frank qualified aboard the S-33 in 1932 and also served aboard USS Saury (4 War Patrols) and USS Cod (7 War Patrols)

Edward F Jones of 2305 Corn Valley Rd Apt 153, Grand Prairie, TX 75051 will be 100 in 2013. (Born on 1/27/1913), YN2(SS), 1942-1945 - served aboard USS S-13 (Qualified in 1944), USS S-11 and USS Plunger.

Charley Tom Odom of Ben Atchley State Veteran's Home, 9910 Coward Mill Road, Knoxville, TN 37931 will be 100 in 2013. (Born on 4/8/1913) A member of the Smoky Mountain and Volunteer bases, Charlie served in the Navy from 1934 to 1956 and qualified aboard USS S-1 in 1935, retiring as ENC(SS). Charley also served aboard USS Snapper, Sargo Billfish, Sabalo and Bang. His WWII service was aboard Billfish and Sablo.