Reed Receives National Capital Council’s Sea Service Award
By SARA FUENTES, Seapower Correspondent
WASHINGTON — The Navy League’s National Capital Council presented its annual Sea Service Award to Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., for his leadership on sea service matters in 2016 during a May 10 ceremony at the Russell Senate Office Building.
Reed is the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a member of the Appropriations Committee — where he serves on the defense subcommittee — and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, giving him a significant role overseeing and funding the sea services. In addition to being a home to ports and small shipyards, Rhode Island houses a General Dynamics Electric Boat facility that contributes significant work on the Virginia-class submarine.
Introduced in 2004, the National Capital Council’s Sea Service Award is presented to a U.S. representative or senator each year who has provided outstanding contributions to the sea services in the previous calendar year.
The award is the binnacle from the Sioux Falls Victory, a World War II-era cargo ship that saw action in the Okinawa, Korea and Vietnam. The binnacle is rotated to the current award winner each year. Built to safeguard navigation equipment on ships, the binnacle is a heavy case standing about 4 feet tall. The National Capital Council’s binnacle is engraved with the names of previous award winners, including Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn.; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va.; and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
Given Reed’s significant role in the sea service community, the event attracted multiple flag and general officers from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley, who spoke briefly on his relationship with and respect for the senator from their years of working together on Navy issues.
Reed, a West Point graduate, laughed when presented with a gag version of his award certificate with a “Go Navy, Beat Army” sign prominently displayed on its back side. He decided to keep the more formal version of his certificate and will display it in his D.C. office.