Sunday, October 31, 2010

November - December Issue of Dolphin Brotherhood is Posted

The November-December 2010 issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted on the Seattle Base website.

This issue has information on the Auburn Veteran's Day Parade and the registration form for the Lockwood Chapter of SubVets of WWII and USSVI Seattle Base joint holiday luncheon, along with the usual base news, upcoming events, and other submarine related articles.

Hardcopies should go out in the mail in a couple of days. I hope you all enjoy it.

I have also set up a new location with PDF copies of older issues of newsletter, running from when I took over as newsletter editor up to the last issue. Now you can have a chance to go back through old issues and see how much material I reuse! Note that this is a trial run with a free service, so be sure to let me know if you have any problems accessing the older newsletters.

I set up a link at the bottom of the Links list to the right for the archive, but the direct link is: Dolphin Brotherhood Archives

As always, don't forget to check back here for base news updates and other articles.

Dave Schueler
USSVI Seattle Base Newsletter Editor

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Helping Veterans with PTSD

Barry with his dog Katzu

At the October meeting, base member and dog lover Barry Morgan brought to our attention the "Host a Retreat for Veterans with PTSD and their Service Dogs" program that is trying to earn a grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project.

The program is run by the Psychiatric Service Dog Society which helps persons living with mental illnesses to partner with a highly trained Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) in order to manage symptoms. Much of their work is focused on military veterans who live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A PSD makes all the difference.

The grants are awarded monthly and voting is done online through the Pepsi Refresh Project website. To find out more about the Psychiatric Service Dog Society, the retreat project, and to vote for them, go to the Pepsi Refresh Project website (if the link doesn't work try going to:

Please take a moment to go to the website to review the program and if you feel it is a worthwhile project, please vote for it to get a grant. 

Note: You will need to sign up on the Pepsi Refresh Project website or have a Facebook account to vote.

Joint Holiday Luncheon

Seattle Yacht Club
USSVI Seattle Base and Lockwood Chapter of SubVets of WWII announce our joint annual Christmas social and luncheon at the Seattle Yacht Club on December 18, 2010.

The private dining room overlooks yacht moorages and Portage Bay houseboats with a full size Christmas Tree and blazing fire. It’s the perfect ambiance for submarine shipmates, spouses and guests to catch up on the past year’s events and plan new adventures for 2011.

Seating is limited, click here to print or download the registration form. You can also find a copy of the registration form in the November-December 2010 issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood (due out shortly).

If you have any questions, please contact any of the base officers.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

From the USSVI National Commander: Our Purpose/Creed


Several weeks ago I sent a message to all bases entitled “A message from your National Commander.”

The purpose of that message was to remind those who may have forgotten and to inform those who did not know as to the total purpose of USSVI as expressed in Article III of our Constitution.

Most of us merely recite the purpose of USSVI as stated in Paragraph one, also known as “The Creed”, but there actually are two additional sections to Article III that complete and define our purpose as an organization and state the reasons we exist.

It is perfectly acceptable to use the first paragraph (Statement of Purpose/Creed) on our websites, in our publications and to recite in our meetings in the same way it is perfectly acceptable to sing only the first stanza of the Star Spangled Banner, even though there are four additional stanzas to our National Anthem.

I believe most of our shipmates intuitively understand this, but a couple of members took the meaning of my message to be an assault on our "Creed." There is no "assault." There is no suggestion to change what you print on your newsletters or what is printed on the cover of the American Submariner or what you recite at your meetings.

As a point of interest, the word “Creed” is misused in this context. There was no mention of a creed in our founding documents, only a statement of Purpose. The word “Creed” first appeared in our Constitution many years after our founding. A “Creed” is a statement of belief, usually a religious belief. (Please refer to any handy dictionary)

If you were to take the first paragraph and substitute the following words you would see the difference which might lead to a better understanding of the situation. Begin the paragraph by placing; “Our belief is” and then put the words; “Our purpose is” and see which one makes the most sense to you.

Our Belief is “To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution.”

Our Purpose is “To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution.”

Strictly speaking, even though the word “Creed” is not properly used in this context, it is close enough for our intent and changing it would serve no useful purpose.

The bottom line here is that my only intention was to bring all three paragraphs to your attention and I firmly believe that the second and third paragraphs strongly serve to support and describe our “Purpose/Creed” in a substantial, supportive, and positive manner.

I welcome your comments on this and all other matters concerning USSVI. You can reach me at or call me at (951) 795-4315 (Toll Free)


T Michael Bircumshaw - National Commander 2010-2012

Reference: USSVI Constitution
Section 1:
STATEMENT of Purpose/Creed.
To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds, and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution. (C-01-08)

Section 2:
In addition to perpetuating the memory of departed shipmates, we shall provide a way for all Submariners to gather for the mutual benefit and enjoyment. Our common heritage as Submariners shall be Strengthened by camaraderie. We support a strong U.S. Submarine Force.

Section 3:
The organization will engage in various projects and deeds that will bring about the perpetual remembrance of those shipmates who have given the supreme sacrifice. The organization will also endeavor to educate all third parties it comes in contact with about the services our submarine brothers performed and how their sacrifices made possible the freedom and lifestyle we enjoy today.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October Meeting Announcement

Hi Shipmates,

The Seattle Base meeting this coming Wednesday, Oct. 20th, same time and same place.

We will be reviewing our Christmas Luncheon plans, Smokey Point plans, and looking at a submarine that was not wanted. Also, we will have a preview of the subject for the November meeting's guest speaker.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Keith Watson
Commander Seattle Base USSVI

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Establishment of the U.S. Navy

The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775, by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. All together, the Continental Navy numbered some fifty ships over the course of the war, with approximately twenty warships active at its maximum strength.

After the American War for Independence, Congress sold the surviving ships of the Continental Navy and released the seamen and officers. The Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1789, empowered Congress "to provide and maintain a navy." Acting on this authority, Congress ordered the construction and manning of six frigates in 1794, and the War Department administered naval affairs from that year until Congress established the Department of the Navy on 30 April 1798.
USS Constitution (from HSNA website)
In 1972 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition of 13 October as the Navy’s birthday. The Navy Birthday is intended as an internal activity for members of the active forces and reserves, as well as retirees, and dependents. Since 1972 each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion "to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service."
A Virginia Class SSN (U.S. Navy)
For more information about the Navy Birthday, visit the Navy Birthday page on Naval History & Heritage Command website