Apr 14, 2018

Chairman’s Spot Report

Great attendance at our spring Red Tie Luncheon yesterday!   We honored this year’s Red Tie Award recipients, George Fedoroff and Dennis Harry and had an incredible guest speaker, the Honorable Joe Kernan, VADM, Retired, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. 

George Fedoroff, Senior Russian Navy analyst at ONI, was humble in his acceptance speech and later commented that the award writeup seemed a bit inflated, a comment that we all disagreed with.  In his 47 years of service, he has mentored many young analysts, taught us how to think about the problem and he has provided superb analysis and advice to our Navy and policy leaders.

Dennis Harry’s niece Rene and husband Ross York were there, traveling from the small town of Athens, Michigan, to receive the posthumous NIP Red Tie award for Dennis.   They appreciated learning more about what Dennis had done in his career and his impact on national security.  We encouraged them to go back home and tell their friends about Naval Intelligence and about meeting and listening to those engaged in our nation’s security.  

Our guest speaker, USDI and VADM Retired Joe Kernan’s comments were exceptionally timely and relevant, especially considering he was able to leave the Pentagon over lunch during what must have been an incredibly busy day as the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff made the final preparations to conduct a missile strike on Syria last night.  The Honorable Joe Kernan was effusive in his praise and his appreciation for Naval Intelligence. As a former Numbered Fleet Commander and a Navy SEAL who commanded combat forces in Afghanistan, VADM Kernan believes intelligence is even more important to our commanders and policy makers than it has ever been in history.  He described Naval Intelligence professionals as being the best in the joint force and relayed to us the comment by one four-star Army COCOM commander “where do you get these Navy Intelligence people, they are incredible.”

VADM Kernan was impressed with the diversity of the audience as we had veterans who had started their career in the 60’s there along with Ensigns, junior sailors and young civilians in the crowd.  One of his top priorities is people, because you can’treplace smart people with machines or software.  That’s what NIP is all about, the people of Naval Intelligence.  Our membership is a unique network of professionals who know and understand the art of Naval Intelligence.

Thanks to all of you who made time to be there yesterday.  It was an event not to be missed!

Our fall NIP luncheon and annual meeting is scheduled for Friday, 26 October. See you all there and bring some friends with you!


Tony L. Cothron
Rear Admiral, USN, Retired
Chairman and Executive Officer, Naval Intelligence Professionals