The Navy SEAL Museum’s history and heritage initiative took another step forward with the reception hosted by Phoca Press at the historic Congressional Country Club on February 13, 2015.
The event was held in the club’s Windsor room, which was used as the barracks for OSS trainees during World War II and featured a menu designed around the SEAL theme, with dishes from the sea, air and land.
CAPT (Ret.) Norman Olson, USN (SEAL), as the Navy SEAL Museum’s founding
executive director in 1985, opened the event with remarks on the importance of history and heritage to the Naval Special Warfare community. He spoke about culture of continuous learning on the teams that drives their relentless refinement of skills and tactics. Indeed, history and heritage is a foundation for the Navy SEAL Ethos: “Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.”
Bill Dawson, author of Before They Were SEALs They Were Frogs recounted several stories from the earliest days of Naval Special Warfare. As a member of Class 1, he was among the first to endure “Hell Week,” log PT, and surf passage. He also talked about his experiences at the lead of twelve invasions across Pacific during a two year deployment in WWII.
Commander (Ret) Tom Hawkins, USN (SEAL) concluded the program with remarks about the evolution of Naval Special Warfare, from the WWII-era legacy organizations to the present day. He is the author of America’s Hidden Heroes: The History and Evolution of U.S. Navy Frogmen and SEALs, which brings together the stories of each organization and how they evolved into today’s Navy SEALs.