Class of ’73 – Another Link in the Chain -ALITC

Very interesting and seemingly complete article about ’73’s ALITC efforts during the Class of 2023’s plebe year. I hate to say it but our time in the barrel will be here before we know it.

From the Class of ’73 Column in the December 2019 Shipmate

I am not sure how many know about the Another Link in the Chain (ALITC) Program. Joe Stewart leads our efforts and has done an outstanding job with the program and the Class of 2023. I asked Joe for a summary of our efforts and he provided the following;

Hi, Classmates, as many of you know, this year we launched our Another Link In The Chain (ALITC) Program. The Great Class of 1973 has officially taken the Class of 2023 under our wing. As their “Half Century Elders”, we are making ourselves available as mentors until the last Mid of ’23 graduates. Thanks to you, our ALITC Program is off to an exceptionally strong start. By all measures, our participation has far exceeded participation by previous classes. Well over 100 of us have participated to date, as well as scores of spouses and family members. To mention each of you by name is not practicable for this article. Nonetheless, you have put us on the map with the Class of 2023, their parents and the new Supe.

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’73: Members of the Great Class of ’73, spouses and family on I-Day

We have had four major events this year:

* The first occurred this spring when Classmates volunteered to represent us at more than 40 USNA Parents Club “Welcome Aboard ‘23” events across the country. Some Classmates were active in more than one state to represent our Class. We made a memorable and favorable first impression on the future Mids and their families. When the Parents of ’23 were in The Yard for Induction Day, they were already very well aware of us. These early engagements, more than any other event, were responsible for creating the momentum we needed to launch ALITC. We could not have achieved all that we have so far without our Classmates who volunteered for these engagements.

* Then there was I-Day for ’23 on June 27th. More than 70 Classmates mustered in The Yard, many with spouses and family members. The day began early on Hospital Point where the parents and families of ’23 attended the Expo and Picnic while their soon-to-be Mids were processing in. Several thousands were in The Yard during the day and our Classmates and spouses were fully engaged with anxious families. Later in the day, we assembled at T-Court to witness the Class of ‘23 take the Oath. There is much more pomp and ceremony than our I-Day. But it all ends the same – the last member of the new Fourth Class Regiment eventually marches into Bancroft Hall and its great doors slam shut. The day ended with a Class Happy Hour at the Fleet Reserve Club along City Dock.

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’73: The Classmates at the Honor Coin Ceremony

* The next milestone event was the Honor Coin Ceremony on July 15th in Alumni Hall. This highlights the Class of 2023’s commitment to our Honor Concept. About 30 Classmates were witness to this signature occasion. To mark this commitment, Jim Campbell represented our Class to the Fourth Class Regiment. He delivered a highly relevant address emphasizing the lifelong dedication to the ideals we still embrace. At the conclusion of the Ceremony, our Classmates handed each Plebe an Honor Coin designed by our Honor Coin Committee – Jim Campbell, Rick Elliott, Tom Gallagher, Tim McClay and Bob Wakefield.

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Our Honor Coin

*The last official event for this year’s ALITC Program was the Turnover Parade on August 15th. About 20 Classmates, several with spouses and family, met on historic Worden Field as the Fourth Class Regiment was formally accepted into the Brigade. We, along with the entire Brigade, witnessed this event which was pretty much unchanged since our Parade 50 years ago. Our Classmate Eric Olson represented us as the reviewer. To Eric and all our Classmates who have taken time from their schedules this summer and returned to The Yard (many traveling great distances), your contribution to our ALITC commitment is greatly appreciated.

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Jim Campbell presenting an Honor Coin to a Plebe of ‘23

The next events aren’t until May 2020 when the Class of ’23 conducts its Sea Trials and then climbs Herndon. In due course we’ll be posting all the relevant gouge on the ALITC page of our Class website and via emails from our Class President. In the meantime, please keep in touch with the Parents Clubs in your areas to remind them of our commitment to the Class of ’23.

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The Regimental Staff with Admiral Eric Olson

Looking back since the beginning of this year as awareness of our ALITC Program grew, I have had a privileged vantage point to see all that you have made happen on behalf of the Class of ‘23. I believe we have set a benchmark for the classes who come after us. In the meantime, we’re in it for the long haul, at least until the last Mid of ’23 graduates. At the end of Stribling Walk, in front of our Class bench, is our Class’ time capsule to be opened in 2073. I have shown it to parents and Mids of ’23, telling them that when the Class of 2023 is our age this will be theirs to open for their ALITC Class. They react emotionally to this and I think they realize that “this place” of legacy and tradition is like no other. And they express appreciation that we are part of all this.