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The 1977 Galleon is sincerely dedicated to our commanding officer, Captain Kenneth G. Smith, USN. The Unit staff, the battalion,
and I want this issue to be a lasting tribute to the man that helped shape the careers of so many young naval officers.
As a graduating senior midshipmen, I had the personal pleasure of knowing Captain Smith for his entire three year tour. During that
time I have watched the Unit gain a nationawide, if not worldwide, reputation. Merely mention the fact that you are from
Vanderbilt while at Corpus or Little Creek and one hears "You guys are everywhere." When our teams compete at Auburn, Great
Lakes, Ole Miss, Tulane, or Georgia Tech, we are immediately recognized as the defending champions or leading contenders. This is
a direct result of the guidance and inspiration the Unit receives from Captain Smith. For example, who is the first to congratulate
winning teams and individuals, or offer words of encouragement to the defeated? The Captain. Who is always among the last to
leave Unit parties, field meets, sporting events, or beer busts? The Captain. This dedication has truly touched us all in some way.
Crowning Navy Queens, cooking hot dogs at picnics, or planning parades and drill schedules may not be as exciting as foul weather
flight ops, but Captain Smith has never lacked enthusiasm as Unit CO. He has stated on several occasions that this tour has been one
of the highlights of his 25 year career. His wife once told me the Captain said experiencing our energy and unlimited potential is as
memorable to him as commanding a squadron.
I can only wonder what thoughts will be occupying his mind on April 21st while reviewing the Battalion for the last time as its
Commanding Officer. We are about to embark on our Naval careers, and he is ending his. Captain Smith, we in turn say to you as
you have said to so many: "May you always have fair winds and following seas."
MlDN1!c Ray H. Gray Ill”