News, Events & More
Update from the Class President
Class President Candidates and Platform Statements
Two Class Presidential Candidates received the requisite 50+ petition signatures and have accepted the nominations in the upcoming election, Lisa Cordonnier and Jordan Voss. Both candidates have presented their platform statements:
Thank you to the class officers and to the executive committee for their hard work in running this election.
Here are the ‘03 ways I plan to represent our great class as President:
Outreach. As President, and in concert with our class officers, one of our primary roles will be to serve as an efficient conduit to you from the Alumni Association, to shape its evolving role in better serving a continually-changing group of alumnae, and to relay ongoing efforts to you for our engagement and participation. Time is valuable for us all in our busy lives. Working with many of you over the last decade has been amazing. Formalizing those efforts for the entire class as our President is one goal – Engagement Team interactions with the USNAAA, support to the Naval Academy Athletic Association, exhibit contributions and editorial advice with the USNA Museum, developing roles for the USNA Shared Interest Groups (SIGs), and now RADM Caesar’s work with the Naval Academy Minority Association. Pumped to still be a part of it all. More excited to lead those efforts and hear about your ideas for new and improved ones.
Advocacy. Of the USNA mission’s three responsibilities – command, citizenship, and government – the Alumni Association often under-emphasizes many of the incredible endeavors made in the citizenship realm of that triad. Reinvigorating the value of our class’s efforts along those lines can further the USNA mission itself. For example, future Midshipmen and the current Brigade should know about our very own Tim Avery and his Veterans Yoga Project. Taking care of those who have served is equally as important as preparing them to do so. We can use our platform as a class to amplify his efforts and others like it. It’s important to note that not everyone has to be an Admiral or a General to be a valued, contributing member. Highlighting other, often different efforts, in addition to those of command and government, should enhance and diversify what is possible when we collaborate as USNA graduates. Advocating for those will be central to our relevance and impact.
Enrichment. In addition to the fellowship created by the Alumni Association with reunions and events, the most prominent link on their webpage is “Give.” As we approach our 20-year mark during this challenging time of COVID-19 and amidst uncertainty of the future ahead – quality will be ever more important over that of quantity. How we contribute, in new ways and through new means, not just the dollars and cents by which the Alumni Association measures us all now, stands as an opportunity. Together, I believe we can balance our efforts going forward in more meaningful ways – yes, fundraising is inevitable, but those causes and projects are ours as a class, to include support to classmates, modernized bylaws, and new ideas on giving back. Most importantly, all of it will be done together to enrich the lives and environment we all share while living up to the Brigade’s standards and showing them what’s possible after graduation.
Thank you for reading and for your time. I appreciate your vote.
-Lisa (Steinmetz) Cordonnier
‘03. Beat Army.
Where am I now?
Currently, I am serving in the G-3 at Third Marine Aircraft Wing aboard MCAS Miramar. We moved back from a joint tour at AFRICOM in Stuttgart in January. After USNA, I completed the Security Studies Program via VGEP at Georgetown, then went to TBS and flight school, flew CH-46E helicopters in Iraq, transitioned to fly KC-130Js in Afghanistan, and attended the Naval War College and the Joint Forces Staff College. Avid explorer of the world with an incredible husband, two solar-powered daughters, and a GSP wonderdog named Dr. Watson.
First- thank you to John, to whom we wish the best. Second, while I don’t remember meeting Lisa, I think she would be wonderful. She seems to have that rare ability to combine intellect, warmth, ambition, and energy. And she also has an incredible reputation! Her Marines are lucky, and we are as well that she’s volunteered to serve. Third, what a compliment to be nominated and thank you.
Onto my candidacy: Occasionally, hypothetical events actually happen. One did about a month ago (necessitating we craft a unified class response to an incident involving alumni) and we failed the stress test as a class. My basic platforms in this election are direct reactions to that episode: 1) Allow you to have opinions privately and still participate; 2) Avoid projecting my own political feelings onto the class; 3) In my own decorum and rhetoric, a strong focus on unity in expanding voices and drawing people in. If we aren’t unified enough to be functional when it mattered, why allocate effort to even loftier initiatives at the USNA-class-level?
My question for you is one from Luce Hall: What does leadership look like right now for our class? In your own leadership, have human beings responded to persuasion and the power of ideas, or to being told how to think? I’d bet each of us has learned that accomplishing big things in the real world is super hard, and often takes the influence of a persuasive dialogue when there are a lot of stakeholders. So, according to my thesis, we all want the same outcome- just have different ways of getting there. I see the class presidency as enabling all voices.
To start answering that question, first, why are you reading this? Did it involve a text message in June saying to check out the calamity on the 2003 Facebook page? My own telling of the past month goes like this: We were to have a deliberation about how to prepare a class statement in response to CAPT Bethmann. (Summary of that below if you aren’t familiar.) The outcome was repetitive rivaling monologues, personal character attacks, ad hominems, denigration- of us, by us. Who was taking the uncomfortable position of stepping in to moderate this rhetoric when the insults were flying? To me, those were leaders. John’s emergence and resignation due to family health concerns felt like a gut punch when you saw how quick some were to judge.
So 2003: Are we in fact the leaders in our society that USNA’s mission demands? If this vitriol is the level of discourse among a group sharing mutual values (same oaths, service, education, honor pledge)– how can we lead our nation forward? What would our Sailors, Marines, or children say if they read our Facebook page?
As I write, ’03 dots the globe—Unit command (P-way flag photos, scrambled eggs, and all), leaders our communities, businesses, government, families, etc. Indeed, we have succeeded in achieving USNA mission’s “highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.” Against that backdrop, I believe we should demonstrate a commensurate level of maturity.
As for my “platform” (an overstated term, for sure!) items:
1) Private participation: I would not require public displays of opinion in order to participate in class business. For people who don’t align with my politics (by the way—unlike many anonymous commenters, I’m a firm believer in institutional and structural racism, sexism, classism, etc, which I believe to be proven realities) , I prefer letting ideas emerge on their own merits and allowing disagreement. Haven’t we learned from reading about “struggle sessions”, voter intimidation, religious cults? YES, absolutely, I do take the counter that systems existentially sustain themselves, and private voting can reinforce that. BUT, I worry about the dogmatic purity tests we actually witnessed as an outcome, as it relates to drawing people in, increasing empathy, influencing, and effecting change. AND, I view it as super short term, transactional thinking, vs. long term change (changing minds & behaviors). SO, I see it as a process: gather anonymous feedback, respond with power of thought not outrage, move forward @ closer to consensus. Not an easy or fun process. I acknowledge that I might be missing the mark here: But here’s where I’m coming from– whenever I’ve fought inertia to accomplish an unlikely and significant change, especially with a high number of disparate voices, that’s how it has worked in the real world. Humans end up at the “business-end” of making change, and humans are hard.
2) Personal projection: Is class presidency (the office itself) a platform for advancing personal philosophies, or for representing the whole of our class? It’s more a representative role, to my eye. (I AM NOT accusing Lisa of overlaying a political bias: Please don’t read that as an underhanded implication. I am saying simply: It’s really, really important to me to be disciplined in representing all 950 people.)
3) Unity. First, it’s not lost on me that the relevance of the USNA Class President role is minuscule in the big picture. But, how many are proud of our recent high school drama? When there was an actual deliverable (our statement), not hypotheticals… who were the leaders among us in that moment, engaging, in hopes of finding common ground — and pointing energy way from each other, toward an outcome? I think we’re better than what we saw, let’s unite around the commonly shared baseline that we’re warriors tested on the global stage, who stand for human rights, who care about each other, care about our alma mater, and genuinely want the best for every human being.
The class should also know, if it matters to you, I hold vested and passionate views on race due to a personal connection to that issue. Things aren’t the same for Americans who aren’t White- they just aren’t. I bring that up since it was our main focus re Bethmann, and because if you disagree (it seems many do), you might want to have that knowledge of my bias.
So why vote for me? You will notice those three items are not feats of grandeur, but more remedial. Indeed– I don’t have regal plans for the office from the seat of the presidency! And this takes a backseat to family & professional responsibilities. But: I won’t project my views onto you or the class; I won’t advocate my own politics on behalf of a thousand people for debated social matters nor imply it, I won’t thought police or mind-read; I won’t promote performative gesturing or virtue signaling; I pledge personal respect & civility; I revere each of you as heroes who commissioned into battle; I give a damn and will take care of business; I love our country and view it through a positive-bias filter.
Given 2003’s legitimately outsized social influence, I see this role as one small step in curing the plague of division… where, everywhere I look, people retreat, withdrawing to like-minded corners to become more hardened (and more outraged). I so strongly believe the best outcomes derive from humility in interaction. Let’s look to the words of John McCain: “Our shared values define us more than our differences”
*Background: A retired navy captain alum in FL – who had held command of Sailors and was an active alumni leader – inadvertently revealed disgusting racist views (via butt-dial). What a reality check for many; people liked to believe those views no longer existed, certainly not at that level. Very wrong. Given his formal role, it was imperative that the alumni association (led by our fan-favorite Dant, Adm Locklear) respond with a statement of actual condemnation. But—the response was general enough to not resemble a rebuke. So our 2003 leadership moved to facilitate a stronger reaction. I’m VP of the Puget Sound UNSAA chapter, so this was a big deal in that world too, but I sense in talking with classmates it wasn’t on everyone’s radar.
Interim Officers and Election Timeline
In accordance with the Class of 2003 Bylaws, the Class Officers and Executive Committee accept John Reeves’ resignation and I assume the position of Interim President of the Class of 2003 effective immediately. I’ve consulted with the Class Officers and Executive Committee and this will be our way forward:
- Heather Selig will serve as Interim VP. She will also continue to serve as Class Secretary.
- There will be a Special Election for President. We aim to start the process as soon as possible and announce the new President by August 13, 2020. The Webmaster and Correspondence Sec will provide everyone with overall execution guidance including timelines, nomination process, and voting (message below).
- Following the confirmation of the new President, Heather and I will resume the positions we were originally voted into.
- This message will also be emailed to the Class.
A call to action: Please update your USNAAA information, at the very least, a current email address to allow for effective class communications. The website is: https://www.usna.com/
Thank you for your time.
Due to the vacancy of the Class of 2003 President, we will be holding a special election for the new class Class President in accordance with the Class of 2003 Bylaws (Article VI and VII apply).
The election committee is comprised of myself (Correspondence Secretary) and Kevin Hagan (Class Webmaster). We will help facilitate the candidate nomination process, the petition process (a candidate must receive at least 50 signatures), and finally the election.
We are working to find a platform to host both the petition process and election that is user friendly and secure. We will provide an update once we have identified the website. Below you will find the timeline for the election process which we will adhere to in order to abide by our bylaws to make the process as transparent and fair as possible.
Nomination inputs: 06 July (0900 EST) – 12 July (2100 EST)*
Petition period to generate the necessary 50 votes: 13 July (0900 EST) – 19 July (2100 EST)**
Official nominees announced: 20 July (0900 EST)
Nominee campaign period: 20 July (0901 EST) – 23 July (2100 EST)
Voting period: 24 July (0900 EST) – 07 August (2100 EST)
Counting of ballots: 08 August – 12 August
Announcement of the new Class President: 13 August (2000 EST) via Facebook live
*Note 1: Nominations for the Class President can be submitted via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Note 2: Please note that during the petition process, you can vote for more than 1 candidate.
I appreciate all the help and support from our Class Officers and Executive Committee as we navigate through this transition period. I look forward to your participation and please let myself or Kevin Hagan (email@example.com) know if you have any questions.
The Election Committee
A Letter from the Class President
I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe. After reading the comments on our class page and much contemplation, I can agree with several of the points. During these challenging times, our class deserves a leader that can devote the time and attention needed to be the voice of our class. When I initially ran for this office, it was driven out of a strong passionate desire for change and making a difference. Since 2018, my family has been met with some personal challenges, specifically, the health of my wife. And while I’ve focused my energy on my family, and I have not fulfilled the leadership role our class deserves.
Our country, society, and our class are facing a period of deep introspection and our class deserves a leader who can commit the required attention needed to successfully lead us forward. It is unacceptable that in this day and age, and despite all our advancements, people still face discrimination of any kind. I honor those in our class that are stepping forward and being the voice for change. Change is not easy. It demands a deep commitment to our values and intense focus on achieving our full potential. I continue to embrace the values of equality, acceptance, and compassion. And, while my heart and head support the cause of change, our class deserves a president who is completely focused on turning these values into action.
Effective today, I resign my position as our class president. My deep love for our class, this institution and our nation is what leads me to step aside in favor of those in our class who can lead us forward, shape our dialog, educate us all and bring this class together by turning our collective beliefs into action for the benefit of all. I will be happy to provide any assistance during the transition period. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and this beautiful life lesson I will learn and grow from. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing our class in the future.
Executive Committee Minutes 10 Jun 2020
The vote for new class officers goes live Sunday evening (12 August). I’ve asked the candidates to provide their reasons for running, and their inputs are provided here. I will update if I receive more.
Lisa (Steinmetz) Cordonnier:
’03 reasons for which I’d like to earn your support:
1) Respecting Your Valuable Time. As the class’s lead rep to the USNAAA, I promise to exercise attention to detail and package info and important topics for your feedback and interest. We’re all busy. I understand that profoundly.
2) Continued Engagements. Engaging with USNAAA, its Communications arm, the Board of Trustees, the Naval Academy Athletic Association, the USNA Foundation, and the USNA Museum has been a pastime of mine for years. Mostly, it has been to hold those organizations accountable for not upholding the standards in myriad little things that we expect and should demand. Several times, despite immense resources, they have misrepresented classes, alumni, and the interests we have as former and active duty servicemembers. I would love the opportunity to pursue those engagements in an official capacity using the class’s united voice. USNAAA instituted changes that make me proud as a graduate. And I want to continue to capitalize on established relationships as the USNAAA adapts its perspective, programs, and fundraising efforts to a diversifying alumni base.
’03) Protecting ‘03’s Vast Resources. I am all in for President and have asked the hardworking, diligent Election Committee to remove my name from the VP Ballot. Thank you to those who nominated and supported that effort. ’03 is not a commodity to be traded; I have no intention of using the class as a means to an end – be it fundraising for other purposes, business ventures, etc. This is not about me. I know other classes have had issues with this, and I want to acknowledge that up front. In closing, I am continually amazed at the independent efforts by many of you, some still in the service and many outside of it, in pursuing worthy causes. Serving as a conduit where we can harness the class’s vast and diverse resources for good in the name of 2003 is my aim. If you want to know more about what I have been up to since graduating, please feel free to send me a note. I’d love to catch up.
’03. Beat Army.
-Lisa (Steinmetz) Cordonnier
03 Platform Points:
-Local Presence: Residing in DC, Annapolis is an hour away making it easy to represent the class at functions with the Alumni Association, Athletic Association and other groups affiliated with USNA.
-Communication: Within ’03, between classes, and with the Alumni Association, communication is critical. Email, social media, podcasts, letters, Shipmate articles, we will use all available platforms to disseminate information, share our stories, and celebrate our successes.
-Forceful Back-up and Mutual Support: A class VP is like a copilot/JOOD/XO – they play a vital role ensuring the safety and success of every evolution. If elected, I will be a resource to the class President, class officers and all of you; I will ensure the basic/foundational tasks of class governance are completed, and I will provide forceful back-up when it’s needed just like a good copilot/JOOD/XO.
Everyone has come a long way since graduation. Even though we all started at the same place, we’ve all taken different roads; the past 15 years have shaped who we are as individuals and as a class. The next five years will take us to the 20th Anniversary of our graduation, a big milestone; I want to serve all of us as VP to ensure we get there stronger and more united than ever.
Your vote is important to me and to all of the candidates. It’s a covenant of trust, confidence and more importantly, stewardship. Collectively, with the newly elected leadership, I will devote my time and effort to be the best possible steward of the Class of 2003. I can’t bring back flip phones, Napster, or old school Blue and Gold jogging suits; however, whether it’s social gatherings, planning for new monuments on the yard, executing our Class Plan or liaising with the different Academy organizations, I promise I will tackle it with determination and transparency and vow to always look out for our class’ best interest.
The Class of 2003 is full of leaders and being elected to represent our class is an immense privilege. It will be my honor to serve you all if you choose to elect me as your VP.
Aught Three Will Lead!!
Fernando R. Reyes
’03 Platform Points:
-Stewardship: The role of treasurer one of trust and stewardship. I intend to continue ensuring that class resources are used in support of functions, events, and donations that the class endorses. I will support class leadership to facilitate that end.
-Local Presence: Residing in DC, Annapolis is an hour away making it easy to represent the class at functions with the Alumni Association, Athletic Association and other groups affiliated with USNA.
-Financial Experience: I hold an MBA from the University of Southern California, and am currently assigned as a Defense Resource Manager on the Joint Staff with a portfolio that includes evaluating the budgets and future programming for the Missile Defense Agency and SOCOM. Budgets and financial management is my day to day and I’d love to contribute that experience to the class.
As 2003 Alumni Class Secretary, the position requires record keeping proceedings of Executive and Class meetings. As class secretary, I will make these records accessible to the entire class across a multitude of platforms, to include social media, email, and print media. I will ensure that I work closely with the entire 2003 executive committee to publish these documents in timely manner. As a class, we should take an active role in the management of our historical documents, including the Class Crest. I will ensure that our historical records are maintained with the Alumni Association and that our class has the ability to document and publish our professional and personal accomplishments with the wider USNA community.
Class Officer Elections
The election committee (which consists of myself and Kenneth Michel) is soliciting nominations for new class officers. Per the bylaws, each nomination requires 50 signatures to be considered. This being 2018, we will conduct nomination, signatures, and voting electronically. The positions and current office holders are as follows:
President – Dan Bailey
Vice President – Dan Emmert
Treasurer – Maili Neverosky
Secretary – Ricky Mui
I will accept nominations for any these positions via Facebook Messenger or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please provide names and position you are nominating for (you can certainly nominate yourself as well) by Sunday, 29 July 2018.
After I have names, I will set up an online petition to gather the required signatures to place them on the ballot.
Thanks for your support!
The 15 Year Reunion is Coming!!!
Sign up now before additional registration fees are added on 1 August!
Naval Academy Foundation Update
Class of ’03,
Your donations to the Naval Academy Foundation are vital to many of the programs that benefit Midshipmen and Alumni. Please see the attached letter from the Foundation for an update on where your money goes!
Go Navy! Beat Army!
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA, 09 December 2017
Gates Open: 1100
March On: 1215