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President's Message

The Holiday Season is upon us in full-swing; Happy Holidays from the Emerald Coast to all of you and your families!!

Greetings Fellow Mustangs from Pensacola, FL!

HAPPENINGS: Most-recently, Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP) and the surrounding communities celebrated the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, otherwise known as the Blue Angels, Homecoming. This was the first time in several years that NASP was granted permission to open its gates to the general public allowing them to partake in this spectacular event – AND IT WAS! As you can surmise, MUSTANGS led the way ensuring all checklist items, including those on-the-fly, were taken care of prior to, during, and wrapping up the eye-dazzling and ear-ringing two-day event for over 200,000 spectators.

MOVES: End of the fiscal year permanent change-of-station (PCS) moves are no stranger to all of us. In fact, both our Secretary and Vice President conducted PCS moves from NAS Jacksonville, FL to Mechanicsburg, PA in the case of CWO5 John Penick, and CWO5 Mitch Allen relocated from NAS Meridian, MS to Naval Support Activity Mid South in Millington, TN co-located with our Treasurer CDR Todd Grahek.

WEBSITE: We continue transitioning to our new website. Thanks to those of you that expressed interest to assist in the development and its [future] deployment. Ensure your Chapter Leadership is up-to-date by navigating to: You can send changes, or let us know everything is o.k. by dispatching an email to both: and For those of you that may have missed the last dispatch, two Facebook pages we encourage you to check out / join (they are both private groups) include: U.S. NAVY LDO / CWO COMMUNITY MANAGERS FORUM and the NAVY MUSTANG ASSOCIATION

GROWTH: We are pleased to convey that our membership rolls continue at a steady pace, currently 250 members in good standing. If you’re unsure of your status, want to renew your membership, or refer a new member/s, this can be easily taken care of by navigating to: Snail Mail still works too, send your application and dues donation to: NMA 6564 Loisdale Court, Suite 318 Springfield, VA 22150.

CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT: Let us know what your chapter is up to for both inclusion in the Pony Express as well as competition for the TOP CHAPTER award (we’re working on that!) Speaking of our Pony Express, we are privileged to have articles by our Silver Eagle, CAPT John Popham, USN, and CAPT Mike Whitt, USN, Ret. Many thanks to both John and Mike for volunteering to share their experiences with us.

PENSACOLA CHAPTER: The Emerald Coast Mustang Association (ECMA) recently elected new chapter leadership and has met every month encompassing August to November of this yearconcomitant to the NASP Authority to Operate (ATO) Commanding Officer’s approval! Does yourchapter have a current ATO and is it both on file with base legal and the President’s and/or Secretary’s notebook? Congratulations to CWO5 Wilfrid Bossous, USN who was passed the reigns from CWO5 Adolfo Demontalvo, USN, Ret. as the ECMA’s new Chapter Secretary. Yours truly continues to lead as Mr. Vice and Treasurer. Have something to pass?, send us your highlights and happenings.

IN CLOSING: Our last dispatch echoed the importance of Mentors and exuding those aspects with your charges, or Mentees. Of particular note is something CAPT Mike Whitt, USN, Ret., shares below. I had the distinct pleasure to serve with Mike onboard Naval Education and Training Command Staff where he was our Chief of Staff. Enjoy this excerpt entitled: “Be The First Person Onboard The Submarine”

If you want to get more creative things done, be the first person onboard the submarine!

What does that mean? It means that I learned from an early age that getting up early and getting to work early when my submarine was in-port was a key to the start of a successful day.

During my first tour of duty onboard a fast-attack submarine in Norfolk, I always strived to be the first person onboard in the morning. For me, that meant getting up by 0400 so I would have enough time to do my morning routine, drive the 30 minutes to work, find a parking space, and be there, walking onboard by 0600. Why?

Getting there early had many benefits. When I arrived onboard, I was able to review my plan for the day, tidy up the workspace, and get the most important item we had to accomplish that day done or at least started. This one simple action of getting an early start always set my day up for success.

Think about it? How many sayings, books, famous creatives, etc. all say getting up early and getting after the day made them successful? Besides my example, here are a few others:

  1. An old English expression from the 1600s: The early bird gets the worm.
  2. Benjamin Franklin created a habit of getting up early to plan his day, and was quoted: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
  3. Some of the most successful people in the world get up early to include Richard Branson, Oprah, Tim Cook and Elon Musk, just to name a few.

So what should you do? Try this:

  1. Determine the night before what one thing you will get up early to do.
  2. Set your alarm clock to get up one hour earlier than normal.
  3. Get up early the next day and focus on doing just that one thing.

Once you accomplished that one thing, I bet you feel great. You should find that once you get used to it, it becomes a fantastic habit. So to set your day up for success, get up early or in my case, be the first one onboard the submarine. To getting it done!

Best in advance & Very Respectfully Yours,

Evan A. Hipsley, Jr.

Commander U.S. Navy, Retired
President, Navy Mustang Association

Updated: December 1, 2022