The U.S. Navy greatly evolved around the turn of the century, transforming from a peace navy to promote and protect commerce into one better equipped to fight wars.
Scott Mobley, a career Naval Officer who completed his Ph.D. in 2015, described the subject of his book, “Progressives in the Navy,” with details of that evolution during the Jan. 17 Rotary meeting.
Scott and his wife Monique recently moved back to Waunakee after he completed a two-year fellowship teaching at the Naval Academy. He now has a position at UW-Madison.
In the mid 1800s, Scott said the Navy’s wooden ships were powered mainly by sail, some with steam, and the Naval officers most prized skills were mariner’s skills.
After several conflicts broke out, more advanced warships were built, and the culture changed. On those state-of-the-art steel ships, the once mariner warriors became warrior engineers by the end of the 19th century.
Mobley presented two case studies showing how the Badger state helped to shape the transformation.
MIDN Robley Evans received training in nautical and mariner skills. Though he was born in Virgina, when he was drafted, he did not go south. He was assigned to design a new mechanized pulp mill in Appleton and described his Wisconsin experience, saying he felt the knowledge he gained would be a benefit on a ship with 70 engines, Mobley said.
The other was MIDN William Leahy who was born in Iowa but moved to Wisconsin and grew up in Ashland. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1897. Leahy described much more emphasis on complex and mechanical systems during his experience and became one of the Navy’s leading experts in gunnery designs. Leahy went on to become chief of staff for FDR, devising plans to win World War II.
Other News:
-The club welcomed a new member, Lisa Humenik, who has been a member of the Madison Rotary Club. Welcome, Lisa!
-Dan Evans and Bill Erickson were the greeters and gave their 90 seconds of fame.
Dan grew up in Washington, D.C., attended law school in Illinois, and met his wife in Hawaii when he was in Hawaii while in the Marines. They moved to Waunakee in 2003 and have two children. Dan practices at a firm in downtown Madison. They have enjoyed hosting Rotary Exchange students, and currently, Jenny is staying with the family.
Bill is from Loyal, Wisconsin, and met his wife, Jeanette, in eighth grade. They have two children. He attended college at MBC and begin to work at Struck and Irwin. He later worked for Demco, much of it overseas. Bill has been a Rotarian for 42 years and has served on the board of directors and as assistant governor. He’s also been the friendship exchange chairperson.
-John Cullen is now chair of the Super Raffle. The drawing will be March 13. See him if you’d like a ticket.
-Linda Ohern thanked the club for its donation to Change Her Story, which provides menstrual kits to girls in Ghana. She said the fiscal impact of this work is great, as it means more young women will stay in school and add to the GDP as they will have fewer children.
-The Mayville Rotary Club will host a Beer Fest Jan. 26.
-A grant writing seminar will be offered Feb. 9. Let Linda Olson know if you’d like to attend.
Guests: Linda Ohern, guest of Mark McFarland; Jean Elvekrog, guest of Jim Elvekrog.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: Jan. 26, Joseph Baer; Jan. 26, Mark McFarland; Jan. 27, Pat Durden; Jan. 28, Jim Elvekrog; Jan. 29, Gary Epping.
Anniversaries: None.
Programs: Jan. 24, Drew Lawrence and Susan Vergeront on their flash mob in Greece; Jan. 31, Dave Hogg, saving honey bees and monarchs; Feb. 7, Charlie Luthin, director of the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance; Feb. 14, Club Assembly and classification talk by Jim and Jean Elvekrog.
Greeters: Jan. 24, Allison Feldbruegge and Jim Fitzpatrick; Jan. 31, Greg Garton and Randy Guttenberg; Feb. 7, Rich Harris and Travis Heiser; Feb. 14, Don Hoffman and Mick Holm.