Quarterly luncheons are an important activity and benefit for 786 Club members. The time between visits to the boat can be long depending on the boat’s schedule. The luncheons help keep us engaged with one another and with the Club’s mission between visits. Our guest speakers increase our knowledge and awareness of what’s going on in the Navy and onboard the USS ILLINOIS. Meeting agendas normally include brief Club business, an update from the boat and a presentation from our guest speaker. We normally have 60 – 70 members and guests in attendance. This level of interest has helped us secure important speakers from the Navy and the boat to share their latest experiences and thinking. Informative prepared remarks are followed by time for questions from the floor.
The benefits extend beyond the luncheons. Our guest speakers also use their visits for other Navy out-reach work in our communities. They will visit local V.A. Hospitals, grade school classrooms, NROTC units at High Schools and Universities and also visit Naval Station Great Lakes. So, there are more benefits to our community than just talking to the 786 Club. Our active participation in the luncheons helps ensure that these benefits will continue to accrue to our communities and to the Navy.
To date, luncheons have all been held at the Union League Club of Chicago – we hope to eventually be able to extend this outreach further down state. With socializing included, the duration is 2 hours. The cost is $35 and reservations are required. Union League Club members can reserve a seat through their ULCC account. Non Union League Club members must use the Eventbrite site on-line (instructions are provided in the luncheon announcement). The Club makes no provisions for collecting money at the luncheon. Members of the 786 Club are encouraged to bring a guest.
These luncheons are a unique opportunity to hear from and talk to the leaders of our Navy. We hope you’ll take advantage of these luncheons and by doing so you’ll continue to energize the 786 Club.
To date our guest speakers have included:
Commander Neil Steinhagen, Captain of the USS ILLINOIS
Master Chief Dave Di Pietro, Chief Of The Boat, USS ILLINOIS
Master Chief Jack White, Chief Of The Boat, USS ILLINOIS
Captain Rick Seif, Commodore COMSUBRON Squadron 1
Captain John McGunnigle, Chief Of Staff, Undersea Warfighting Development Center
Rear Admiral Daryl Caudle, Commander Submarine Forces, US Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC)
Admiral Bruce DeMars (Retired), Director Naval Nuclear Propulsion
Admiral Cecil Haney (retired), Commander Joint Strategic Command, Omaha
Admiral Frank Caldwell Jr., Director Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program
Rear Admiral Leonard Dollaga, Commander Undersea Warfighting Development Center
Future guest speakers who have committed:
VADM Frederick “Fritz” Roegge, President National Defense University, Washington D.C.
LT General Robert S. Walsh, USMC (Ret.) Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development