You do not need to be a member of the Navy League, or have a reservation, to attend the meeting--the general public is welcome. The Navy League is a civilian organization started by President Teddy Roosevelt to provide civilian support the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Sea Cadets.
The Aurora Navy League Council 247 will hold its monthly dinner meeting onTuesday, July 15. The meeting will be held in the private dining room at the rear (east side) of: Grandma's Table Restaurant, 1700 Douglas Rd., Montgomery, IL 60538 (just north of Rte 30).
A reception will begin at 5:15PM followed by dinner at 6:00PM. The dinner includes a choice of three entrees (fish, chicken, or beef), soup or salad, dinner rolls, vegetables, dessert, and nonalcoholic drink. The cost is $17 all-inclusive (alcoholic drinks can be purchased separately).
The after dinner speaker will be Navy Commander Mary Blankenship, who is the Military Training Director at the Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes, Illinois. CDR Blankenship will speak on "Converting a Civilian Recruit Into a Fleet Ready Sailor In Eight Weeks."
Commander Blankenship was born in Pensacola, Florida and raised Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following in her father's footsteps, a Machinist Mate who served aboard USS Lexington (CV-16), Commander Blankenship enlisted in 1985 and served as a Personnelman before earning a Navy ROTC scholarship to St. Joseph’s University of Philadelphia. After completing her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1990, she commissioned as an Ensign through the University of Pennsylvania NROTC program.
Commander Blankenship has served as a Personnelman at Personnel Support Detachment, Naval Training Center, San Diego, California, as a Division Officer with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two (VQ-2), Rota, Spain, the Action Officer at Headquarters, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany, Officer in Charge of Personnel Support Detachment, Vaihingen, Germany, Enlisted Programs Officer at Navy Recruiting District, Indianapolis, Indiana, Training Officer USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), home ported in Yokosuka, Japan, Director of Programs at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, Assistant Officer in Charge of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Forward, Baghdad, Iraq, Executive Officer of Training Support Center, Great Lakes, Illinois. Currently, she is the Military Training Director at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois.
Commander Blankenship is a Human Resources Officer and has deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2000, she was awarded a Master of Science in Management Degree from Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. She has earned her Senior Professional in Human Resources certification and is also a Joint Qualified Officer. Commander Blankenship’s decorations and personal awards include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Southern Watch), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Battle “E” Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon.
Commander Blankenship is married to Joseph Alfieri of Edison, New Jersey and together they have two sons, Andrew and Michael.The Aurora Council is having a membership drive, and will pay half of the first year's dues for new members. This is an excellent opportunity to attend an interesting event, and determine whether you would like to join permanently.
Call Leonard Wass with any questions about this event at: 630-554-9386.