The Annual Capstone Awards
In May 2011, during the Naval Academy Seamanship & Navigation Division’s annual awards ceremony, Proceedings Editor-in-Chief Paul Merzlak presented prizes to the four Midshipmen First Class who won the Commander William Earl Fannin, Class of 1945, Capstone Essay Contest. The essays were chosen from a class-wide competition, according to the branch of service and military specialty each midshipman would enter after commissioning: submarine, surface, air, or Marine Corps.
The Naval Academy Class of 1945, which sponsors this annual competition in partnership with the Naval Institute, was represented at the ceremony by Brigadier General Donald Brooks, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), Rear Admiral Dick Van Orden, U.S. Navy (Retired), and Captain Dick Wilson, U.S. Navy (Retired). The contest winners received checks for $1,000 and the honor of having their essays published in the June 2011 Proceedings.
The 2011 Capstone Winners:
Ensign Susan L. Falt, U.S. Navy, for “Ready to Serve.” One future surface warfare officer knew what Navy community she wanted to join from the start.