Tag Archives: Naval Academy


Service and Baseball with Luke Gillingham

Minor League Baseball player and Surface Warfare Officer Luke Gillingham shares his memories of playing baseball at the United States Naval Academy for Coach Paul Kostacopoulos, his recollection of being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, and the options the Navy presented to him as he fulfilled his commitment to serving his country through the Navy Reserve while having the opportunity to play professional baseball. Gillingham also shares his thoughts on playing professional baseball and baseball during the global health crisis of COVID-19.

American Valor Podcast

Podcast: Your Service Matters: Rear Admiral Frank Thorp on Service and Finding the Good in People

Rear Admiral Frank Thorp speaks about his family’s longstanding service, within and outside of the military. He speaks about the principle of America’s service men and women serving and defending our Constitution, representing freedom and people’s desire to fight for it and give up what they have, as embodied by Bob Feller. Rear Admiral Thorp speaks about being in the Pentagon on 9/11 and reminds listeners that valor is not a word to be taken lightly.

“In his final active duty assignment in the Navy, Rear Adm. (ret) Frank Thorp, IV was the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Information (CHINFO), serving as principal spokesman for the Department of the Navy and providing strategic communication counsel to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. He led the Navy’s Public Affairs community of more than 2,500 active and reserve officer, enlisted, and civilian communication professionals.

Prior to this assignment, Thorp served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense (joint communication) where he was responsible for overseeing Department of Defense (DoD) efforts to shape department-wide communication doctrine, organization, and training for the joint force. As director of the strategic communication integration group (SCIG) secretariat, Thorp also led DoD efforts for strategic communication auspices of the deputy secretary of defense, DoD strategic communication plans.

He served as the special assistant for public affairs to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2003 until 2005. In 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Thorp was deployed to Qatar as the chief of media for U.S. Central Command (forward).

From 2000 to 2003, he served as special assistant for public affairs to the Chief of Naval Operations. His other assignments have included serving as the public affairs officer for the Bureau of Naval Personnel; Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Joint Task Force Middle East; Cruiser Destroyer Group 12 and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). He has also served as director of public affairs and congressional notification at the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs.

Thorp has also had several previous assignments at the Navy’s Office of Information. As a commander, he served as assistant chief of information for media operations. Other assignments include executive assistant to the chief of information, national news desk action officer, and aide to the chief of information.

Prior to specializing in public affairs, Thorp served as a surface warfare officer forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan.

In 1999, Thorp completed a fellowship at Hill & Knowlton Worldwide Public Affairs in Washington D.C. He has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism and public affairs from American University and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. Thorp is a 1986 graduate of the Defense Information School and a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in operations analysis.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2), Legion of Merit (2), Meritorious Service Medal (3), Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), and the Navy Commendation Medal (3)” (United States Navy website).

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Mitch Harris: Naval Officer to Major League Baseball Pitcher

Mitch Harris, the second United States Naval Academy graduate to play Major League Baseball, speaks with Nathaniel Cameron, Tyler Buchholz, and Colin Kirk of the American Valor Podcast. The team discusses Mitch’s adjustment to life at the Naval Academy, maintaining his baseball skills while serving five years in the U.S. Navy, including three deployments before playing Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015. Listeners will be inspired and entertained in learning Mitch’s life story and thoughts, including commitment to self, work ethic, attention to detail, striving towards one’s goals, pitchers hitting and playing against the best players in the world.

American Valor Podcast

Baseball and Military on the American Valor Podcast

Recently on the American Valor Podcast: coach Paul Kostacopoulos, Reds legend Johnny Bench and the 70th Secretary of the Navy the Honorable John H. Dalton. Future episodes include Naval Academy graduate and former Cardinals pitcher Mitch Harris, the 15th Force Master Chief of the Navy Reserve CJ Mitchell, Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda and Vice Admiral Jay Donnelly! Released every other Monday, the American Valor Podcast can be found on most podcast platforms.

American Valor Podcast

American Valor Podcast: the 70th Secretary of the Navy the Honorable John H. Dalton

On the American Valor Podcast, the 70th Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable John H. Dalton, reflects in depth on his life growing up in Louisiana, attending the United States Naval Academy, serving as an Officer in the Navy, working in private business and in government service. Mr. Dalton speaks about the challenging times he has faced in life as well as the positive attitude and support allowing him to persevere and grow. Mr. Dalton, embodying the Navy’s values of honor, courage and commitment, speaks about the significance of service and the importance of character in leadership. Mr. Dalton provides listeners with three simple constants to provide guidance and assurance throughout life: faith…family…and friends.

American Valor Podcast

Retired MLB Pitcher Brad Ziegler and Naval Academy Head Baseball Coach Paul Kostacopoulos: American Valor Podcast

The American Valor Podcast team was recently honored to converse with retired MLB pitcher Mr. Brad Ziegler and the head baseball coach of the United States Naval Academy baseball program Mr. Paul Kostacopoulos. Brad and Paul spoke about their careers in baseball, including how they got started in the game, what they have experienced and learned throughout their journeys and what led them to be involved with the military. Mr. Ziegler created Pastime for Patriots to honor service men and women; he was the MLB Bob Feller Act of Valor Award recipient in 2016. Mr. Kostacopoulos is the second-winningest head coach in Naval Academy baseball history. The Navy baseball program has earned five-straight Patriot League regular season titles under his guidance. Thank you to Mr. Ziegler and Mr. Kostacopoulos for your support! We release new podcasts every other Monday. Stay tuned for our conversation with Hall of Famer and 2018 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award recipient Mr. Johnny Bench.

American Valor Podcast

American Valor Podcast: United States Naval Academy Head Baseball Coach Paul Kostacopoulos

In our eighth episode of the American Valor podcast, Nathaniel Cameron and Colin Kirk talk to United States Naval Academy Head Baseball Coach Paul Kostacopoulos. The team discusses Coach Kostacopoulous’ start in baseball and his journey to become the youngest Division I baseball head coach, leading him to become the second most winningest coach in Naval Academy baseball history. Coach Kostacopoulos discusses his respect for the Midshipmen who balance duty to country, stringent academics and Division I athletics. Coach Kostacopoulos discusses what is required of the United States Naval Academy baseball player as well as his coaching philosophy and definitions of leadership and valor.

 

American Valor Podcast