New York Council Navy League Looks Toward a Limitless Future


New York Council President Frank Russo (far right) congratulates the 120th Anniversary Dinner honorees (L-R) Christopher Kastner of HII, The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, 78th Secretary of the Navy, Catherine Lenihan on behalf of the family of Joan Stout © David Gordon Photography

America is a maritime nation, and strong sea services are the driving force of a maritime nation. Sea service personnel make sacrifices for us, and they deserve our support. The New York Council Navy League is a member-driven military support organization that supports the sea services—Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine.

The New York Council was the first council established 120 years ago, in 1902, and is now one of the largest and most active of the Navy League councils, with approximately 700 members.

Throughout 2022, they celebrated their 120th Anniversary with a theme of “Historic Past. Impactful Present. Limitless Future.” This celebration culminated in the 120th Anniversary Dinner at The Plaza Hotel, sharing the spotlight with:

  • The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, 78th Secretary and native New Yorker, the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award
  • HII President and CEO Christopher Kastner, the recipient of the Leadership in Support of the Military Award
  • Noted philanthropist Joan K. Stout, who was awarded the J. Robert Lunney Patriot’s Award and sadly passed away days before she could receive the honor
  • Emcee Rob Phillips, Managing Director of the Global Corporate Client Group, NASDAQ

Council members were thrilled to meet and dine with special guests from the federal and city governments, all branches of the sea services and corporate sponsors, which included:

  • The Tom & Cindy Secunda Family Foundation
  • HII
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Fiserv and,
  • General Dynamics

Funds raised from the dinner will go toward new and developing programs that educate the public and elected leaders on the importance of the sea services, foster youth leadership development and, most importantly, support sea service personnel, their families and their units.

new york council
Photo © Courtesy of New York Council Navy League
Photo © Courtesy of New York Council Navy League

Advocacy and education are critical points of the New York Council and continue to be a priority in their upcoming initiatives, including advocating with elected officials for sea service priorities and furthering public education on national security issues, through events such as the second Annual Maritime Security Conference. They plan to commission the USS Cooperstown, named for the 70 baseball Hall-of-Famers who served our country. The Council is determined to continue financial and mentorship support of 1,500 JROTC cadets, Sea Cadets and Young Marines throughout the five boroughs, while also funding morale events throughout the year for local and visiting military units, including Fleet Week New York.

New York Council membership comprises veterans of all service branches, family members of those who serve, active duty and reserve military personnel, and other civilians from all walks of life who support their mission. This includes hosting youth programs that instill the values of service, citizenship, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment in 1,500 participants annually, many of whom come from low-income neighborhoods and are first-generation Americans.

They help fund uniforms, equipment, STEM programs, military drill meets, field trips, and academic stipends for four Navy JROTC units, one Marine Corps JROTC unit, two Young Marines units, and one Naval Sea Cadet Corps unit. One of the most gratifying things members do all year is present awards to top-performing cadets from the Council’s sponsored units. These young people never fail to impress with their confidence in themselves and support for each other. New York Council’s work is member-driven, as is their funding, so interested citizens are invited to visit the Council’s website, attend an event, consider donating, and become a member.

Visit to learn more.

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About New York Council Navy League

We are a citizen-led military support organization founded in 1902 to support the sea services — U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine. The New York Council was the first council established and is now one of the largest and most active of the Navy League councils. Many New Yorkers and Sailors know us as one of the founders of Fleet Week New York.


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