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’85 continues its tailgate tradition! We had a great tailgate for the Tulane game.  Next up is this Saturday against South Florida.

Game time is noon so we will concentrate the tailgating after the game.

Dave Marquee will be providing “Beat Army” beer once again, but we will need to bring food to share.

Tom Plofchan will be bringing water.

Any questions, please reach out to Dave McDonnell with any questions!

A few announcements and reminders to pass on to everyone.  Please take the time to read these and respond to the surveys for Navy-Notre Dame 2016 in Jacksonville, FL and the 30th Reunion.


Interested in attending Navy-Notre Dame next year to be played November 5, 2016 in Jacksonville, FL? Please respond here.

We are interested in any and all feedback from you regarding the reunion.  Your feedback will help us in providing even better events! All responses will be kept confidential.  The survey is located here.

Apparel and Photos

Please check out the Gouge and Gedunk page for information on ordering class apparel and reunion photos.

Rick Cambell’s Books

As a reminder, Rick is donating royalties from his books purchased by classmates in the past and future. These proceeds go into our class fund supporting the spouses of our fallen classmates to attend reunions.  We can get some of that information from Facebook, but it would be greatly appreciated if you can send a short note to Angela Orlando with the book title, format, and where purchased so we can keep track.  Put a note on your calendar that the next novel, Ice Station Nautilis, will be available in mid-May 2016!

Now that our 30th Reunion is a few weeks behind us, we hope that everyone has had time to process and reflect on reconnecting with classmates both those that you knew since I-Day and those whom you just connected with.

We ask you that you please take the time to fill out the below survey on the reunion.  Please be very frank with your comments as they will be held in confidence.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Angela Orlando.  Thank you very much in advance!

The Navy-Notre Dame game next season (November 5, 2016) is being played in Jacksonville, Florida. We’d like to see who would be interested in attending, hotel rooms, tickets, tailgate, and a Friday golf outing.

If you’re interested in this outing, please fill out the below survey so we can determine interest.

Any questions, please reach out to Bob Smith or Angela Orlando.



We’d like to get an idea of how many people are going to Army/Navy this year and how many would attend a Class of ’85 Tailgate (pay at the door) event.  Please answer the following questions so that we can determine the interest level for planning.  Thanks much in advance:

Go Navy! Beat Army Again!!

EMAIL Blast 15 Oct 2015


I am back on the watch after a very nice and relaxing week in Cancun. Thanks for all the kind emails and thank you’s Sherry and I have received after our Class 30th Reunion. It was such a treat and honor to see so many of our class turn out for an amazing weekend in honor of our 30th  (Damn the Weather!!). So, in the spirit of keeping the positive momentum going, we are turning our sites to the next big things:

  1. USNA ’85 Homecoming Tailgate
  2. USNA ’85 Army/Navy Tailgate
  3. USNA ’85 31st Reunion in Jacksonville, FL, at the Navy v. Notre Dame Game on Nov. 5, 2016.

First things first. We need a head count for the Homecoming Tailgate on October 24th at NMCS against Tulane. The game is a 1300 kickoff, so we will plan on starting the tailgate at round 1030 am and will have our tailgate catered with food being served around 1130. Classmate Dave Marquis, who you may remember is the owner of Chesapeake Brewing Company and the “father” of BEAT ARMY GOLDEN LAGER, will be serving beer and wine as well. We need a decent head count to insure we have enough food and beverage. I ask that you PLEASE contact Dave McDonnell with your attendance numbers ASAP. We will be tented, so once again, this should be an all weather event. Dave’s email is: david_555@verizon.net. The cost is free, we ask that you bring your own beverages (other than beer and red/white wine which we will serve). Bo Brooks (who catered both the class dinner and tailgate) will be catering our food for us, so come hungry.

In the next few days, we will be putting out surveys using our class website: http://1985.usnaclasses.net. Our hope is to get head counts for the Army/Navy tailgate and a preliminary number of those who would attend a class weekend in Jax for the Notre Dame weekend next year. Our plan is to have a large hotel block at the Marriott TPC Sawgrass complete with golf outings, shopping trips to St. Augustine, a Friday (post golf) dinner and a Saturday Class Tailgate near EverBank Field for game day. Keep this in mind and stay tuned for more info. PLEASE get back to us ASAP though if you are coming to the Homecoming game. As always, contact me with questions or comments: robertsmith5@att.net or 502-432-6185.

Go Navy!!

Regards,  Bob Smith ’85

PS I will be posting the website to order some of the professional photos taken during our events on Reunion Weekend. I saw them today and it was fun to look at all these photos and order some for framing.

Here’s the menu for the Tulane game on 24 Oct will be:

  • Southern hand-pulled pork BBQ
  • Slow Baked BBQ Chicken
  • Baked Beans
  • Corn Bread
  • Old Bay Potato Chips
  • Kaiser Rolls
  • Homemade Cole Slaw
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies
  • Assorted Drinks

Don’t forget to RSVP to Dave McDonnell at david_555@verizon.net by Oct 17!



Come join classmates and friends at the ’85 tailgate at the Homecoming game vs. Tulane on 24 Oct. This will be catered by Bo Brooks whom also catered our reunion.

We will also be featuring Dave Marquis’ Chesapeake Brewing Company beers and a choice of house red and white wines.

Game time is 1300.  Food will arrive at 1100.  Menu will be passed along when it is available.

We need to get a head count by 17 Oct.  Anyone planning on attending please send Dave McDonnell an email at david_555@verizon.net.

Stay tuned for more information on remaining games.

Okay Classmates,

I know that many of you are used to getting the daily email from me now; well, I am taking my lovely wife Sherry and my very sore throat to Cancun, Mexico, early tomorrow for the week and I am putting my computer away while I enjoy the beach and a good Rick Campbell book, so you may not hear from me for a few days. Let me say this: A few days ago I got off an airplane to get here to Annapolis and set up early for the reunion after being up all night (literally). I picked up my rental car and headed to meet Mike Vance for breakfast at Chick and Ruth’s. In a discussion as we watched the weather channel I felt I needed a bigger tent with sides in case this stupid hurricane decided it needed to hit the East Coast for real. In an hour and a few discussions, we now had a 80 X 100 foot tent with sides on it instead of one half that size and the week began that way. At one point I got a text from someone who said: “That game is cancelled Smitty”. I thought: “GREAT, now we are going to have a reunion with no game and a few feet of mud and water”. I made quick phone call to a good source and they assured me that the game would go on, Navy plays better in deep water than Air Force and why give up that advantage? That is “who we are”. Okay, I then called my wife and reminded her she was in charge of the weather and she had not failed us in the almost year we are now married (it has been am amazing year by the way folks). She said, “What do the Reunion Shirts say Honey? RELAX and say a prayer.” Well, you know what I did and then dug into the weekend. I saw a few people on Facebook bailing on the reception and then knew I needed to remind ’85 who we are! The game was going to be played and WE ARE ’85. We survived being in Hack, the end of the disco ERA and carbureted engines, a tie with Army our Plebe year and Neeb’s Loaf; we can survive a little rain and mud! For those of you who came and hung in for the weekend and believed in this class and your weary Class President and his “over communication”, WE STUCK THE LANDING FINALLY!!! At one point yesterday I looked at our very large group of classmates and families under the 8000 Square Foot Circus tent having an amazing day and then noticed so many people who were looking in at us and wondering: “Who the hell is that class? I wish I was part of them, they look like fun and they look dry, and those oysters and crab soup and barbeque and “Beat Army Golden Lager” looks pretty good. I just came from a tailgate with undercooked wieners and warm beer and my feet are wet and it sucked.” Well, I then thought, this weekend would be PERFECT if Navy Won this game (you know how that ended), our reunion T shirts should now say: “Stay Calm and win the Commander-Chief’s-Trophy.”; but it would not have fit very well. So, when we beat Army this year, we know what it means right?

This has been a fun 5 year journey and collectively we have learned so much about our GREAT CLASSS. We have lost a few of our friends and Classmates and took a few minutes to honor and miss them. We hugged their wives and saw a few kids who miss them as much as we do. We met the Supe and he told me: “Bob, other than ’81, I think you guys are my favorite Class.” I told him: “I know why sir, our Class has some sort of magical energy and we ALWAYS WIN THE TAILGATE!!” So, I am signing off for a week and going to show my wife what a good husband does after all the support she gave me and this class in getting the reunion done. Someone told me yesterday: “Great day Bob, but I have a complaint.” OH? I said this in response: “I am so glad you are having fun and I think you mean you have a suggestion or idea and truly not a complaint right?” She smile and said: “EXACTLY!!” Let’s adopt that attitude going forward. I LOVE ideas and let’s keep having them going forward. If you did not get the right size shirt or shirt at all because we ran out (nothing like MORE people coming to a rain soaked weekend than less right?), or a hat or bottle of the Woodford Reserve Bourbon, PLEASE email me and let’s get you the right size or let’s get you taken care of. We will be talking a lot about Class fundraising and making the next five years of this class even better. Class Trips? Another “Dublin-like trip? (HELL YES!!) A nice tailgate at every home game? (HELL YES!) Free beer at all home tailgates? (HELL YES!!) A nice tailgate up in Philly for Army/Navy and a win over Army? (HELL YES!!) Another amazing weekend no matter the weather 5 years from now? (HELL YES!!). Take a few days and get back into life. For those of you who did not or could not make it, we missed you and will see you soon. Get here next time or come back and see us at the next tailgate or Homecoming. There are many people to thank and I will do that in the near future. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…. tune into the Class website and my emails and I will tell you how to find our reunion pics on the photographer’s website, how to order your Class of ’85 clothing or items or what is happening at the next Class of ’85 tailgate. That site is: http://1985.usnaclasses.net. It is up and operating and better each day. Cheers ’85. I do love you guys and miss everyone already. Off to Cancun and Church Service. I have a guy upstairs to thank for all of you in my life and a wife who knows how to support me and keep me grounded enough to do this!! Safe Travels home and thanks for coming this weekend.

Cheers,  Bob Smith

Your VERY PROUD Class President. 

PS For those of you could not make it and I could not refund your money, PLEASE email me and we will get you a hat and your shirt in the next few weeks, we will ship it. 


Wow! What a day it was! a big win of Navy over Air Force and a record setting tailgate by ’85! Partying with 1000 of your closest friends – a story to be told for a long time!  Whether you cheered Navy on in the stadium with braving the elements or under the big top, it doesn’t matter!  From the Beat Army Lager to the big screen TVs to the fantastic spread to many other classmates who returned, it is something ingrained in our memories.

Today’s schedule:

  • 0800-1030 – Farewell Brunch (Westin)
  • Morning – Church Services (Chapel)

It will be hard to say farewell to everyone later today.  It is not really goodbye.  It is we will see you later as our paths will always cross in  one way or another.

Please travel safely later today!


For those of you wise enough to attend to our Class Dinner…. NICE WORK! What an amazing evening we had. We hope to build on that today at the tailgate. The rain is diminishing which is good news. It is wet and soggy at our tailgate and we are going to do our best to work around this fact. I know in talking to many of you, that you are wearing appropriate footwear. That is a GREAT IDEA. The tent will protect us from the wind and any rain, but you will still be exposed walking to and from the restrooms and to and from the stadium to other tailgate. I know you get it and I know that this party will go on rain or shine. I do know this too, Navy is far better at the deep water ops than Air Force, so let’s come and root the Mids on to a PASTING of the Falcons today!! 

Shuttles: Today to and from the Hotels to Gate one, and back from Alumni Hall until 11:30. Inside the Yard shuttle bus those same hours. This holds true for our Ladies attending the special breakfast at Preble Hall today. Shuttles to and from the Hotels to the Stadium starting at 12:30. Here is from our printed schedules that are in your hotels and on the class website:

  • 1230 – 1630 4 SB Buses departing the Westin Hotel (EVERY THIRTY MINUTES ON THE HOUR AND HALF HOUR) for the USNA Stadium Buses will drop off and load at Stadium North End zone / ’53 Pavilion / Ticket Booth parking area Buses will be at the stadium throughout the game to transport back to hotels as needed
  • 1800 – 1900 6 SB Buses depart USNA Stadium for return to the Westin Hotel and the Hilton Garden Inn 1900 Last departure from the USNA Stadium for the Westin Hotel and the Hilton Garden Inn

Where is the TAILGATE you ask? If you picture yourself as a Mid (I know… try that!) and you are marching into the Stadium, When you leave Taylor Ave. and turned onto the little walkway that takes you into the Stadium, we are the HUGE white Circus tent on the left bordering that Walkway and Taylor Ave, it is called FANFEST. I will have our Class Flags flying! We have 6 TV’s in the tent, tons of great food, cold beer, wine and then about 1000 Classmates and Guests waiting the greet you. Be advised, today is NOT open bar. It is for BEER AND WINE and cash bar for mixed drinks. We had to draw the line on pricing today’s Tailgate, and that seemed the smartest option (We made it up with better food and restrooms and other amenities, including the circus tent I had to borrow from the Ringling Brothers for today to keep all of you dry.) For those of you with a voice…. good for you! Dress warm and dry and come to enjoy a great final chapter of this amazing weekend. It has been so GREAT seeing all of you and reconnecting that we need to do this more often. Take the opportunity today and use our photographer and get a shot of you group, your company buddies, the guys on your Crew Team or Baseball Team or whatever…. YOU GET IT! See you there and call or text me with questions: 502-432-6185. I am guy with the hoarse voice answering. It may get loud today, so texting maybe the best idea. GO NAVY….BEAT AIR FORCE and we all know who is going to win the Tailgate no matter how this plays out.


Bob Smith  

Your scratchy throat Class President

PS The Dinner Programs and the Class website will have info on how to view the weekend’s photos and get them downloaded or printed. Make the Class Website you place to be: http://1985.usnaclasses.net.


Good morning, ’85! It’s another gorgeous day in paradise! The rain is on its way out. More classmates are planning to show up at the game today. It will heck of a tailgate. 

Today’s schedule:

  • 1300 – Tailgate
  • 1530 – Sink Air Force!

Keep the momentum going! Follow the man in the red corvette!

We all probably thought our issued rain gear was history. Guess what? There is proof it still exists!

Julia Spinelli followed orders and carried rain gear!

Another glorious day for ’85!  The weather didn’t stop us from starting with the morning memorial service to the re-climb of Herndon to lunch get together and finally the reunion dinner!

Over $2000 was raised for Luke’s Wings charity.  Thank you for participating in the raffle and supporting a good cause.

More classmates checked in today and continued to make the weekend great!

Tomorrow – it’s tailgate time!

Get ready to show the ’85 spirit!

Go Navy!  Beat Air Force!

Many of you thought we were all just talking big about climbing Herndon again. Well we proved you wrong!  Not quite done according to plan, but we improvised!

Bad weather or good weather, ’85 still knows how to work together and have fun!

’85 is continuing the momentum of our 30th reunion!  What a great turnout it has been so far.  Thanks to all that have made the trek!

We packed Fado’s last night!  Some pictures are posted on last night’s blog.  Others are in the Facebook group.  Let’s get them uploaded so we can always remember this is the reunion to remember!

Weather Update:  Looks like Joaquin is turning to the NW and heading out to the Atlantic.  It will still be wet so dress for the weather.  I’m sure our classmates up above had something to do with it, too!

Here is today’s schedule:

Friday October 2nd

(0730-1900) – Midshipmen Store Hours
(0800-1500) – Rick Campbell at the Mid Store signing his books(0900-1700) – Visitor Center Hours
(0900-1700) – Museum Hours
(0900-1700) – Reunion Registration Check-in Westin Hotel
(0900-1000)  – Memorial Service Singers meet in St. Andrew’s Chapel
(1000-1100)  – Memorial Main Chapel
(1030-1100) – Dedication of the ADM Larson Administration Building
(1100)  –  HERNDON 3.0!!!!!!!
(1350-1500) – Superintendent Briefing and Alumni Association Welcome to all classes Mahan Hall
(1915-2030)  – Jewish Service in Levy Center
(1800-2200) – Dinner Banquet at the Stadium Lawrence Banquet Room
(1830) – Informal Business Meeting at Class Dinner

Remember to refer to the , too!

Let’s have a Great ’85 Day!

It’s 6 AM. Breaking info before the morning report. Joaquin decides to make a right standard rudder maneuver and slowly turn away from the coast!

It will still be rainy but who cares!

Remember to carry rain gear and we CLIMB!!!!

What a first day it has been! From check-in through the kick off party at Fado’s (and more), ’85 is reconnecting and bonding.  It is wonderful to see old and new friends, catch-up, start to tell sea stories and more!  Even the USNA Superintendent, Vice Admiral Carter ’81 spent time mingling with we ’85ers.

Many photos were taken – some have been posted to FaceBook and others have yet to be shared.  Here is a sampling of some:

Tomorrow’s schedule:

  • 0800-1500 – Rick Campbell at the Mid Store signing books
  • 1000-1100 – Memorial Service
  • 1030 – Larson Hall Dedication – Mahan Hall
  • 1100-??? – HERNDON 3.0 – Bring raingear, towels, 80’s attire, and change of clothes!
  • 1350 – Supe’s briefing – Alumni Hall
  • 1800 – Dinner – Stadium Banquet Facility

Shuttles start departing the Hilton Garden Inn for the Westin at 0800 and at 0830 from the Westin to Gate 1.  Please look at the shuttle schedule for more detailed information.

Get rest and prep your positive attitude for tomorrow!

USNA ’85,

Good morning to those of you who woke up in Annapolis and those of you boarding airplanes and packing your cars and heading out the door to come and join the rest of us already in Annapolis. Over night hurricane Joaquin has taken a slower and more Easterly track and has taken Baltimore out of its sights for the weekend. The rain chances are 100% Friday, 70% Saturday and 50% Sunday…… We are putting up an 8000 Square Foot “super tent” and spreading Straw today to mitigate the water and wind we will see. We will essentially have a portable sports bar as I have added more TV’s and speakers indoors and we are changing on fly to accommodate indoor or under tent tailgating. As about 25 of us proved last night at Ram’s Head, all we need is a place and add classmates and it is suddenly MAGICAL! Wear appropriate clothes AND SHOES for dealing with soggy grass and ground! We are opening the registration desk today at NOON and our shuttle buses start running to take you to the newly remodeled Mid Store (I went, it is awesome and go ready to spend your kids college cash!) and other points around the Yard. Take NOTE: You will have to de-bus at Gate 1 and be screened before re-boarding an inside the Yard shuttle. Take an ID with you folks, it WILL be required. Bring or buy rain coats (they have some cool ones at the mid store) and a good umbrella and the party goes on. We LOVE the way our reunion hats and tee shirts have come out and are pleased to be selling our super cool “Beat Army Golden Lager” tee shirts and some extra class store items. There will be raffles at all events for look for our signs if you want to take a chance and win some cool stuff and bring extra cash to ALL EVENTS! (apparel, Army/Navy Tickets and some of the awesome Woodford Reserve Bottles with our Class Crest and 30th Reunion Tribute on it are just some of the items). (more…)

I took an early morning stroll over to the Yard and stop by the Mid Store to see Rick Campbell.  I brought my copies of Trident Deception and Empire Rising with me which he gladly signed.

Rick Campbell signing Angela Orlando's copies

Rick Campbell signing Angela Orlando’s copies

If you haven’t got your copies, take a walk over today, tomorrow, or Saturday and get your copies!  Remember, each book sold this weekend is a donation to the class fund to help defray the cost of our fallen spouses’ widows attend the reunion.  If you already have bought copies, please let me know which books, where you got them, and the format as each book bought by a classmate is also a donation.

Thank you so very much, Rick Campbell!


Kickoff time!!!

The time is finally here! The Class of 1985 30th Reunion!!  Those of us here are warmed up and raring to go!

For those of you in town or soon to be, here is today’s schedule of events:

Thursday October 1st
Midshipmen Store Hours
Rick Campbell Book Signing at the Mid Store
Visitor Center Hours
Museum Hours
Noon Meal Formation
Herndon planning session - Chick & Ruth's or wherever the wind blows us
Reunion Registration Check-in Westin Hotel
Reunion Kick-Off Party (Cash Bar) at Fado’s Pub
Herndon final planning session - We CLIMB!

Don’t forget to check-in at the Westin and pick up your reunion gedunk!

If you haven’t checked out the shuttle schedule, you can find it here:  Reunion Bus Shuttle Schedule.