CACI Chairman Dr. J.P. (Jack) London's 2013 Reserve Officers Association Nathan Hale Award Acceptance Speech
CACI Chairman of the Board Dr. J.P. (Jack) London was honored with the Nathan Hale Award from the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) at the organization's 90th anniversary celebration on February 5, 2013 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award is given to prominent federal, state, and local government and civic leaders to recognize outstanding and dedicated individual service in the interest of national security, reflecting the patriotic dedication to America epitomized by Nathan Hale.
Following is the text of Dr. London's speech.
Thank you, Admiral Bill Fallon. Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests and friends, it's a pleasure to be here with you tonight. As some of you may know, Bill Fallon has been a close friend and compatriot of mine for years. We share both values and professional interests. I am very humbled in being named the recipient of this year's Nathan Hale Award. I'd like to begin by thanking General Davis and the Reserve Officers Association for this wonderful recognition. I am most appreciative.
When I was first told that I would be receiving the Nathan Hale award, my first thought was about the meaning of patriotism. What does it really mean? For me, patriotism has two important characteristics.
The first is being of service to your country. Captain Nathan Hale of the Continental Line was a young man who volunteered to find out for George Washington the disposition of nearby British forces. Exposed behind enemy lines, Hale was captured as a spy and hung on September 22, 1776 in New York for serving the growing American cause of freedom. While he made the ultimate sacrifice for his service, we can all take from his example that each one of us, in our own way, can make a lasting contribution to upholding American values and ideals.
As Bill mentioned, my family has a long legacy of service to this country. Since the American Revolution, my ancestors and family have been soldiers, sailors, airmen, and even suppliers to the Continental Line during the Revolution. Like them, I have also aspired to be of service to our country throughout my life. During my 24-year naval career, from the beginning as naval aviator to my time as a naval reserve officer, I accepted whatever role I was asked to take and performed to the best of my ability.
As a corporate executive, I have been proud to ensure that my company, CACI International, answered our government's call to provide the very best services and solutions, and to be a reliable and trusted partner for national security.
Patriotism, however, isn't about service alone. It is also about commitment – a commitment to cherishing the uniqueness of our American liberties. Hale volunteered twice – when no one else would – to go behind enemy lines to uncover British military plans. Hale, and many others like him, made the commitment to ensure for all Americans ... the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Nathan Hale is memorialized all around our city and our country. His statues – several done by the American sculptor Bela Pratt – stand at the headquarters of the Department of Justice and at the CIA here in Washington, as well as at Hale's alma mater at Yale University ... where my daughter, Laura, is also an alum. I have seen them all and have been inspired by them.
Nathan Hale's last immortal words are also inspiring: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." He has left us an important legacy of service, with a vital lesson in what it means to be an American.
In conclusion, I would, again, like to express my appreciation to the Reserve Officers Association for all of the valuable work they do in service to their members and our country.
I'd also like to thank my family for their love and support. I am so pleased that my wife, Jennifer, my son, Phillip, and my daughter, Laura, with their spouses could be here tonight to share this wonderful evening. My son-in-law, Jed Dennis, is a Naval Reserve Officer and Commander who served in Afghanistan in 2007.
Thanks also to my special friend, Priscilla Roberts, and all of my friends and compatriots who have joined me here tonight.
Thank you again for this award and honor. May God bless our American servicemen and women ... and those like Nathan Hale that have given their life for our country. God bless America!