USS George Washington’s Top Sailors Visit Mount Vernon > United States Navy > News-Stories

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Among the sailors chosen for the event were several Spirit of Freedom award winners, as well as various crew members selected as Sailor of the Quarter and Sailor of the Year. The tour itinerary included various stops around the Mount Vernon estate, including the special additions of climbing to the top of the Main Building’s famous cupola and viewing age-old documents belonging to Washington in the private vault of the domain research library.

Attendees drew meaning from different aspects of the tour, with Domestic Communications Specialist 2nd Class Emma Dolata noting that personal responsibility and Washington’s accountability stood out for her.

“He was so proud and caring of his home, even after all the great things he did,” she said, referring to the fact that agriculture and culture were close to the heart of Washington. “Anyone could have done it for him but he got up early every morning to tend to his farm and do his rounds on the land.”

Gaut was impressed with the work of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, a group of women who saved the estate from ruin in the mid-19th century, and the organization that controls the property to this day.

“It’s an extraordinary story, their bravery in buying the land to save it, and the work they did to maintain and preserve the President’s home and part of his legacy.”

The visit included a meeting with the Executive Director of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, Dr. Douglas Bradburn, to whom Gaut presented a flag flying aboard the USS George Washington. Bradburn recognized the deep connection between Washington and modern American military philosophy.

“Washington is the father of the American military…the idea that civilians control the military, that [United States] the army is the most educated army in the world, this all comes from the vision of george washington himself.

“He was ‘first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen’.”

The USS George Washington is undergoing Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Naval Shipyard. RCOH is a multi-year project performed once in a carrier’s 50-year lifespan that includes refueling the ship’s two nuclear reactors, as well as major repairs, upgrades and modernizations. The motto of the USS George Washington is “First in war, first in peace”.

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