December 7, 2023

Leadership & Legacy: Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture with Adm. Bob Natter and Capt. Tom Kelley


In a ceremony on December 1, 2023 the Naval Postgraduate School proudly inducted retired U.S. Navy Capt. Thomas Kelley and Adm. Robert Natter into the NPS Alumni Hall of Fame. The medals were presented by NPS Hall of Famers retired Adm. Eric Olson and retired Vice Adm. Pat Tracey.

This prestigious acknowledgment follows the previous day's Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture (SGL), where these leaders engaged in a profound discussion on service, leadership, and the compelling parallels between their own experiences and the contemporary challenges faced by the military. Moderated by Adm. Eric Olson, an NPS alumnus and Hall of Famer himself, the conversation was marked by mutual respect, humility and occasional humor, creating a dynamic and resonant dialogue.

Capt. Kelley, a Medal of Honor recipient, and Adm. Natter, a distinguished Silver Star recipient, offered insightful and emotional reflections on their experiences in combat during the Vietnam War.

To end the SGL, Adm. Natter and Capt. Kelley imparted a lasting message to the audience, composed of mostly young active-duty officers. Adm. Natter emphasized that they "serve with some of the best people in the world and certainly the best citizens of the United States," while Capt. Kelley urged them to "remember the men and women serving in your unit. Take care of them. Encourage them to reach their full potential." These final reminders, delivered with the weight of their collective experiences, offered a powerful foundation and inspiration for the emerging leaders as they navigate their own paths within the military.

Adm. Natter, Adm. Olson and Vice Adm. Tracey all serve on the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation & Alumni Association's Advisory Council. The NPS Foundation was honored to support the Hall of Fame induction and SGL for these legendary alumni.

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