How Yesterday's Bravery is Charting a Course for Tomorrow's Innovation in Submarines

Pictures of Navy Commanders Eugene Fluckey and Richard O'Kane

At BlueForge Alliance (BFA), we are dedicated to the U.S. Navy’s mission of adding nuclear-powered submarines to its fleet annually. Through that effort, we can also recognize the remarkable stories of courage and sacrifice from the past that have shaped our nation's maritime legacy.

Such is the case with a recent BFA engagement with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS) in which past service brings attention to present and future needs.

Honoring the Past

In the heart of our history, we find tales of individuals who ventured not only into the depths of the ocean but were met with moments requiring tremendous courage. These men faced the perils of war and the unknown with unwavering determination. Their bravery is not just a distant memory, but a living testament to the steadfast human spirit.

Consider the submariners of World War II, like Medal of Honor recipients Eugene Fluckey and Richard O'Kane. Commanders during World War II, they dared the depths of the sea and the might of the enemy. Their stories of courage, resilience, and sacrifice still resonate today. And beyond inspiring us at BFA, they are now reaching a younger generation considering its future.

Building a Brighter Future  

BFA is collaborating closely with educational partners across the country to enhance career and technical education opportunities for students seeking stable, sustaining, purpose-driven careers.

Meanwhile, the CMOHS empowers K-12 teachers, providing them with curriculum and resources to impart knowledge and values of courage, integrity, citizenship, and sacrifice. Through their Medal of Honor Character Development Program, educators are equipped with stories of recipients of the nation’s highest military decoration to help deliver lessons and give students tangible and concrete examples to live by.  

In an effort which began in early 2023, BFA and the CMOHS came together to simultaneously showcase the stories of Fluckey and O’Kane while opening students to the creation of next-generation submarines for the Navy. A video feature and lesson plan entitled “The Courage of the Submariner” was born.

“This new video enriches the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s video library and in turn its resources for students and teachers,” said Catherine Metcalf, Executive Director of Education for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “Neither the O’Kane nor Fluckey story had previously been captured in video, nor had the Navy’s submarine service been represented. The video and its companion lesson provide new access to historical and inspirational content. ‘Courage of the Submariner’ will inspire youth of America both to careers in service and to lives of value.”

While debuting to the public in September, the first young people to lay eyes on the video and associated curriculum were attendees of the 2023 National Scout Jamboree in July in Mount Hope, West Virginia. The scouts also received information regarding the career and training opportunities in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Industrial Base available nationwide.

Boy Scouts attending the National Jamboree listen to an instructor, who is in front of a television monitor with the logo on it.
An adult and two younger men stand in front of a banner with on it.
Young people work on various craft projects at tables in a tent, with a stand in front of them covered in logos and a banner.
Navigating Towards Tomorrow

Yesterday's bravery is not simply a chapter in history, but a beacon guiding us towards tomorrow's innovation. As we honor the heroes of the past and equip the leaders of the future, we are not only building submarines; we are forging a legacy of courage, honor, and bravery. It’s a legacy that knows no bounds, and one that paves the way for brighter days ahead.

Written by:
Kacey Bowen, BlueForge Alliance

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