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Rear Admiral Chuck McGrail Memorial Scholarship Program

Rear Admiral Chuck McGrail, U. S. Navy [Ret.] was the co-founder of The Flag & General Officers' Network.  Earlier in 2011, TFGON was approached by the Rear Admiral James J. Carey Foundation [ ] with an offer to fund a scholarship within TFGON in memory of Admiral McGrail, who passed away in early 2000. 

The scholarship is to be focused on youth leadership training and is meant for college juniors, seniors, and graduate students with an interest in careers in national and international public policy.  These scholarships will be used to fund an annual fellowship in the Washington Scholars Fellowship Programs [ ] with a view towards providing training and education and credentials to enable the recipient to pursue a career path in federal service or related national public policy work.  To apply for an Admiral McGrail Memorial Scholarship, use the application forms available on the Washington Scholars website and clearly mark your application "For Admiral McGrail Scholarship Consideration".

TFGON's Co-Directors of this program are Rear Admiral Don Loren, U. S. Navy [Ret.] and Major General Donna Barbisch, U. S. Army [Ret.].

Applicants are intended to come from U. S. military veterans plus the sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, nieces and nephews of TFGON members.  The program is expected to be ready for implementation in Fall 2011.  We have had several graduates of the Washington Scholars Fellowship Programs in attendance at TFGON's Quarterly Networking Receptions and it is expected that these fine examples of youth leadership will serve as mentors for the scholars participating in this program.

Questions in the interim should be referred to Rear Admiral Jim Carey at

Admiral Chuck McGrail Navy Biography

Admiral McGrail

Rear Admiral Charles R. McGrail was commissioned as an Ensign at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1957 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1958,
His first tour was as a Flight Instructor with Training Squadron 21 at NAS Kingsville, Texas. In 1960-63 he moved to NAS Mframar, California and deployed to the Western Pacific in Fighter Squadron 141 aboard USS LEXINGTON and with Fighter Squadron 54 in USS TICONDEROGA. He then served for three years as a RPV project pilot and test conductor at the Naval Missile Center, Point Mugu, California.

His next sea tour was in 1967-1968 in Fighter Squadron 143 with which he deployed twice during the Vietnam War to the Tonkin Gulf in USS CONSTELLATION. He was a Flight Commander and Instructor Pilot in the 4535th Combat Crew Training Squadron at George Air Force Base, California, while on exchange duty flying F-4E aircraft with the U.S. Air Force. Rear Admiral McGrail then had a joint staff tour at Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Saigon, Vietnam, in 1971-1972 as an Air Operations Staff Officer involved in overall planning for all four services1 tactical air operations in the Southeast Asia Theater. He next served as Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron 96 during two deployments to Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific in USS CONSTELLATION. He spent the next two years at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D.C. in PERS-432 as Aviation Lieutenant Commander/Junior Officer Assignment Branch Head where he was responsible for the detailing and assignment of aviation officers to billets throughout the fleet.

Returning to the Pacific Fleet, he commanded the F-4 Fleet Readiness Squadron, Fighter Squadron 121, at NAS Miramar. Rear Admiral McGrail then served at sea on the Staff of Commander Task Force 77/70, Carrier Strike Force Seventh Fleet, as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans in 1978-1980. During this time the staff was aboard USS ENTERPRISE, USS CONSTELLATION, USS RANGER, USS KITTY HAWK and USS NIMITZ operating in the Western Pacific, and the Indian Ocean during crises in the Gulf of Aden and Iran.

Rear Admiral McGrail commanded USS TRIPOLI (LPH 10) as flagship for Commander, Amphibious Squadron One as part of the amphibious forces in Seventh Fleet. He next commanded USS MIDWAY (CV 41), the Navy's only aircraft carrier based overseas, in Yokosuka, Japan, from 1982 to 1984 during which time MIDWAY won its second consecutive Pacific Fleet Battle Efficiency Award and the Golden Anchor retention award while serving as flagship for Commander Task Force 77/70 during several deployments throughout the Western and Northern Pacific and Indian Oceans. Following selection to Commodore, he attended the joint service Capstone course at the National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington D.C., and then remained in Washington as Director, Aircraft Carrier and Air Station Programs Division (OP-55) and also as Director, Aviation Plans and Requirements Division (OP-50), on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare). As Commander, Carrier Group One and Commander, Battle Group ECHO, Rear Admiral McGrail embarked in his flagship USS RANGER (CV 61) homeported in San Diego, California, during two surge deployments to the Western and Northern Pacific oceans in 1986-87 prior to his present assignment as Deputy Director of Naval Warfare (OP-07B) in Washington, D.C.

Rear Admiral McGrail's personal decorations include the Distingushed Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Navy Commendation Medal, as well as various unit awards, campaign ribbons and foreign medals. He is married to the former Jeanene Vescelius of San Diego, California where sons, James and Mark, and daughter, Laurie, maintain their homes; his daughters Cynthia, Catherine and Carolyn work and attend school in Texas.

2015 Admiral McGrail Memorial Scholarship Selectees

Spring Class

Michael P. Stack

Michael P. Stack

Military Service: United States Marine Corps
Deployments: Operation Enduring Freedom, 2011-2012; 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 2013-2014
University Affiliation: Georgetown University
Grad School Affiliation: Columbia Law School
McGrail/WS Fellowship: Eastern Foundry
Narrative: Michael Stack is a former military intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps. He served one tour in Now Zad, Afghanistan as an Afghan National Security Forces Advisor, and one tour with 3d Battalion, Fifth Marines as the Scout Sniper Platoon Commander for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. He is currently working at a government focused technology incubator in Crystal City, Virginia where he develops and manages all educational programming. Following graduation, he is interested in becoming a federal prosecutor while remaining involved in studying the policy issues that arise at the intersection of government acquisitions and technology.

2014 Admiral McGrail Memorial Scholarship Selectees

Summer Class

Nathan Richardson

Nathan Richardson

Military Service: United States Army
Deployments: Operation New Dawn, 2010-2011
University Affiliation: United States Air Force Academy
Grad School Affiliation: The George Washington University Law School
McGrail/WS Fellowship: Reserve Officers Association, Service Members Law Center
Narrative: Nate Richardson is a former military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. He has completed his first year at the George Washington University Law School. During the summer of 2014, he participated in the Admiral Carey Washington Scholars Fellowship as a summer associate with the Reserve Officers Association, where he concentrated on a 50-state survey of cross-border reemployment issues for members of the National Guard. Nate is interested in numerous legal practice areas, and hopes to become a litigator after graduation.
Michael Nerstheimer

Michael Nerstheimer

Military Service: United States Army
Deployments: Operation Enduring Freedom
University Affiliation: United States Military Academy
Grad School Affiliation: The George Washington University Law School
McGrail/WS Fellowship: The Chambers of Circuit Judge Evan J. Wallach, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Narrative: Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Michael Nerstheimer studies law at The George Washington University Law School and is scheduled to earn his JD in May 2016. After graduating from the US Military Academy he served in the US Army, initially as a rotary-wing aviator and then as a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Russia and the former Soviet Union. He has served as an Assistant Army Attache at the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia; as an intelligence staff officer at ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan; and as a Russian language instructor at the US Military Academy. He is married to the former Kimberly King. After completing law school he is interested in pursuing a career in national security, international, or government procurement fields of law.

2013 Admiral McGrail Memorial Scholarship Selectees

Fall Class

KN Barrett

K.N. Barrett

Military Service: United States Marine Corps
Deployments: None
University Affiliation: University of Florida
Grad School Affiliation: College of William & Mary Law School & Masters in Public Policy
McGrail/WS Fellowship: Reserve Officers Association, Law Center
Narrative: First Lieutenant Barrett is USMC Law Contract. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in August of 2010 and recently gradated from the College of William & Mary where he studied law and public policy. While he awaits orders to The Basic School he is completing his Admiral Carey Washington Scholars Fellowship with the Reserve Officers Association where he works out of the Law Center on Veteran Law issues. He is deeply interested in national security law, veterans law, and foreign policy.
Ben Lee

Ben Lee

Military Service: United States Army Reserve
Deployments: Kandahar, Afghanistan (2010 - 2011)
University Affiliation: Hamilton College
Grad School Affiliation: Georgetown University Law Center
McGrail/WS Fellowship: Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Narrative: CPT Lee is an Army Reservist and commander of Bravo Company, 411th Civil Affairs Battalion. After graduating from Officer Candidate School in 2009 and completing his basic training, he was selected for the Civil Affairs Corps. While in Kandahar during the summer "surge" of 2010, he was the lead Civil Affairs officer for two sub-districts in the city's southeast, where he led dozens of reconstruction projects to rebuild roads, schools, and government offices.

Shortly after he returned from the war, he started at Brooklyn Law School, and then transferred to Georgetown University Law Center in his second year. Supported by the Admiral McGrail Scholarship, he spent his summer with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federal agency dedicated to supporting American investment in the developing world. There, he worked on many project finance transactions, assisting with deals to build power plants, clean water facilities, and public transportation in the developing world. He remains keenly interested in emerging market opportunities.

Summer Class

Jaimie Clark

Jaimie Clark

Military Service: United States Air Force
Deployments: Afghanistan (2010-11)
University Affiliation: The Ohio State University
Grad School Affiliation: The George Washington University Law School
McGrail/WS Fellowship: The Admiral Carey Foundation and The U.S. Air Force Reserve
Narrative: Jaimie Clark is a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran, having served twelve years in the Active and Reserve components. During his tenure in the military, he has worked on issues related to terrorism and trans-national proliferation threats in partnership with federal law enforcement, national security, and other government agencies. Following his inclusion in the 2013 class of Admiral McGrail Scholars Jaimie has become the Director of the Admiral McGrail Scholars Mentorship Program with The Flag and General Officers Network. Previously, Jaimie was a Senior Program Manager for MOSAIC Technologies Group, a consulting and technology services firm supporting national and homeland security organizations. Currently, he is studying law at The George Washington University Law School where he is focusing his research on the nexus of international commercial export, national security, and dispute resolution through negotiation.

2012 Admiral McGrail Memorial Scholarship Selectees

Josh Hansen

Josh Hansen

Military Service: United States Marine Corps 2005-2009
Deployments: Diyala Province, Iraq 2006 and Ramadi, Iraq 2008
University Affiliation: Western Michigan University
Grad School Affiliation: Michigan State University College of Law
McGrail/WS Fellowship: Third Way, a think tank that promotes moderate political initiatives
Narrative: Joshua Hansen served as a rifleman in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-2009 and is a veteran of two deployments to Iraq. During his enlistment, he was meritoriously promoted to Sergeant and was awarded two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Upon completing his active duty contract, Joshua enrolled at Western Michigan University, where he graduated with a Bachelor's of Business Administration (Marketing concentration) summa cum laude, was named the university's Presidential Scholar for Marketing, and achieved the highest GPA in the Marketing Department. He currently attends Michigan State University College of Law and is studying Media and Communications law. As a member of the Washington Scholars Class of 2012, he worked as a Communications Intern at the think tank Third Way. Joshua's career goals are oriented at the marketing communications field within the public policy, politics, or business sector.
Joseph Rogan

Joseph W Rogan

Military Service: U.S. Army Reserve
Deployments: Iraq (2009-10)
University Affiliation: University of Central Florida
Grad School Affiliation: Georgetown University Law Center
McGrail/WS Fellowship: Ward & Ward, PLLC, a Washington, DC Law Firm
Narrative: SGT Rogan is an Army Reservist from Florida assigned to the 810th Military Police Company. After expedited promotion to Sergeant, he left UCF to deploy on a Police Transition Team, training the Iraqi Police. On the Team, he was assigned control of the Police Commissioners running the administrative, investigations, and operations sections. He also assisted his Command by advising on issues of Iraqi Police compliance with Iraqi law and as a liaison to the Camp Fiji Specialized Training Division, Baghdad, Iraq. Upon return, SGT Rogan completed bachelor degrees in political science and psychology from UCF before starting at Georgetown Law. His selection as an Admiral McGrail Memorial Scholar came in the summer before his second year in law school. He maintains interest in national security policy and the interplay of the private and public sectors with regards to the same.

Gavriel Swerling

Military Service: United States Marine Corps
Deployments: None
University Affiliation: University of Maryland, College Park
Grad School Affiliation: University of Maryland School of Law
McGrail/WS Fellowship: Heritage Foundation, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies
Narrative: 2ndLt. Swerling is a Marine Law Contract going into his second year at The University of Maryland School of Law. He graduated from Officer Candidate School and commissioned in August, 2011. He is in the reserves while attending law school and will go active as a Marine JAG Officer upon the completeion of his Juris Doctorate program. 2ndLt. Swerling also has a bachelor degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and is interested in public policy, intelligence, and foreign affairs.


James J Carey
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Jim Carey

National Chairman

James A Kelley
Major General [Ret.]
James A. Kelley

Board Member &

Gordon Nash
Lieutenant General [Ret.]
Jack W. Klimp

Board Member: USMC

Steve Kunkle
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
James B. Godwin III

Board Member: NAVY

Robert Wray
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Robert Wray


Mark Beesley
Brigadier General [Ret.]
Mark Beesley

Board Member: USAF

Ted F. Bowlds
Lieutenant General [Ret.]
Ted F. Bowlds


Norman Sauders
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Norm Saunders

Board Member: USCG

Jeff Hathaway
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Jeff Hathaway


Edward Rodriguez
Major General [Ret.]
Donna Barbisch, USA

Board Member At Large

Edward Rodriguez
Brigadier General [Ret.]
Ed Rodriguez, USAF

Corporate Secretary

Greg Feest
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Donald P. Loren, USN

Treasurer & Board Member

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