Thursday, May 14, 2009

Messman Chronicles added to Navy Professional Reading Program

Here's a book review from the U.S. Navy Supply Corps Newletter:

The Messman Chronicles by Richard Miller is the latest work added by the Advisory Group to the Navy Professional Reading Program Supplemental Reading List.

A synopsis of the book from the Navy Professional Reading Program Web site states that despite racial discrimination and second-class status within the enlisted corps, the U.S. Navy’s mess attendants, officer’s cooks and stewards compiled a proud legacy of combat service in World War II.

The heroism of a few like Doris "Dorie" Miller became well known to the American public, but most have long been forgotten. This book tells the story of those thousands of unheralded sailors of African descent who served in frontline combat with fellow "messmen" of Filipino, Guamanian and Chinese ancestry from the first day of war to the last.

Messmen and Stewards were recognized for their service during a ceremony held at the Naval Academy in September 2008. The Messmen Memorial Marker is a tribute to the messmen and stewards who served with distinction at the Naval Academy midshipman's mess.

Both the ceremony at Annapolis, Md., and the addition of The Messman Chronicles to the reading list highlight the accomplishments of U.S. Navy mess attendants, officers' cooks and stewards, and add to a proud legacy of service for today's Culinary Specialist community.

Spearheading the effort for the ceremony and addition to the reading list was Master Chief Culinary Specialist (SW) Thaddeus Wright, Commander, Naval Surface Force, Atlantic Fleet (CNSL) , Force Culinary Specialist. With the support of SURFOR leadership and the Navy's Chief Petty Officer Mess, CSCM Wright was committed to make sure that the contributions and combat service of the Messmen would not go unnoticed.

Capt. Dana Weiner, CNSL Force Supply Officer noted, "I did not appreciate how challenging it was to get a book added to the Navy's Professional Reading List, but Master Chief Wright’s persistence was relentless, not unlike the Messmen featured in the book."

The Navy Professional Reading Program was developed to encourage a life-long habit of reading and learning among all Sailors. The books included in these collections can provide readers with a deeper understanding and appreciation for naval heritage, the profession of arms and the complex modern world in which we operate.

For more information on the Navy Professional Reading Program, visit

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