Captain Blakeman speaks to assembled cadets about his time at the Unit and the early days in 1983.
Herndon High School Navy JROTC Cadets celebrated the Navy’s 241st Birthday with cake and camaraderie, but they also had a special surprise: Captain Fred Blakeman, the original Senior Naval Science Instructor, joined them for this special day. Captain Blakeman started the unit in 1983 and remained at Herndon for 17 years making the unit one of the best in Fairfax County. Another surprise was for Captain Blakeman when the Interim Principal Dan Meier joined the celebration. He and Captain Blakeman served together at Herndon years ago. Principal Meier made some comments about the importance of the Navy as it celebrated its 241st birthday. He said, “The U. S. Navy has been the cornerstone of American security and prosperity for almost two and a half centuries. At the heart of our success is the American Sailor, serving afloat and ashore to the far reaches of the globe, protecting our country, advancing our interests, supporting our allies, delivering aid to peoples in crisis, and vigilantly guarding the sea lanes that are so necessary to our economic stability.” Following Meier’s comments, the unit Commanding Officer, Cadet Lieutenant Commander Back and Captain Blakeman cut a cake made by a fellow cadet’s parents with the traditional naval officer’s sword. Then, as is tradition, the guest of honor was given the first piece of cake, the oldest Cadet the second, and then the oldest cadet gave a piece of cake to the youngest cadet. Finally, Captain Blakeman made some closing comments to the Cadets and thanked them for bringing him so many great memories.