Commissioned 76 years ago 12/22/1946

Ken Giardina

Greetings fellow shipmates,

I am deeply honored and excited to have been elected to be the 6th President of this great Association. It is my goal to continue to keep this Associations’ fellowship, spirt and dedication going and hopefully for it to grow.

In the fall of 1960 after graduating Class “A” Radar school in Norfolk, VA. I came onboard the Roberts the day she returned from the Med as an RDSN. Having really no idea about what it meant to be a “Tin Can Sailor”, I was about to embark upon three of the most important and influential years of my life. During my time on the Roberts, I went from 3 months of mess cooking to RD2 and along the way got to see and learn so many things. I experienced my introduction to rough seas, seasickness, learned to ride waves and enjoy the beauty of a calm sea. Luckily I was one of the few selected who had the privilege of serving on board the Roberts both before and after FRAM. My two most memorable experiences were first serving during the Cuban Missile Crisis, one that I never learned the severity of until years later, and sadly getting my discharge papers the day the Roberts set out to sea in an effort to search for the USS Thresher SSN-593, a day I always regretted. As the ship prepared to get underway, with emergency orders, I was given the opportunity to stay onboard until their return or get off ASAP, I chose the latter. If I had only known why we were getting underway, I would have opted to stay until we returned. In any event, my tour of duty onboard the Roberts was a once in a lifetime experience and has lasted me a lifetime.

One last thing as I begin my term, membership is the lifeblood of any association so if you know of any shipmates who are not members out there, contact them, and encourage them to join to become part of this proud shipmate association.

Shipping from shore power to sea power —Underway!!