I had the honor of attending the retirement ceremony this week for one of the finest Naval Officers I have ever known. His name is Todd Monroe, and he retired after 27 years of faithful service to his country – 31 if you include his time at the Naval Academy.
During his time in uniform, he developed a reputation for being the “go to guy” for organizing and starting up new commands. As he got older, the size and complexity of the organizations he created grew as well. His last command tour involved consolidating and setting up an Area of Responsibility that encompassed over half the globe.
He has seen combat and worked the halls of the Pentagon. He saw floating mines sweep past his ship during Desert Storm and fired Tomahawks during Operation Enduring Freedom. He lost shipmates to enemy action. He has seen a lot in 27 years.
And as the door to his Naval career closes, another opens.
He was hand selected to take over as Executive Director of the Wyakin Warrior Foundation, a nonprofit that assists severely wounded and injured veterans get through school and into successful careers. He could have commanded a top salary if he went into industry, but instead he decided to give back to those who served and sacrificed while serving in uniform. He chose the Wyakin Warriors, offering him yet another opportunity to take a new organization to the next level.
Of all of his many personal attributes, perhaps the most important involves character. He is chock full of it. As someone who has invested three years to create an organization that assists severely wounded and injured veterans get to their own individual next levels, I could not have asked for a better man to take over as Executive Director.
There is one more enduring quality that is difficult to measure, but easy to encapsulate in a few words. I trust him. The entire Board of Directors does too.
The Navy’s loss will be the gain of the many wounded warriors who make the commitment to move forward in life. With CAPT Monroe at the helm, there is no such thing as an unachievable goal.
Congratulations on a spectacular career, CAPT Monroe, and welcome aboard.