Association News

Email From: david snider <>

Date: Sunday, January 28, 2018 07:09 pm
Subject: UPDATE - Johnson Commissioning

Saturday, February 03, 2018 5:54 AM
Subject: Important USS Johnson Update

Good Morning All,


In order to reduce duplicate requests I have been asked to canvas our group and ask who among us has asked for and received an invitation. If you have received an invitation, HOLD ONTO IT. Please respond to this e-mail ASAP and let me know if you have received an invitation. Below is the update and the reason why I am making this request.

I am currently working with LtJG Fisher, the engineering officer, on the USS Johnson. She has been tasked in assisting us in getting our invitations for the commissioning.

I also talked to the retired Navy captain who heads up the commissioning committee and he is aware of our group request. I will be submitting an update on of our spreadsheet, the final update, tomorrow.

Several weeks ago a number of us submitted individual requests, as did I, prior to our organizing the group. Those who did so probably have received their invitations. I received mine this week, If you have received one 'HOLD ONTO THEM'. Captain Skardon, the commissioning committee head, related that there is 5000 seats set aside and they have already received approximately 7000 requests. They are scrambling to get more seats. They do not want duplicate requests such as our group requests and indiidual requests.

Good evening all,

Everything is progressing smoothly for our group attendance at the commissioning ceremony. I sent our group reservations request to the Point of Contact aboard the Johnson this evening as she will ensure that our group will be seated together. The contact will also be responsible for ship’s tours and other commissioning events during the commissioning weekend.

Charlie Kershaw has been successful making arrangements to accommodate our group in Charleston, South Carolina for the March 24 USS Johnson commissioning ceremony.

Charlie has secured lodging at the Homewood Suites, N. Charleston Airport/Convention Center. Room rate is $119.00 plus tax for rooms available from March 21 thru March 25. Additionally, there will be a harbor site at the hotel for our telling of tall tales. Charlie is also looking into transportation from the hotel to the commissioning site. More to follow.

Here is information and instructions from the hotel on how to book your rooms:

"Everything is all set for your group to start booking at any time. Below you will find a booking link to aid your group in booking online. Please keep in mind the link will only work for dates outlined in the contract. Anyone wishing to come in early or stay late will need to call the hotel directly at 843-735-5000.


Hotel: Homewood Suites by Hilton - North Charleston/Airport
Group Name: Ralph Johnson Commissioning
Arrival Date: 21-Mar-2018
Departure Date: 25-Mar-2018
Please note, the entire URL must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.


Below are the current names of those attending:

Last Name First Name
Burtoft John
Burtoft Sandy
Covarrubias Henry
Covarrubias Amy
DeMeo Al
Enfinger Alan
Enfinger, Connie
Greenberg Kevin
Greenberg Kim
Greenberg Rick
Greenberg Cassidy
Gruetzmacher Curtis
Huegel Ron
Huegel Sandy
Hyder Tom
Kershaw Charlie
Kicklighter Linda
Kicklighter Rod
Lakernick Steve
Lever James
Lewis Willie
Maxam Gary
Nollan, Jacob (Ruggles-grandson)
Parks Garry
Pearston Jim
Quigley Deborah
Quigley Larry
Rabinold Rick
Rowland Ed
Rowland Pat
Ruggles Floyd
Ruggles Linda
Snider David
Streeter Don
Swick Dennis

Semper Fi

Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

Sunday, February 04, 2018 04:26 pm

Good evening,

Our group requests for the commissioning ceremony have been submitted. I have been in communication with our on board contact and the process is moving forward smoothly. We will need too express our gratitude to our contact for taking care of us.

In a couple of days I will send out a recap of what is happening and what our expectations should be.

Semper Fi
Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

Date: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 12:51 pm
Subject: USS Johnson Update

From: david snider <>

Good afternoon,

As promised:

Our group requests for the commissioning ceremony have been submitted.  I have been in communication with our USS Johnson on-board contact and the process is moving forward smoothly. We will need to express our gratitude to our contact for taking care of us.
Those who have received their invitations need to 'HOLD ONTO THEM'.  Once you receive your invitations, it is imperative that you follow the RSVP instructions in the invitations envelope.  Your RSVP is important because that is how you get your tickets.
We have contracted with the Homewood Suites by Hilton - North Charleston/Airport.
Our Group Name is: Ralph Johnson Commissioning
Bookings are available: 21-Mar-2018 thru 25-Mar-2018

 This is the hotel for 1st Recon Battalion Association attendees.
 IMPORTANT Hotel INFORMATION (look at cancellation fine print)

You may begin booking at any time. 
Reservation cutoff date is February 19. 
Below you will find a booking link to aid our group in booking online.  Anyone wishing to come in early or stay late will need to call the hotel directly at 843-735-5000.
Free shuttle from airport to hotel
Complimentary parking

Reservation cutoff date 2/19/18


Please note, the entire URL above must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.

Fine Print: There is a Credit Card required for this reservation.

Free cancellation before 11:59pm local hotel time on 21 Mar 2018.

Charlie is looking for transportation to and from the hotel to the commissioning site.  This search may be fruitless based on the prices of a private coach.  I will report back when Charlie finishes his search.  Perhaps, we can try to carpool, but parking may be a big issue.  We will adapt and overcome.

If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me. If there is any confusing information here, please let me know.

I look forward to seeing all you again, what an experience this will be.


Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

See You All in Charleston, S.C (God Willing)

Your Webmaster

2018 Reunion
Colorado Springs
August 5th-12th, 2018

Homewood Suites by Hilton

North Charleston/Airport
5048 International Blvd., North Charleston, South Carolina, 29418, USA TEL: +1-843-735-5000 FAX: +1-843-735-5010

Enjoy a Home Away from Home in Charleston

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Welcome to the Homewood Suites by Hilton Charleston Airport/Conv. Center hotel in South Carolina, an award-winning extended stay North Charleston hotel near the North Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center, Tanger Outlet Mall, Performing Arts Center, and area businesses. Expect the comforts of home, including complimentary WiFi

Private parking at the event will be at a premium and the parking capacity is unknown. The commissioning committee related that they had arranged for 5000 seats and have received 7000 requests. Parking at the event is going to be very difficult at best. Because of this, Charlie is negotiating with three different companies looking for the best bus rate. This is very difficult as for some reason that Saturday is booked heavily in Charleston.

I have been asked to poll our group to see who is willing to pay $25.00/person. This price includes transportation to and from the event as well as a waiting period of 4 hours. Obviously, we would have an insertion point and extraction point and I am guessing that busses will be given quicker access and regress than POV’s, certainly a plus.

I realize that many of you will be staying with friends and family and not at the hotel. However, Homewood Suites by Hilton - North Charleston/Airport, would be the pick-up and drop-off site.

With all that said, please respond to me ASAP if you are willing to pay $25.00/person. We absolutely need to know in order to move forward.

Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 2:22 pm
Subject: Bus Transportation Update

From: David Snider <>

Good afternoon,

Yesterday I sent out an e-mail regarding contracting for bus transportation. So far, I have had 14 yes's and 0 no’s. For those who have yet to respond, please send me a yes or a no. We need an accurate count for our purposes.

Date: Thursday, February 08, 2018 12:45 pm
Subject: Repeat on Bus Transportation 

From: David Snider <>

Evening all,

Here some notes of importance:

For those of you who wanted to stay at the hotel, the Reservation cutoff date has been extended to 2/26/18.

Transportation to and from the hotel has been reserved. We depart at 0830 on Saturday, March 24.

Are there any needs for disability accommodations?
The hotel has provided a hospitality suite for us to use on Friday night. We are looking into options regarding food and beverages.


Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2018 6:15 pm
Subject: Update 

From: David Snider <>

Date: Thursday, February 22, 2018 3:55 pm
Subject: Private tour on the USS Johnson 

From: David Snider <>

I received the following from our POC on the Johnson:

I'd like to extend an invitation to the Association for a dedicated ship tour just for the group. Our available window is Thursday of commissioning week, 22MAR at 1200. Obviously anyone will be welcome to attend public tours during the designated time frames, but this would be a tour just for your group. Would you be able to gauge interest and let me know? Thank you so much! Have a great day!

Let me know ASAP if you would be there to participate in a private tour.


Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

February 24th, 2018 7:24am

This is the last call to hear from those wanting to go on the USS Johnson tour on Thursday, March 22 at 12-noon. Please let me know today.

It is not necessary to respond if you have already done so.


Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

On Feb 24, 2018, at 16:52, Floyd Ruggles <> wrote:

Thanks for the information. Are we on our own to get there or is there a shuttle from the hotel. We are coming in that morning.


On Feb 24, 2018 8:06 pm Dave 'Doc' Snider  wrote back:

I will get the details on Monday. Unfortunately I will not be there until Friday.

More Info

Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 11:33 am

Subject: Important - Commitment to ride bus

Johnson Ceremony attendees,

Accompanying the Johnson tickets is information regarding parking and a ‘parking pass’. I have already received questions about not riding the bus.

When we initially began to form our plans to attend as a group, none of our official ceremony contacts had details regarding parking. I did a poll of our group to determine if there were enough of us willing to commit to paying $25/per person for a bus to ensure that all would get to the ceremony. Based on the number of commitments received, we have contracted for a bus at a cost of $840.00. We cannot back away from this contract. I ask that you please consider the above and honor your commitment.

Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 02:37 pm

Thanks. We will be on the bus. Our only concern is that according to our invitation we need to be there by 8:30am at the latest. Has the bus been scheduled to get us there earlier enough. For those going to the private tour on Thursday is there transportation or are we on our own. We are driving but can catch a bus if needed. Do we need any paperwork or anything to go on the tour. Also what is the address and procedure for where we would be checking in for the tour. Just let me know and I can post it on the website also.


More Info & Photos coming soon

Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March, 1968.

Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018 9:29 pm

Email to: David Snider <>

Subject: USS Johnson

Thanks for the information.

I will post it on the website.

Will we have enough time to get there by 8:30am if we don't leave until 8:15.

Also add my wife, Linda's, email is as a contact in case you can't reach me. Please use her email after Tuesday 3/20/18,

I won't have access to mine.

We will leave Minnesota on Tuesday afternoon and be on the road until Thursday morning.

I won't be able to update the website until we return on 3/29/18.



Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in 2015

Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018  07:21 PM

Email from: david snider <>

Subject: USS Johnson - details for next week

Good Afternoon all,

The clock keeps ticking and we will soon be celebrating together in Charleston. Everything is falling into place and I believe we should have smooth sailing all the way through the ceremony. Here are some important notes:

The most important thing for you to do is bring your Official Guest Ticket and appropriate official identification.

Read the Security Access requirements that arrived with your ticket.

If you have additional tickets, please bring with you just in case. I will have the master list, but no additional tickets.

I am still waiting on information from our ship’s contact regarding the Thursday meeting point with the ship’s tour leader for our private ship’s tour, slated to begin at 1200. I expect to get that information tomorrow as we believe the ship is steaming towards Charleston at present.

Gary Maxam has agreed to take the point for the tour and will represent our group at the designated meeting point on the dock. Gary will be at the hotel Wednesday night if anyone needs to contact him.
I suggest that the tour attendees get together and arrange for car pooling on Thursday.

We have a hospitality room on Friday only, opening at 1200 and closing at 2000.

There will be non-alcoholic beverages provided as well as Hors d’oeuvres during the evening hours.

We will meet the bus in the hotel parking lot at 0800 for immediate boarding. We leave the parking lot at 0815. Please, for those riding the bus but staying elsewhere………PLEASE be on time. Traffic near the port is expected to be heavy.

I will be collecting the $25.00/person bus cost Friday night in the hospitality room. Please make checks payable to the 1st Recon Bn Association. If I miss you Friday, I will collect on the bus.

When we arrive at the port, please stay together as we will need to enter as a group.

If for any reason you need to contact me, use my cell number: 513-607-9184. I do not carry sufficient funds to bail anyone out of jail.

Semper Fi
Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

All new updates are found at the bottom of this page. Be sure to keep refreshing your brower to get the latest updates.

Date: Monday, March 19, 2018 11:27 am

Email from: david snider <>
Subject: Bus Tour

Those going on the ships tour on Thursday, March 22.

Gary Maxam has agreed to be our point person. Here is Gary’s cell number: 540 760 1088

If you will not be departing for the tour from the hotel, let Gary know. If you do not plan on going to the tour, again LET GARY KNOW as he will need to give the ship’s crew the names and number of people with him.

Make sure that you have proper identification for each member of your party.

Curtis, Corrarubios does not have an e-mail address. Please communicate this information to him.

Dave ‘Doc’ Snider

Monday, March 19, 2018 06:34 am

Email from: david snider <>

Good Morning Floyd,

Our intent is to arrive at 0845 which is within the window for entrance and believe that the timing will be adequate. I will add your wife’s information to my phone.

Thank you for that outstanding presentation of the Cruise information. If you retire from the business, you could make a good living building web sites.

Drive safely, see you on Friday.

Dave ‘Doc’ Snider


Carleston, South Carolina

See You All in Charleston, SC (God Willing)

Next update will be on

March 29th, 2018

Floyd & Linda Ruggles


Allen, Arnold
Burtoft, John
Covarrubias, Amy
Covarrubias, Henry
Greenberg, Kim
Greenberg, Rick
Gruetzmacher, Curtis
Gruetzmacher, Luana
Lewis, Willie
Maxam, Gary
Nollan, Jacob (Ruggles-grandson)
Pearston, Jim
Ruggles, Floyd
Ruggles, Linda
Westerveldt, Ruby
Westerveldt., John

 List of those going on the ships tour on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018


USS Ralph Johnson

Photo Album

Thanks for stopping

by today

Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) will be an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The contract to build her was awarded on 26 September 2011 to Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi. On 15 February 2012, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the ship's named to be Ralph Johnson in honor of Marine Ralph H. Johnson, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for shielding two fellow Marines from a grenade in March 1968 during the Vietnam War. The contract was worth $697.6 million fixed price, and was also the 30th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer contract issued to Ingalls Shipbuilding.

Ralph Johnson will be the 64th ship of the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers, the first of which, USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), was commissioned in July 1991. With 75 ships planned to be built in total, the class has the longest production run for any U.S. Navy surface combatant.[10] As an Arleigh Burke-class ship, Ralph Johnson's roles included anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare, as well as strike operations. During it long production run, the class was built in three flights—Flight I (DDG-51–DDG-71), Flight II (DDG-72–DDG-78), and Flight IIA (DDG-79– ). Ralph Johnson will be a Flight IIA ship, and as such, will feature several improvements in terms of ballistic missile defence, an embarked air wing, and the inclusion of mine-detecting ability.

In 2008, the U.S. Navy decided to restart production of the Arleigh Burke class as orders for the Zumwalt-class destroyer was reduced from ten to three. The first three ships (DDG-113—DDG-115) ordered following the product decision are known as the "restart" ships, while "technology insertion" ships (DDG-116—DDG-123) are expected to incorporate certain elements of Arleigh Burke class Flight III, which in turn will run from DDG-124 onwards. As a "restart" ship, Ralph Johnson will primarily feature upgraded electronics; she was originally scheduled to be delivered in August 2016, but construction was delayed and delivery is scheduled for late 2017 after her sea trials are completed in the middle of the year.

All new updates are found at the bottom of this page. Be sure to keep refreshing your brower to get the latest updates.

USS Ralph Johnson Commissioning Ceremony

March 24th, 2018 Charleston, S.C.

USS Johnson Tour Photos 

RIP Ralph Henry Johnson





















All new updates are found at the bottom of this page. Be sure to keep refreshing your brower to get the latest updates.

All new updates are found at the bottom of this page. Be sure to keep refreshing your brower to get the latest updates.

USS Johnson Tour Photos