On June 27, 2020, Ethan Lipsky ‘18 and Michael “Mike” Harris ‘76N met up at the U.S. Naval Station in Rota, Spain, to celebrate their “Farragut Brotherhood.” This was the first time they had met. Harris and Lipsky’s dad, David ‘75N, were Farragut teammates on the BlueJacket football and track teams.
Harris is an Emergency Management Specialist working for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) as Manager of the base’s Emergency Operations Center and Emergency 9-1-1 Dispatch Center. Harris and his wife Edda hosted Lipsky at the base. Lipsky was in port aboard the Navy’s USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12), a Navy Dry Cargo and Ammunition Ship. The ship is operated by Military Sealift Command (MSC) and is crewed by Civilian Merchant Mariners and a Navy Security Detachment.
Harris retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1998 as a Master Sergeant after a 22-year career. In retirement, Harris worked as an independent insurance agent but had a yearning to continue serving his country. He went back to work for the government as a civil servant in 2010 and has worked in support of the Air Force, Army, and now the Navy. Harris and Edda have lived in Spain for four years and they aspire to return to the U.S. in the coming months to be closer to their children.
Lipsky, a Midshipman at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Class of 2022), has been fulfilling his “Sea Year” training requirement serving as an engineering cadet onboard various commercial and military ships. He joined the USNS McLean mid-March 2020 and spent four months at sea in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Seas supporting underway replenishment operations of U.S. Navy warships. Lipsky’s next assignment will be with Maersk Lines working on a commercial container ship operating between the U.S. East Coast and Northern Europe before returning back to Kings Point in early November to continue his marine engineering classroom studies.
The USNS William McLean was built and delivered to MSC in 2011 under the guidance of MSC’s Senior Owner’s Representative, Arturo Diaz ’75N, and signed for on behalf of the Navy by RADM Mark “Buz” Buzby ‘75N. Both Diaz and Buzby were classmates at USMMA ’79. Buzby ‘75N served as Regimental Commander and Diaz ‘75N served as the Regimental Executive Officer respectively at the USMMA.