Paul Ignatius played an integral role in LMI’s founding, so it was only appropriate that LMI show its appreciation at the most public of events celebrating its cofounder—the U.S. Navy’s commissioning of the USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) on July 27. LMI sponsored the USS Paul Ignatius Commissioning Committee, which hosted a series of events last weekend, including the official commissioning ceremony at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“The chance to honor our founder and his legacy of public service is special,” said business development principal Sinclair Harris (retired Navy Rear Adm.), who spearheaded LMI’s involvement. “Mr. Ignatius, even at 98 years old, continues to be passionate about the work of consultants and the difference LMI can make in solving the government’s complex problems. It was exciting to share in this moment with him and his family.
Several LMI representatives were in attendance as Sinc, U.S. Navy submarket director Ross Brown, and defense market business development director Pete Pflugrath received a tour of the USS Ignatius, an Arleigh Burke–class destroyer with a crew of more than 320 capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface threats.
Harris, who was executive officer of a ship commissioned in the mid-1990s, was impressed
“I’m not fit for sea duty anymore after seeing the technology they have now,” he said. “Seeing this ship, outside the hull looks about the same, but inside, so much has changed—the advancement in weaponry, the capabilities the ship has—it’s just fantastic.”
After helping to stand up LMI in the early 1960s, Mr. Ignatius served in the Johnson Administration as Secretary of the Navy from September 1967 to January 1969. He also served as Under Secretary of the Army in 1964. Among the dignitaries who spoke at the ceremony were Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer; Admiral Craig S. Faller, Commander of U.S. Southern Command; and Congressman Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Watch the full ceremony.
“Let us now send this ship to sea, confident that her journey will be steady and unwavering,” Mr. Ignatius said in his remarks. “We salute her captain and her crew and wish them Godspeed and smooth sailing as they join the fighting forces of the United States Navy.”
The weekend included a number of touching tributes to Mrs. Nancy Weiser Ignatius, who passed away in January. As the ship sponsor, she was active throughout the ship’s construction and preparation. A mural of Paul and Nancy’s life together hangs in the ship’s dining facility, named “Nancy’s Diner.”
“I was so pleased that my wife, Nancy, was chosen as the sponsor of this ship. It was a great honor for her,” Mr. Ignatius said. “I am pleased she was able to swing the bottle at the christening. I wish she could have been with us today, but she’s with us in spirit.”
View LMI's congratulatory video for Mr. Ignatius on Facebook, and keep an eye out for our forthcoming video of our time with him in Fort Lauderdale.