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Marquette NROTC Alumni and Friends


Sunday, July 17, 2016. Rota, Spain. Yesterday the USS Wasp LHD-1 landed here in Rota and I disembarked after 19 days at sea. The ship was in port overnight and the Marines and sailors had only one evening of liberty, but not able to leave the base. I expect that the base facilities were overwhelmed with 2,000 people eager to get a beer or make a Skype call home.  The full ships compliment is about 2,800 including the Navy permanent crew.  Alcohol is not permitted on the ship, a long-standing US Navy tradition. I will be flying home from Madrid tomorrow with stops in Boston and Philadelphia.  It has been great to be back with the Marine

Epilogue, July 22, 2016.   I am home in Tacoma now after a long series of flights and missed connections.  During the trip from Madrid to Boston to Phoenix I spent a lot of time in airports listening to people take their anger and frustrations out on the airline staff.  At some point I realized that in 20 days on the ship I never heard a discouraging word.  Back on land I found myself on a different planet.

Here in Tacoma I have been watching the presidential nominating process, and all I see are angry people and a divided nation.  Aboard the Wasp I was privileged to spend a few weeks with a remarkable group of Americans moving quietly together in one direction for a common purpose.  There is no time for angry outbursts when you may be going into harm’s way in a matter of hours.   In the weeks ahead I plan to tell the story about the men and women I encountered aboard the Wasp, perhaps the people of America have something to learn from them. 

Rick Lorenz

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This photo is my partner Tim Doorey from the Naval Postgraduate School and I in the Well Deck of the Wasp in front of a Light Armored Vehicle (LAV 25). We were very compatible shipmates



Frederick “Rick” Lorenz grew up in New York City and obtained his undergraduate (NROTC 1968) and law degrees from Marquette University. He served a full career in the US Marine Corps as a judge advocate, including a tour as an infantry company commander. He went on to obtain an LLM (With Highest Honors) from George Washington University in Land Use Management and Control and practiced environmental/land use law between 1982 and 1991. In 1992 he joined the First Marine Expeditionary Force and was the senior legal advisor for the United Nations authorized military intervention in Somalia, and returned there as senior legal advisor for the UN evacuation in 1995. In 1996 he served in Bosnia as a senior legal advisor for the NATO implementation force, and went on to teach Political Science at the National Defense University. After his retirement from the Marine Corps as a Colonel in 1998 he spent a year as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in St Petersburg, Russia, teaching courses in international law, environmental law and US foreign policy. In 2000 he served as a United Nations legal affairs officer in Kosovo, working in the UN Civil Administration and as Legal Advisor for the Regional Administrator in Mitrovica.  He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington (UW), and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Law. His courses include International Humanitarian Law (the Law of Armed Conflict) and Legal Writing. He is a Senior Fellow for the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG); see with missions in the Republic of Georgia and Armenia in 2006 and 2007, and three US State Department sponsored trips to Somaliland between 2008 and 2010. He was in Kenya on a project regarding the International Criminal Court in February 2011. For three years he lectured at the annual program on Rules of Engagement at the International Institute for Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy. In August and September of each year he leads a UW study abroad seminar “Challenges of International Justice” to Ireland and The Hague. He resides with his wife Joan in Tacoma, Washington

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