COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Colleagues, family and friends joined together to honor Navy Capt. Brian Ginnane’s 25 years of military service during an Oct. 12 retirement ceremony at the Defense Supply Center Columbus.
It isn’t often that a Sailor is able to retire in the same location. Ginnane’s military service began when he accepted a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship to The Ohio State University
in Columbus, Ohio, and received his commission a few years later. In his final assignment, Ginnane served as the director of Maritime Customer Operations
for the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime
DLA Land and Maritime and DSCC Commander Navy Rear Adm. John Palmer presided over the ceremony.
During opening remarks, Palmer noted the high regard shipmates, customers and colleagues felt for Ginnane.
“Most impressive to me is not what his biography says, but rather what the warfighters say,” Palmer said. “‘Brian Ginnane is an outstanding officer. He is involved, he is knowledgeable, he is aggressive, he is a problem solver, he knows the business, he knows the people, he knows the processes and we can’t get along without him.’ … I would not be surprised in the least to read the paper in the coming weeks or months and find Brian applying his consummate skills and leading a business or corporation here in town with the same fire in the belly and success as he did our Navy.”
Those attending echoed the sentiment.
Ginnane’s first commanding officer retired Navy Capt. Bud Baker was in the audience as well as numerous officers, colleagues and friends that Ginnane met throughout his career.
One of his fellow officers and a close friend, Navy Capt. Matt Ott, was the guest speaker.
During his remarks, Ott celebrated Ginnane, his family and friends by sharing stories of how many of them met as well as his adventures as a son, husband, father and sailor.
Recapping one of Ginnane’s first stories in the Navy, Ott told of the time 19-year-old Ginnane was in Rome and went to a money exchange and was pickpocketed shortly after leaving. This led to the young sailor going to a local hotel and making a collect call home. His 16-year-old sister Nora answered; although the connection wasn’t the best. The hotel clerk didn’t speak English and Ginnane was in the background yelling, tell his mom to cancel the credit cards. But before much more could be said, the hotel representative disconnected the call in fear of a large collect bill.
This would have been okay had the message came across clearly, instead his mom thought he was taken hostage and contacted the U.S. consulate. It wasn’t until 45 days later when Ginnane made contact again and learned of the situation his family thought he was in. He was able to reassure them he was indeed safe and never a hostage.
This story has been told over the years and while it’s one of Ginnane’s first stories in the Navy, it doesn’t sum up his Navy career.
Ott concluded with a message about family and friendships, sharing a special memory of his own.
“Friendships by far are the biggest part of the compensation package that we have in the Navy,” Ott said. “Besides my wife, Brian was the first to hold my son Nelson after birth.”
Ginnane took Ott’s sentiment one step further when he declared the theme of his retirement ceremony as a “Thank you to my family” and redefined Webster’s dictionary definition of family.
“After reflection, I wrote my own definition,” Ginnane said. “This is what [family] means to me. 1 – A group of folks that share a common interest, 2 – Care about the well-being of each other, 3- A source of inspiration for each other and 4 – Openly show kindness and generosity in their personal relationships with each other.”
He continued to say he wanted to thank three distinct but overlapping families.
These families were:
- DLA – Columbus family: including his neighbors
- Navy family: past and present
- His traditional family and their loved ones as well as his friends from his formative years in Buffalo, New York.
During the ceremony, Ginanne was able to share just how much family meant to him with a highlight reel from his career.
Ginnane is a native of Buffalo, New York, and alumnus of The Ohio State University, State University of New York at Buffalo as well as the Darden and Kellogg School of Business executive education programs.
His career consisted of three sea tours and multiple shore assignments to include serving as a business financial manager intern at Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington D.C.
Ginnane’s awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various campaign and unit awards.
He plans to enjoy his retirement with his family in the greater Columbus area.