ALBANY — USS SLATER will celebrate the Navy’s 244th Birthday at 9 a.m. Oct. 13. The Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on October 13, 1775, by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.
In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized recognition of Oct. 13 as the Navy’s Birthday. It is intended as an internal activity for members of active forces and reserves, as well as retirees, dependents, and friends. Since 1972, each Chief of Naval Operations has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion “to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence towards pride and professionalism in the Naval Service.”
Paul Guarnieri is being honored with the USS SLATER Volunteer of the Year Award presented by the Capital Region Chief Petty Officers Association. Paul is one of the few volunteers aboard SLATER who volunteers with both the maintenance crew and the education crew as a tour guide, and he does each of them very well. Guarnieri grew up in Greenfield just outside of Saratoga. He spent his childhood building many models of aircraft and ships. His grandfathers worked for Curtiss Wright during WWII, so even though they were not enlisted they were very involved in the war effort. He attended McGill University in Montreal where he majored in History, with a focus in military history. After earning his degree, he worked at an American Air Force Base in England as a cook. He was slinging pizzas inside World War II quonset hut.
Today, Guarnieri works for SUNY Albany within facilities and spends his Saturdays aboard SLATER entertaining the public with stories of these great ships and the Greatest Generation and enhancing his seamanship skills under the wing of Bill ‘Boats’ Haggart.
USS SLATER is located on the Hudson River in Downtown Albany. Public hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $9 for adults and $7 for children.
USS SLATER will be open through Dec. 1 this year, but closed on Thanksgiving Day. The ship will also be open Oct. 14 for Columbus Day and Monday November 11th for Veteran’s Day. Call 518-431-1943 for more information or visit the website at www.ussslater.org.