Farewell, captain

Sydney Smith

On Tuesday afternoon, Capt. Douglas G. MacCrea “walked ashore” for the last time in his 34 year career in the Navy, never to sail again.

The retirement ceremony for MacCrea was held at 4 p.m. in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union. In attendance were his friends, family and colleagues to honor his service to the U.S. Navy. ROTC students also attended to recognize his dedication to Iowa State in the past three years. During the ceremony, MacCrea was awarded letters of appreciation from prominent political officials, including several U.S. presidents and state governors.

MacCrea graduated from Iowa State in 1977, when he began his service in the U.S. Navy.

“He always knew he was going to go to sea – it was his goal and life dream,” said Michael Clow, of Tallahassee, Fla., who has known MacCrea since going through ROTC with him at Iowa State.

MacCrea served on several sea assignments, where he earned his way to being promoted from assistant material officer to his present title of captain.

Aside from being in the Navy, MacCrea is known for his unique personality.

“He is a man of wry humor, dedication and family values,” said retired Capt. Robert Hartling, who has known MacCrea for the past 18 years and spoke during the ceremony.

MacCrea also served on educational staffs around the country in various instructional positions until August 2004, when he returned to Iowa State as professor of naval science and a commanding officer of the Naval ROTC.

“When I had the opportunity to come back [to Iowa State] it was just too much to pass up,” MacCrea said.

At Iowa State, MacCrea was known by those who worked with him for his successful work with students.

Susan Radke, secretary for Naval science, said MacCrea played a large role in increasing the number of people in the ROTC program.

“He wrote letters to encourage students to see what the Navy had to offer, as well as reaching out to people already in the Navy encouraging them to come to Iowa State,” she said.

MacCrea said he is very hopeful for the future of his ROTC students.

“I know they’re in good hands, and if you’re not, guess what? They call me back to active duty – is that what you want?” he said.

MacCrea’s wife, Kathy, his daughter, Erica, and his son, Jim, all received awards of appreciation and bouquets of flowers for their support during MacCrea’s time in the service.

In MacCrea’s farewell, he attributed his success to his family and the many people he met along the way.

“A large measure of who I am today is owed to the men I served with,” he said.