The Gimlet
Volume 108 #17

This Week at Rotary
We Meet at Noon on Thursday
October 27, 2022
For Those Attending in Person
Buffet Meal
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
Force Protection in the Middle East During COVID 19
Jeff Wencl - US Navy Reserve
While the world shut down in 2020, Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) Operation Inherent Resolve continued to work by, with, and through regional partners to militarily defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, in order to increase regional stability.  Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Wencl served as the Force Protection Officer for the CJTF and was responsible for the plans, policies, and leadership initiatives used to protect our military force and allow the CJTF to execute its core functions, even in the face of Covid, asymmetric military threats, and severe natural hazards to defense installations, infrastructure, and troops.
Chair of the Day Past President Mike Orman
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Darlene Anderson
A full room of Rotarians and guests were welcomed by President-Elect Gary Melander and joined him in singing the National Anthem. Past-President Branden Robinson shared a moment of Reflection on the meaning of “security”. As we grow and our horizons expand, our definition of security matures. We begin to understand its importance granted to us by the commitment, valor and bravery of those who protect us.
Past President John Baumgarten at the piano 
Past President Branden Robinson Reflection 
Today's visiting Rotarians and guests were introduced and asked to remain standing until all could be welcomed with a round of applause. Jim Landwehr's guests were Scott Fisher (Harbortown Rotary Club), Blaze Zenner, US Naval Reserve Commander, Roger Reinert, and David Pollard (former Club 25 member). Also joining us were Hospital Chaplain Father John Petrich, Tom Sullivan, former Club 25 member Jim Dwyer, Tom Olson and Jim Olson's daughter Katie Olson.
This week the Duluth News Tribune reported the newly elected St Luke's Hospital Board of Directors included Jack Seiler and Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom. Jack Seiler quickly stepped forward to kick the Golden Can for both himself and Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom.
Rose Sale Report: 1,500 dozen roses were ordered. Not only did people pick up their roses at the distribution sites, but many others purchased roses. There were very few leftovers. And, donations to the Rotary Club Foundation currently total $5,200! A final tally of total funds raised will be reported at a future meeting. Thank you to all who made this a successful fundraiser!!
(L to R) President-Elect Gary Melander with Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom
Monday, October 24, is World Polio Day. Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom reported that although Covid had turned the vaccination programs upside down, the drive to eradicate polio is still moving forward. The Gates Foundation announced a $1 billion pledge to the cause. All donations made to the Rotary Foundation designated for Polio Plus will be matched by the Gates Foundation.
A Westmoreland pin was awarded to Bob Reichert by Jerry Pelofske recognizing Bob Reichert’s $1000 donation to the Rotary Club Foundation. Thank you, Bob Reichert.
Chair of the Day Jim Landwehr introduced Lieutenant Commander Gary Black (USN-RET) who was one of the test pilots responsible for flight testing and certification of the Cirrus SR 20 and SR22. Prior to being a civilian test pilot, Gary completed a career with the US Navy flying F-14 Tomcats off aircraft carriers. From experience, Gary could share “What Does Being a Top Gun Really Mean?”
Chair of the Day Jim Landwehr 
Lieutenant Commander Gary Black (USN-RET)
First a little history: As the Vietnam War progressed the United States forces were losing many planes and pilots. In fact, one plane was lost for every two shot down. This was totally unacceptable. Why? The enemies' planes and techniques had changed, but US Navy pilots were using the same techniques that had been effective in WWII and the Korean War. It was decided that the U S forces also needed adapt and change. So the TOP GUN program was begun with 8 Junior Officers. However, initially, they were given no budget, no planes and no facilities. They were able to find an old trailer, scrounge parts and outdated planes from the “Bone Yard” and examine research data on Russian weaknesses. They began a program for teaching flight instructors new maneuvers so this in turn could be passed on to the pilots. The program proved effective as the kill ratio drastically changed to 12 enemy planes downed for one US plane.
Lieutenant Commander Gary Black (USN-RET)
Eight founding TOPGUN Officers
After attending Michigan State University, Gary enlisted in the Navy and began his flying career. He first learned to fly in the tiny trainers that he struggled to wedge his tall body into. Then onto a 6 month assignment (which turned into 10 months) aboard the aircraft carrier USS America. In 1980 he attended TOP GUN learning the techniques needed to fly against Soviet aircraft such as the small MIG21 which can easily disappear from sight making it almost impossible to attack. Using his model props he shared stories of his flying adventures much to the enjoyment of Rotarians and guests. This was truly a meeting where you needed to be there to hear and appreciate the adventures of Gary and his fellow Top Gunners. Thank you, Gary, for your service to our country and the world.
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Center Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. Superior St
Duluth, MN
United States of America
Venue Map
Venue Map
Oct 27, 2022
Force Protection in the Middle East During COVID 19
Nov 03, 2022
UMD: Perspectives From a Returning Bulldog
Nov 10, 2022
Duluth’s HRA – From Owned Housing to Development and Everything in Between
Dec 01, 2022
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 15, 2022
Regional Welcoming Community Programming in Northeast Minnesota
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Club Breakfast at the Kitchi Gammi Club
Nov 11, 2022 8:00 AM
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Nov 16, 2022 4:00 PM
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Dec 21, 2022 4:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Dan Dock
October 4
Ryan Johnson
October 7
Gary Melander
October 8
Dean Casperson
October 10
Mark Peterson
October 10
Kevin Jones
October 14
Branden Robinson
October 15
Jim Monge
October 15
Bonita Nelson
October 16
Jerry Pelofske
October 24
Jena Evans
October 27
Jon Ohman
October 30
Mary Niemeyer
October 31
Join Date
Jena Evans
October 4, 2012
10 years
Gerald Ostroski
October 6, 1983
39 years
Renee Mattson
October 6, 2005
17 years
Bob Bennett
October 13, 1977
45 years
Karol Sowers
October 18, 2012
10 years
Steve LaFlamme
October 20, 1983
39 years
David Clark
October 22, 2020
2 years
Jeramy Mercil
October 24, 2019
3 years
Official Publication of
Rotary Club of Duluth
207 W. Superior St.
Suite 201
Duluth Minnesota 55802
Rob Hofmann
Darlene Anderson
Rob Hofmann
Al Makynen
Traci Marciniak
Phil Strom
Steve Yorde
Jerry Thoreson
Rotary Office Hours:
By Appointment Only
Until Further Notice