Navy League Recognizes Fort Myers Beach Resident


The Navy League of the United States has recognized Fort Myers Beach resident Captain John McCandless, USN (Ret.) for his leadership and contributions in the commissioning of one of the U.S. Navy’s newest warships, USS DETROIT (LCS7).

USS DETROIT is the seventh high-tech, super-fast Littoral Combat Ship and the fifth US Navy ship to be named Detroit. Built in Marinette, Wisconsin, she was commissioned on the Detroit waterfront on October 22, 2016 and is now homeported in Mayport, Florida.

“Your work and dedication over the past three years provided for a historic ship commissioning at the gateway to Detroit and Windsor, Ontario on the Detroit River,” said CDR James Semerad, SC, USN (Ret.), Navy League Regional President and National Director. “This historic event brought together leaders of the U.S. Navy, Fincantier/Marinette Marine, Governor of Michigan, the Mayors of Detroit and Windsor, and Michigan and Canadian citizens to honor the crew and bless the ship for success on the high seas.”

McCandless served as chairman, then vice-chairman of the USS DETROIT Commissioning Committee while president of the Metropolitan Detroit Council, Navy League of the United States from 2013 to 2016. The committee was responsible for organizing commissioning week events and working with Canadian Navy and government officials in planning the ship’s first International port call at Windsor, Ontario. The ship’s sponsor was Mrs. Barbara Levin, wife of retired Michigan Senator Carl Levin. A key role of the committee was to build community awareness and raise funds needed to sponsor the many events honoring crewmembers during commissioning week. With the commissioning now accomplished, the Metropolitan Detroit Council, NLUS will utilize monies left over to support the Navy men and women who serve on Detroit and their families.

McCandless retired from the Navy in 1999 after 32 years of active and Reserve service. He is a military and veteran’s advocate and has been a guest lecturer at five universities, including the Naval War College. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to The Detroit News Op-ed page and other publications. He and his wife, Roberta, have five grown children.