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Navy Talent Shines at Concerts on the Avenue

11 August 2023

From Shelby Thompson

WASHINGTON - Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) hosted Concerts on the Avenue on Tuesday, a United States Navy band tradition held at the U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza in northwest Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON - Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) hosted Concerts on the Avenue on Tuesday, a United States Navy band tradition held at the U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza in northwest Washington, D.C.

Vice Admiral Johnny R. Wolfe, Jr., Director Strategic Systems Programs, served as the senior Navy representative present, and noted this is one of his favorite Navy traditions.

As host for the event, SSP invited command members and industry partners who support SSP’s mission to join in experiencing the Navy tradition. The event offered a rare opportunity to showcase the immense talent the service has within its ranks.
“These folks are the best in the world,” he said. “They represent the best of the United States Navy.”

Before the show, Vice Adm. Wolfe voiced his appreciation for the Navy service members who continue to stand watch over our country. He further recognized the contributions of the SSP command and partners in supporting national defense.
“Thank you for what you are doing every single day,” he said. “For the United States Navy, this is our time. What the Navy is doing every day, forward deployed, keeping Americans and our allies safe, is absolutely critical.”
The Concerts on the Avenue is a summertime mainstay in Washington, D.C. Originating in 1997, the series provides an array of talented musical performance styles on select Tuesdays throughout the summer in front of the U.S. Navy Memorial. Tuesday’s show included performances from the Concert Band, Sea Chanters, Cruisers and the Navy Ceremonial Guard. The audience was treated to popular hits, traditional sea-shanties, and a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s ‘When You’re Smiling,’ in honor of the 111th Anniversary of the Navy Dental Corps.
 “I loved seeing the joy that the performance brought to the audience,” said Melissa Temple, an SSP employee. “The enthusiasm that the band has for what they do is infectious.”
The evening was an opportunity for SSP personnel to socialize with their families and friends. For many attendees, it was the first time experiencing these premier Navy ensembles.

“My wife and I really enjoyed ourselves,” said Captain Gregory Price, head of SSP Nuclear Weapons Surety, Policy, and Compliance. “Our favorite aspect was the variety of songs and performances.”

The concert quickly drew a crowd, with passersby stopping to take in the sights and sounds of the best performers in the country. Ensemble members encouraged the crowd to sing along and dance with the performers, and several were eager to show off their musical moves.
Summer Concerts on the Avenue performances are free to the public and one of several Navy performance contributions to family-friendly entertainment in Washington, D.C. designed to “…inspires patriotism, elevates esprit de corps, enhances Navy awareness and public relations, supports recruiting and retention efforts, preserves the Nation’s musical heritage, and projects a positive image at home and abroad,” according to the official Navy Band website.

Strategic Systems Programs is the Navy command that provides cradle-to-grave lifecycle support for the sea-based leg of the nation’s nuclear triad. This includes training, systems, equipment, facilities and personnel responsible for ensuring the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) Trident II (D5LE) strategic weapon system.
Photos of the event taken by the U.S. Navy Band are available to view and download here.

 The next Concerts on the Avenue is scheduled for Tuesday, August 15.
To learn more about the Navy Band, visit: 


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