Tributes & Stories

A Sea Story-Class of 1989

By Ingar Grev '89

One of the best lessons I learned right after graduation was about how important it was to manage perceptions.
Before heading off to nuke school, I had the great opportunity to coach football at NAPS after graduation. Our team wound up going 10-0 – outscoring our opponents 362-62 – and we even beat Navy’s JV team twice.  Ours was one of the best teams ever at NAPS. During the summer, before the start of football season, my fellow TADs and I supported the early morning PEP for the Midshipmen Candidates (luckily we were still in decent shape after just graduating). As with any class, there were a few stragglers who never seemed to try hard enough to keep up during our runs. One of them – I’ll call him Midshipmen Candidate Jones – appeared to be in good enough shape to keep up, but he ALWAYS fell behind.
On one morning run, the LT in charge of PEP was following behind in a van, and he pulled alongside me and said, “Hey Ingar, will you please drop back and get Jones to pick it up?” I rolled my eyes to indicate my frustration with Jones and dutifully dropped back. A few hours later, our new head coach, Marty Fine, sat me down and told me that he had heard from the LT that I had rolled my eyes – and he was not too happy about it. He took it as me rolling my eyes at the order, not as a sign of my frustration that Jones was straggling again. I explained to Marty why I did it, and then Marty taught me the lesson about perception that I never forgot: we always need to be aware of how others will perceive our actions and words, especially in a working environment. Sending the wrong message can hurt your career and unnecessarily hurt morale. I apologized to the LT, explained to him what happened, and he laughed it off. That was my second lesson – it’s better to talk about your perceptions instead of letting them fester.

The LT did me a HUGE favor by telling Coach Fine, and it’s served me well throughout my career.


1. Always be aware of how your “audience” can perceive your intentions
2. A leader addresses perceptions and doesn’t let them fester.