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The presidential retreat Camp David.

Serving the commander-in-chief and world leaders is truly a unique experience only available to those who serve at Camp David and the White House. If you are interested in being a member of an All-Star Team please read on.

In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt selected Camp Hi-Catoctin as the site for a presidential retreat. The original name given to the retreat was "Shangri-La." In the 1950s President Dwight Eisenhower changed it to "Camp David," naming it after his grandson David.

Over the past 60 years that the camp has been in operation, every sitting president has used it as their retreat and also as a place to bring world leaders to discuss world events. On September 25, 1959, President Eisenhower and Chairman Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union, flew to Camp David by helicopter. From their meetings, the phrase "Spirit of Camp David" was coined to denote what has been thought to be a more amicable attitude toward world problems.

Since then, Camp David has been a favorite place for presidents and first families. Its recreational facilities and complete privacy from outside intrusion offers a place to work, relax and play, as well as a place to host formal and informal meetings. Camp David provides many outdoor recreational activities ranging from nature walks and running to golf and skeet shooting.

In July 1978, a personal invitation from President Jimmy Carter to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin to meet at Camp David was delivered by Secretary of State Vance. Both men accepted and the Camp David Summit was scheduled for September. Lasting 14 consecutive days, the summit lead to September 17th joint signing of the Middle East Peace Negotiations that became known as the Camp David Accords.

President Ronald Reagan who holds the record for most visits by a president at 517 days said in reference to his days at Camp David, "Of all the things about the presidency, we will miss Camp David the most." The 41st President George Bush, before his farewell from Camp David on Jan. 18, 1993, stated: "We Bush's have never considered you troops. You are family ... friends."

The natural appearance of Camp David has changed little since 1942. The cabins are rustic board and batten construction. The native woods have been maintained wherever possible and every effort is made to maintain the natural beauty of the camp and retain the rustic flavor.

As members of the Camp David team we provide world-class service to the commander-in-chief, the first family, their guests and staff. Each member of our team is vital and has a role to play in achieving excellence and the mission. Our command always maintains an absolute regard for the president's privacy, security and safety.

Our supply team consists of mess management specialists, storekeepers, and ship's serviceman, all of which envision and strive to meet our mission of service to the president. Each member is highly motivated and well trained. As a member of the team, you will not only work in the normal capacity of your rating but you may serve as a member of the command cordon for head of state visit arrivals, or a member of the Camp's Volunteer Fire Department.

Mess management specialists serve in multiple capacities ranging from preparing galley meal service for our crew to providing five star services to the president, first lady, and their guests at the Laurel Conference Center. Additionally, as a member of our Guest Operations staff, you will assist in providing world class services through operation of 13 guest cabins, 2 conference centers, 12 VIP suites and the Mountain Top Cafe.

Assigned to Camp David you may have the opportunity to attend the Starkey School, Culinary Arts School at Fort Lee, and bartending school. You will also progress towards award of NEC [Navy Enlisted Classification] 3530 for completion of Starkey's and Fort Lee Culinary Arts School.

Additionally, you will receive various in camp training opportunities with the Naval Supply System Command corporate chef and master chefs from the Culinary Arts Institute of America.

Storekeepers are responsible for a multitude of operations, including management of a multimillion dollar budget, warehousing, contracting, servmart operations, and numerous Camp David specific accountability programs.

Storekeepers serve as night club managers during presidential visits in Hickory, which serves as the president's all hands club, and supervise the movie theater and bowling alley. Training opportunities include Defense Acquisition University courses in contracting and simplified acquisition, bartending school, civilian fire fighter training and various hazardous material courses.

Ship's servicemen are responsible for the management of Shangri-La all hands club and game room. They perform their same shipboard functions operating vending services and the ship's store located in Hickory, which average annual sales in excess of $400,000. Additionally, the ship's serviceman supervise the daily operations of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Division, barber shop, mail order catalog business, and video arcade.

As a ship's serviceman on board Camp David training opportunities include bartending school, barber school, civilian fire fighter training and various recreational training classes.

Do you have what it takes to be a member of the Camp David Team?

If you are interested in applying for a position at Camp David or have any questions please contact YNCS (AW) Edwards at e-mail,, (301) 271-1406/1400, DSN: 376-9000ext. 4-1406/1400, or YN1 (SW/AW) Gross at e-mail,, (301) 271-1404/ 1400, DSN: 376-9000 ext. 4-1404/1400.

LT Joe McGaha has served as Assistant Supply Officer, Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Sasebo Japan, and as Supply Officer in USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and Mine Countermeasure Rotation Crew Foxtrot.

Lieutenant Joseph A. McGaha, SC, USN, Supply Officer, Naval Support Facility, Thurmont, Md.
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Author:McGaha, Joseph A.
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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