General John “Jack” M. Keane was the guest speaker at the 10th Annual Sweethearts and Patriots Gala on March 4, 2023, at The British Embassy. The young members of the DC SAR and DC DAR organized this annual event to raise funds for military charities. The proceeds raised from the 2023 gala will unlock potentially over $100,000 in life-saving assistance to active duty, veterans, caregivers, and families in need through Code of Support, which helps veterans in need navigate and access critical services.
Designed around 1928 by Sir Edwin Lutyens and built in 1931, the British Embassy is situated in a compound that is home to the ambassador’s residence and the old and new chanceries. By the 1950s, the old chancery was deemed too cramped, and the new chancery, designed by chief architect Eric Bedford, was constructed between 1955 and 1961, with Queen Elizabeth II laying the foundation stone on October 19, 1957. Part of the old chancery was converted into staff quarters, and the rest is currently occupied by the offices of the British Council.
Guests received welcoming comments by DC DAR Regent Beth Hicks and DC SAR President Bill Ritchie. The welcome to the British Embassy was offered by James Roscoe MVO, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy. Prior to his current position appointment in June 2022, Mr. Roscoe was the UK Ambassador to the UN General Assembly.
General Keane is a foreign policy and national security expert who provides nationwide analysis and commentary in speeches, articles, congressional testimony and through several hundred television and radio interviews annually. He serves as an advisor to presidents, cabinet officials, members of congress, international leaders, CEOs and business leaders. He is the Chairman of the Institute for the Study of War, a member of the prestigious Secretary of Defense Policy Board, having advised four Defense Secretaries and a member of the 2018 and 2022 Congressional Commission on the National Defense Strategy.
General Keane, a four-star general, completed 37 years of public service in December 2003, culminating in his appointment as acting Chief of Staff and Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
General Keane is the son of an immigrant mother, a WWII Marine father, a born and raised New Yorker, and a lifelong NY Yankee fan. He has commissioned as an infantry 2nd Lieutenant from Army ROTC as a Distinguished Military Graduate at Fordham University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree and received a Master of Arts degree from Western Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the Army War College and the Army Command and General Staff College.
Among his awards, General Keane was the first military leader to be honored with the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award and the prestigious Bradley Prize. In March 2020, General Keane was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House.
General Keane highlighted his military service and continuing support for American interests abroad while giving remarks. He discussed America’s commitments to our active-duty troops, veterans, and allies. General Keane talked about the importance the crisis in the Ukraine and the ongoing need to defend the rights of those seeking freedom abroad.
Among our very special guests were Rear Adm. Tim Woods, Robert Speer (Chairman of Code of Support and former Acting Secretary to the US Army), F. Whitten Peters, Thomas Siebert, retired Major Gen. Alan Salisbury, retired Major Gen. John Ewers, Gen. David Rodriguez and Capt. Pete Shoemaker.
Corporate and business sponsors include Anacostia-Pentalpha Lodge #21 FAAM, Acacia Wealth Management, Distillers Association (DISCUS), Norris CPA and Accounting, Opus One Studios, Trippe Supply Co of Washington, Pearmund Cellars, John Crouch Tobacconist, United Bank, National Capital Bank, HM2 Buck for Hope, National Defense Committee, SEI Private Trust Company, and Mission Dupont.
The gala individual sponsors include Mr. John Lavelle, Jr., Brig Gen. Ed Rodriguez, Aaron Schmerling, Mr. Joel Hinzman, and The Newman Family.
Sweethearts and Patriots began in 2014 to bring together the DC Community to benefit organizations that support the military, veterans and their families. The event chairpersons were DCSAR 3rd VP Geoffrey Newman and DC DAR Sweethearts & Patriots Gala chair Leigh Maltby.
The gala is sponsored by the District of Columbia Sons of the America Revolution (www.dcssar.org)