Retired Edmonds naval officer to speak on security in a post-9/11 world

Staser Holcomb

Starting this Wednesday, Oct. 5, the Global Affairs Center at Shoreline Community College will present a series of four seminars in October aimed at examining how life has changed since the September 2001 terrorist attacks. The center is directed by Edmonds resident Larry Fuell and two of the seminar speakers are from Edmonds.

Discussions will focus on four areas:  security, our response to terrorism, interfaith cooperation, and military service and veterans’ support. Each seminar runs from 7-8:30 p.m. in room 9208 PUB  (Quiet Dining Room) at Shoreline Community College. They are free and open to the public.

Oct. 5: Thinking about Security in a Post-9/11 World
– Edmonds resident Staser Holcomb, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired)
The events of September 11, 2001, changed the way we think about personal, national and international security. As a close adviser to Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld and Gates, Admiral Holcomb had a front-row seat for viewing how such thinking evolved over the past decade in the U.S. government.

Oct. 12:  Responding to Terrorism
– Eric Schinfeld, President, Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT) and Federal Policy Director, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, “Economic Opportunity vs. Terrorism: The Role of International Trade”
– Bill Center of Edmonds, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired), former President of Rotary Club of Seattle, and former President, WCIT, “Rethinking America’s Response to Terrorism.”

As our understanding of the nature and sources of international terrorism deepens, so too does the scope of our responses. With us to discuss those responses are two individuals with experience in commerce, trade, as well as the use of military power.

Oct. 19:   Religious Tolerance and Cooperation
– Michael Ramos, Executive Director, Church Council of Greater Seattle
What have we learned since September 11, 2001, about our own and others’ religious values, traditions and practices?  Is one religious faith more compatible than another with our social, economic and political circumstances?  Are we becoming more or less tolerant of others of different religious faiths?

Oct. 26:   Veterans’ Services and Support
-Scott Swaim, LMHC, President, Milspec Advisory Group, LLC, Federal Way, WA; Advisor to Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
How have military service and public attitudes toward such service changed since September 11, 2001?  What are the needs of men and women in the military and how can we understand and accommodate those needs?

More on Staser Holcomb:

Staser Holcomb grew up in Seattle.  He graduated from Roosevelt High School, and attended the US Naval Academy. He served in uniform for 36 years, retiring as a vice admiral in 1985.

A carrier pilot, he flew from 18 different aircraft carriers.  He commanded a carrier squadron, served as XO of Saratoga (CV-60), and then commanded Guam (LPH-9), Carrier Group ONE, and the US SEVENTH Fleet.

In several Pentagon tours–working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the staff of the Secretary of the Navy, and the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations–he became expert in Defense Planning, Programming and Budgeting.  He served as Senior Military Assistant to two Secretaries of Defense.

After retiring from the Navy, he became a senior executive at USAA—the insurance and financial services provider for military families headquartered in San Antonio. Staser and his wife, Joanne, moved to Edmonds in 1997. He has been active in the Rotary Club, in church work, and in many other volunteer activities.


Between 2001 and 2006, he spent about half of his time in Washington, DC, where he assisted the Secretary of Defense in transforming the process used for promoting and assigning senior military officers . . . as special assistant for succession planning.

He and Joanne have five children (three of whom became naval officers) and 10 grandchildren.


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