Naval Order of the United States


The Charleston Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States was granted its Charter in April of 2011. NOUS’s commitment to preserving American Naval history was a perfect fit for Charleston, with its rich, long-standing Naval tradition and our community’s wide range of current and former Navy and other maritime services personnel.

Since being chartered, our Commandery has grown to over 70 companions, making ours one of the fastest-growing groups in the Naval Order. The values and objectives of the oldest naval historical society in the country remain at the core of the Charleston Commandery: maritime history, heritage, and fellowship.

If you have an abiding pride in our naval history and are committed to preserving and promoting this heritage with like-minded men and women, perhaps the Charleston Commandery of the Naval Order is for you.

Charleston Commandery contact email is

  • Commander: RADM Robert E. Besal, USN (Ret)
  • Vice Commander: CAPT Jerry Rovner, USN (Ret)
  • Vice Commander - Administration: 
  • Vice Commander - DSS Programs: 
  • Vice Commander - Membership: 
  • Vice Commander - Public Affairs: Don Campagna
  • Treasurer: John Witty  
  • Judge Advocate: William Prewitt
  • Historian: CDR Robert “Fuzzy” Knight, USN (Ret)
  • Master-at-Arms: Andrew Barrett
  • Commandery Companions: CAPT Thomas J. Brown, USN (Ret), Susan Rovner, David V. Petty, J. Michael Alford



Commandery meetings are held each month, with the exception of July and August. An email reminder with details and Distinguished Speaker program information is sent during the first week of the month, as are notices of local events of particular interest to our Companions. All Companions are encouraged to attend the annual NOUS Congress, this year being held in New Orleans, LA in late October. See for additional information. Spouses are considered companions of the Charleston Commandery, and members are encouraged to bring guests and propose like-minded others for membership locally and in other Commanderies across the country.

More information about joining The Naval Order of The United States >



Dues are invoiced annually by both the Naval Order and the Charleston Commandery.  

Membership Applications to NOUS should include a check in the amount of $50 ($40 dues plus $10 application fee) payable to Naval Order of the United States, and a separate check in the amount of $25/$35 (see details below) payable to Charleston Commandery.

  • Annual NOUS dues are invoiced each year in January, and are  currently in the amount of $40. We encourage you to consider LIFE membership in the Naval Order.

  • Local Commandery dues are invoiced in January, currently in the amount of $25 for NOUS members/$35 for couples.

NOUS membership does not require that you become or remain a member of the Charleston Commandery, but Charleston companions must be in good standing with NOUS in order to participate in the local Commandery.



If you have any questions on the above information or Commandery calendar of events, please contact us by emailing