Story Number: NNS140306-15
Release Date: 3/6/2014 2:00:00 PM
By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs
NORFOLK (NNS) — The 2013 Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT) Senior and Junior Sailors of the Year (SOY) were announced March 5.
The winners were recognized by Vice Adm. Michael Connor, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, during a luncheon held at the Pennsylvania House, Naval Station Norfolk.
“No successful force is without engaged Sailors fully focused in their roles as warfighters,” said Connor. “Today, we are in the company of such Sailors -our sea and shore Sailors of the Year. They represent a generation of submarine warfighters who have demonstrated the skill and the work ethic to ensure our continued dominance of the Undersea Domain, and continue to be the backbone of the country’s nuclear strategic deterrent. Congratulations to these amazing Sailors and their families.”
The 2013 SUBLANT Senior Sea Sailor of the Year was Petty Officer First Class James R. Gagnon, a submarine-qualified and nuclear-trained electrician’s mate assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Montpelier (SSN 765), home ported in Norfolk. The East Brunswick, N.J., native graduated from East Brunswick High School in 2001, and joined the Navy in February 2002.
Petty Officer First Class Joseph A. Stockton was recognized as the 2013 SUBLANT Senior Shore Sailor of the Year. He is a submarine-qualified and nuclear-trained machinist’s mate assigned to the Nuclear Regional Maintenance Department, Kings Bay, Ga. Born in Levittown, Pa., the 28-year-old Sailor is a 2004 graduate of Pennsbury High School in Levittown, and joined the Navy, October 2004.
As the Senior Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year, Gagnon and Stockton will represent SUBLANT in the Atlantic Fleet Sailor of the Year competition conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC). The fleet competition will be held later in March with other Atlantic Fleet type command winners. The Atlantic Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year winner from that competition will be meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer, while the Atlantic Fleet Shore Sailor of the Year winner will enter the Chief of Naval Operations competition in Washington, D.C.
The 2013 SUBLANT Junior Sea Sailor of the Year was Petty Officer Second Class Gregory A. Heruth, and the 2013 SUBLANT Junior Shore Sailor of the Year was Petty Officer Second Class Jimmy L. Gee.
Heruth is a submarine-qualified machinist’s mate who was assigned to the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) (Blue Crew), home ported in Kings Bay, Ga. Born in Virginia Beach, Va., the 25-year-old Sailor is a 2006 graduate of West Springfield High School in Springfield, Va., and joined the Navy in July 2007.
Gee is a submarine-qualified machinist’s mate assigned to the TRIDENT Refit Facility in Kings Bay, Ga. A native of Oklahoma City, he is a graduate of Davis High School in Davis, Okla., and joined the Navy in January 2007. Walters was also CSG10 Junior Shore Sailor of the Year.
Force Master Chief Wesley Koshoffer, SUBLANT Force Master Chief, stated he was impressed with this special group of enlisted submariners.
“Anyone who has concerns about the current generation and their ability to serve in the military or guide us in the future, needs to spend some time around our Sailors,” said Koshoffer. “I am honored to serve alongside them and inspired by their incredible performance. These Sailors are superstars at their commands who continually strive to improve themselves and everyone around them. Their impact goes beyond the Navy…they contribute in their communities. To say I am proud is an understatement. They motivate me. I sleep well at night knowing that they are on watch.”
The other candidates for Senior Sea Sailor of the year were Petty Officer First Class Michael Nickel, a submarine-qualified machinist’s mate from the Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781), home ported in Groton, Conn., and Petty Officer First Class Avery Farrish, a submarine-qualified electrician’s mate assigned to the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) (Gold Crew), home ported in Kings Bay, Ga.
Petty Officer First Class Ryan Hamilton, a submarine-qualified fire control technician assigned to the Navy Submarine Torpedo Facility, Yorktown, Va., and Petty First Class Anthony Madrid, a surface warfare and expeditionary warfare-qualified interior communications electrician assigned to the Regional Support Group in Groton, Conn., were the other finalists for Senior Shore Sailor of the Year.
The other candidates for Junior Sea Sailor of the Year were Petty Officer Second Class Kyle Liggett, a submarine-qualified sonar technician (submarines) currently assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757), home ported in Groton, Conn., and Petty Officer Second Class Jared Fouke, a submarine-qualified machinist’s mate from the Pre-Commissioning Unit John Warner, a Virginia-class attack submarine being built in Newport News, Va.
Finalists for Junior Shore Sailor of the Year were Petty Officer Second Class Scott Burgess, a submarine-qualified logistics technician assigned to the headquarters staff at Commander, Submarine Group Two in Groton, Conn., and Petty Officer Second Class Amber Miller, an information dominance warfare-qualified information systems technician assigned to the staff of Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic in Norfolk.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/sublant/.