Posted by: arbeam | July 12, 2014

Keyport and Seawolf Sailors Honored by Navy League

Group NUWC Seawolf  SOY

2013 Sailors of the Year (SOYs) from USS SEAWOLF (SSN 21) and Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport were recognized by the Navy League of the United States Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council during a July 8th luncheon. Assembled left to right: Captain David Kohnke, Commanding Officer, NUWC Division Keyport; YN1(SW) Marcus Perkins, NUWC Division Keyport SOY; ET1(SS) Jonathan Panciera, USS SEAWOLF SOY; HMCS(SS) Dennis Custodio, representing USS SEAWOLF; and Council Vice President for Outreach, Erin Sorensen.


Silverdale, Washington. The USS SEAWOLF (SSN 21) and Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport 2013 Sailors of the Year (SOYs) were recognized by the Navy League of the United States (NLUS) Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council during a July 8th luncheon held at the Bangor Plaza on Naval Station Kitsap–Bangor. One of the missions of the NLUS is to support the men and women of the sea services and their families.

Each awardee was presented a soaring eagle statuette engraved with their names by Council Vice President for Outreach, Erin Sorensen. Senior Navy leaders representing the two commands were present to honor their stand-out Sailors for their hard work and individual efforts. Navy Captain David Kohnke, Commanding Officer, NUWC Division Keyport, was also the luncheon guest speaker. 

NUWC Division Keyport was established in 1914, and provides advanced technical capabilities for test and evaluation, in-service engineering, maintenance and industrial base support, Fleet material readiness, and obsolescence management for undersea warfare. The Kitsap Peninsula laboratory, also known as “Torpedo Town” for decades, operates and maintains unique precision underwater test ranges ranges managed as national assets. Established in 1950s, the ranges were the first 3-D underwater tracking ranges in the world.

Keyport SOYThe NUWC Division Keyport SOY is Yeoman First Class (Surface Warfare) Marcus Perkins. According to his citation, Perkins reinvigorated NUWC Division Keyport’s career development program by aggressively managing all career development boards, perform-to-serve quotas, and re-enlistments, resulting in 100% command retention. During a recent Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) Federal Organizational Climate Survey (FEOCS), his keen insight and communication skills contributed immensely to unit cohesion of over 1,500 military and civilian personnel. Additionally, he implemented a highly effective check-in and indoctrination process that was adopted by two other detachments.

Perkins also stood-out at the next level of competition, and was named the 2013 Naval Undersea Warfare Center SOY.

“We had gapped his billet for about a year and a half before he arrived,” recalled Kohnke. “We knew we needed somebody, but we didn’t know exactly how much we needed him until Petty Officer Perkins arrived. His title is Administrative Officer, a position normally filled by a Lieutenant. But he has done that very well as a First Class Petty Officer looking out for our Sailors.”

SeawolfThe USS SEAWOLF (SSN 21) SOY was Electronics Technician First Class (Submarines) Jonathan Panciera from Columbia, MD. According to his citation, his solid work ethic, consistent “can-do” attitude, and relentless pursuit of excellence directly brought-about his selection as SEAWOLF’s 2013 SOY. He was also cited as one the most technically competent and driven sailors onboard, as well as displaying dynamic leadership, technical expertise, and close supervision of departmental personnel. Panciera was credited with significant improvements in administration record keeping, operational proficiency, and overall performance.

SEAWOLF’s “Doc” (Independent Duty Corpsman), Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (Submarines) Dennis Custodio, who represented Panciera’s command at the ceremony had plenty of good things to say about his ships’ SOY. “As a leader, you always want to look for guys who can inspire junior men. Petty Officer Panciera is one of those guys. Whether in the Engineroom or in the forward part of the boat, he can easily transition between one or the other. Men just look up to him.”

The keel for SSN-21, the lead ship of the three-ship SEAWOLF Class, was laid down on October 25, 1989. The ship was launched on June 24, 1995, sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Dalton. SEAWOLF was commissioned on July 19, 1997 with Commander David McCall in command; and in 2007, it changed home port from Groton, CT to Bremerton, WA. The ship is assigned to Submarine Development Squadron 5 and conducts routine deployments in support of national security objectives. Often criticized as a “Cold War Relic,” the SEAWOLF Class is actually a highly formidable warship that introduced many innovations in submarine technology, as well as being quieter, faster, deeper-diving, and more heavily armed that the Los Angeles Class it replaced. Originally intended to be a 30-ship class of the most capable attack submarines in the world, only three SEAWOLFs were built in favor of the smaller and more affordable VIRGINIA Class.

The U.S. Navy established the SOY program to recognize superior performance of petty officers with emphasis on outstanding achievements, exemplary personal conduct and military bearing, and demonstrated initiative in performance. The recognition program starts at the unit level (ship, shore command, aviation squadron, etc.). Each winner then competes at the next higher organizational level until one Navy-wide SOY is selected for each of four areas: Pacific Fleet, Atlantic Fleet, Reserve Force, and Shore Support Commands.




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