Silverdale, Washington. Four Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) 2014 Sailors of the Year (SOY) were recognized by the Navy League of the United States (NLUS) Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council during a December 9th luncheon held at the Bangor Plaza on NBK–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 President, Larry Salter. The luncheon guest speaker was Captain Mark Geronime, Commanding Officer of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest. NBK Commanding Officer, CAPT Thomas Zwolfer, and Command Master Chief, David Lynch, were also present to honor their high-performing Sailors for their dedication, teamwork, and individual efforts.
To kick-off the ceremony, Zwolfer thanked the Navy League for their on-going support of his organization, and gave a little background about its diversity. “I’d like to first thank the Navy League for recognizing our Sailors at Naval Base Kitsap. We have a lot of different things that we do on our installations…and it takes all of our Sailors to do that. We have a wide variety of different rates, unlike the small handful of rates on a submarine. At the base, we interact with many different rates and thus it was hard picking the best Sailors to recognize as our SOYs. This group is clearly our cream of the crop.”
The 2014 Senior SOY was Master-at-Arms First Class (MA1) (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Jason Stafford, from Houston, TX. According to his citation, Stafford reported to the NBK Security Department in November 2014 and was selected as the Department’s Leading Petty Officer. In that role, he directs 373 people in all aspects of force protection and law enforcement operations–82 Masters-at-Arms, 91 members of the Augmentation Security Force, and more than 200 Reserve Force Masters-at-Arms–securing over 38,000 NBK occupants on any given day. He also administers the Command’s Physical Fitness Program.
According to Lynch, “Stafford’s is a very important job and you could imagine the massive responsibility….You can tell the type of First Classes that will make great Chiefs [Chief Petty Officers], and this will be a great Chief in the future, hopefully in the next year.” Joking with Stafford, Lynch also told the audience, “So if you can’t get through the gate…well, we’ll be handing-out Petty officer Stafford’s phone number after the ceremony.”
The NBK 2014 SOY was Aviation Boatswain’s Mate–Equipment (ABE) Second Class (Air Warfare/Surface Warfare Specialist) Troy Cloe, of Pana, IL. According to his citation, Cloe reported to NBK in July 2013. He holds multiple collateral duties including Duty Manager Coordinator, Distinguished Visitor Coordinator, and Bremerton Unaccompanied Housing (UH) Sponsor. He became a Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Advocate and was hand-picked to work for three months helping with the turnover of the Navy’s Jackson Park housing development to private management firm Forrest City. Cloe also facilitates the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Management–Supervisors (ADAMS) course, and still makes time for college classes and the Junior Enlisted Association.
Lynch offered a personal note about Cloe, “I am one of his career mentors. He is one of the few Sailors on shore duty that have come to me and said ‘I want to go back to sea–even if it has to be TAD [Temporary Additional Duty]!’ He is quite the Sea Dog with a lot of sea time in his short career so far.”
The NBK 2014 Junior SOY was Master-at-Arms Third Class (MA3) James Lupo, of Cincinnati, OH. According to his citation, Lupo quickly became fully-qualified as a Patrolman, Field Training Officer, and Patrol Supervisor. He is also the Field Training Officer for Charlie Section. In August 2014, Lupo arrived on the scene of an unconscious, non-responsive Marine, upon whom he performed CPR and who he successfully resuscitated prior to EMS arrival.
Lynch further explained how Lupo, who already holds two bachelor’s degrees, was an Honor Graduate of his Navy Master-at-Arms training course, and is currently pursuing becoming an officer through the Navy’s enlisted commissioning programs. Lupo’s wife, Emma, was also on hand for the Navy League presentation.
When asked about why he chose to join the Navy, Lupo recalled how he grew-up within a family in which many members had or were serving in the military. But none of them had served in the Navy, so he felt it would be a great experience to round-out his family’s tradition of service in a new field.
MA3 (until recently a Seaman) Chelsea Deem, of Marysville, WA, is the 2014 NBK Bluejacket of the Year. According to her citation, Deem, who previously served in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is currently a Patrol Officer and Patrol Supervisor. She supervises eight Patrol Officers providing Security and Law Enforcement for over 38,000 NBK occupants on any given day. Deem is also an alumna of the NJROTC Program at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
Adding to Zwolfer’s remarks, Lynch also thanked the Navy League for their support. “I’ve been a Command Master Chief of some form for about 14 years now, and it’s always a great pleasure when I get to talk here. Your out-pouring of support for our Sailors is obviously very important; and I personally want to thank you.”
NBK was created in 2004 by merging the former Naval Station Bremerton with Naval Submarine Base Bangor. The mission of NBK is to serve as the host command for the Navy’s fleet throughout West Puget Sound and to provide base operating services, including support for both surface ships and submarines home-ported at Bremerton and Bangor. NBK also assumed management of base infrastructure for several previously stand-alone West Puget Sound facilities, such as Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division–Keyport, Naval Magazine Indian Island, and Manchester Navy Fuel Depot, so that they could concentrate on their core missions.