News: Submarine Group 9 recognizes Pacific Northwest's top submarine sailors
Story by Chief Petty Officer Ahron Arendes
BANGOR, Wash. - Five sailors from Pacific Northwest submarine force sea and shore commands were recognized as the Submarine Group (CSG) 9 Sailors and Junior Sailors of the Year and U.S. Strategic Command Combined Task Force (CTF) 134 Mid-Tier Enlisted Sailor of the Year Dec. 13 during a luncheon at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SS) Scott Koenig of USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) was selected as the Sea Sailor of the Year (SOY) and Navy Counselor 1st Class (SCW/FMF) Sara Dozier of Naval Submarine Support Center (NSSC) Bangor was selected as the Shore SOY.
Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Alexander Zufriategui of USS Michigan (SSGN 727) Blue Crew was selected as the Sea Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY) and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SG/FMF) Christopher Towle of Submarine Development Squadron (SUBDEVRON) 5 was selected as the Shore JSOY.
Missile Technician 1st Class (SS) Patrick Miller of USS Alabama (SSBN 731) Blue Crew was selected as the U.S. Strategic Command Combined Task Force (CTF) 134 Mid-Tier (E-5/E-6) Enlisted Sailor of the Year.
"It's a very humbling time for me, because there's some tough competition," said Dozier. "If it wasn't for the junior sailors with me helping them and for my mentors, the chiefs, the senior chiefs and my fellow first classes helping me out, I don't think I could be here today getting the Shore Sailor of the Year. I'm speechless right now. I was very surprised."
Koenig and Dozier will represent CSG-9 in the Commander, Submarine Forces Pacific Sailor of the Year competition, scheduled for March in San Diego.
Miller will represent the Navy, competing against other branches of service in the U.S. Strategic Command Combined Task Force (CTF) 134 Mid-Tier (E-5/E-6) Enlisted Service member of the Year competition in Nebraska.
"The whole reason I, and every one of us officers and chief petty officers, are where we are is because of the phenomenal people we've been able to work with and you folks we are celebrating here today. The Junior Sailors of the Year and Sailors of the Year are the epitome of the phenomenal people that make the submarine force work," said Commander of Submarine Group 9 Rear Adm. Dietrich Kuhlmann.
The SOY finalists were Electronics Technician 1st Class (SS) William Robertson, of SUBDEVRON 5, Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SS) Brandon Allphin, of USS Ohio (SSGN 726) Gold Crew, Yeoman 1st Class (SS) Trever Threde, of Submarine Squadron 19, Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SS/SW) Chad Villines, of CSG-9 staff, and Logistics Specialist 1st Class Kyle Bryant, of Priority Material Office, Bangor.
The JSOY finalists were Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Nicholas Harmeling, of USS Connecticut (SSN 22) Blue Crew, Electrician's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Joshua McCumber, of USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) Blue Crew, and Logistics Specialist 2nd Class (SS) Christopher Myers, of Priority Material Office, Bangor.
The Navy-wide Sailor of the Year program was initiated in 1972 by former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John "Jack" Whittet to recognize outstanding Atlantic and Pacific Fleet sailors. The Shore Sailor of the Year program was introduced in 1973.
Sponsored by the chief of naval operations, the program provides recognition to the Navy's outstanding sailors through numerous presentations, awards, and meritorious advancement to the next pay grade.