Commander, Submarine Group Two

The former Chief Electronics Technician Nicholas Knights of USS Helena
(SSN 725) received his commission as an officer in the U. S. Navy via the
Limited Duty Officer (LDO) Program on March 4.
Chief Electronics Technician Receives Commission

KITTERY, Maine – Chief Electronics Technician Nicholas Knights of USS Helena (SSN 725) received his commission as an officer in the U. S. Navy via the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) Program at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s Thresher Memorial Chapel on March 4. 

LDOs are technically-oriented officers who perform duties of specific occupational fields and have demonstrated strong managerial skills.  As technical managers of the line or staff corps, LDOs progressively advance within broad technical fields related to their former enlisted ratings.  They fill leadership and management positions at the Ensign through Captain levels that require technical background and skills not attainable through normal development within other officer designators.

“The term limited duty officer is somewhat of a misnomer, said Helena commanding officer Cmdr. Paul Dinius, who was the ceremony’s guest speaker.  “As is the case with nearly all the LDOs I have come into contact with, their expertise and knowledge is not limited at all.” 

After Dinius spoke, the floor was given to Ensign Knights where he recounted his career journey to this point.

“I never could have guessed I would be at this point 14-years ago.  I never intended to join the Navy until (my friend) Morgan suggested a trip to Tampa to begin the enlistment process and asked me to come with,” said Knights.  “I was just along for the ride.  It was Morgan who wanted to sign up, but here I am 14 years later, receiving a commission, still along for the ride.” 

Knights went on to thank his wife, Heidi, who has stood by him every step of the way and was there for another milestone in Knights’ career.  Upon receiving his commission, Knights received his first salute from Helena crewmember and close friend Chief Hospital Corpsman Brandon Conder.  Knights passed his chief’s anchors on to Electronics Technician 2nd Class Wesley Quimoyog.

Knights, a native of Port Charlotte, Fla, enlisted in the Navy in June 1997.  His first assignment was aboard USS Los Angeles (SSN 688) where he earned is warfare qualification in submarines.  In September 2005, he reported aboard Helena as leading petty officer for Radio Division.  During his tour aboard Helena, he led his division to two Communications Green “C” Awards, was selected Sailor of the Quarter and Sailor of the Year, and was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in 2008.

Knights earned five Navy Achievement Medals, two Good Conduct Medals and several unit citations.  His next assignment will be on the staff of Commander of Submarine Squadron Six in Norfolk, VA.

The LDO Program provides commissioning opportunities to qualified senior enlisted personnel such as Chief Petty Officers (E-7 through E-9), and E-6 personnel who are selection board-eligible for E-7 as well as Chief Warrant Officers.  LDOs are affectionately known as ‘Mustangs’ because they are considered a creature of mixed and multiple breeds.  LDOs serve as, but are not limited to serving as, division officers, department heads, Executive Officers and Commanding Officers, ashore or afloat. 

- USN -