Commander, Submarine Group Two


PCU Minnesota Officially Unveils their New Logo

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- More than 100 high school and college students submitted entries for the 2011 Pre-Commissioning Unit Minnesota (SSN 783) logo contest, but one talented high school student's rendering took top honors, during the official logo unveiling, Dec. 16.

The official unveiling of the logo was held at the Minnesota Twins Target Field Champions Club. Minnesota High School student Jakob Bartels' rendering was displayed as the official logo for PCU Minnesota. 

Cmdr. John Fancher, commanding officer, PCU Minnesota and three crew members attended the unveiling to congratulate Bartels in person.

"We are so proud of Jakob and all of the other students who submitted their designs. Their interest and connection with our submarine has created a bond between a world-class submarine and the world-class state her name represents," said Fancher. "The winning logo will shape the ship's identity and be a part of Minnesota's history during the submarine’s lifespan of more than 30 years."

The contest was launched on Aug. 8 and sponsored by the Navy League's USS Minnesota Commissioning Committee. The winning logo was selected by crew members of the submarine. Bartels will receive a $1,500 college scholarship from FedEx and an all-expense paid trip for the winner and a guest to the commissioning ceremony in Norfolk in late 2013 paid for by Swagelok.

Fancher added that the winning artist who designed the logo has family members who have served the United States proudly. Prior to the visit to Minnesota for the unveiling he corresponded with Bartels' mother, Anne, who relayed their family’s patriotic background and contributions to our nation's history.

"The great uncle of Jakob's great-grandmother (Mary Werden Whiteside) was Rear Adm. Reed Werden, who earlier in his career served aboard the steam frigate USS Minnesota, which served in the Union Navy during the Civil War and most notably fought at the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between Iron Clads," said Fancher.

Anne discussed her son's background and interest in drawing, something that he has practiced since the age of three.

"When Jakob set out to do this logo, he didn't find out about the contest until October," said Anne. "Instead of quickly finishing the logo, he strived to do the very best job that he could."

She said that he has entered art contests at the Minnesota State Fairs numerous times throughout the years.  Anne encouraged her son to do the very best not just in drawing but in all facets of life.

"He expresses himself through artwork, but is a real quiet leader with a drive for excellence," said Anne.

During their four-day visit to the land of 10,000 lakes, Fancher and several crew members will participate in several events to showcase their new design to include attending the New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings game on Dec. 18, as well as visit many of the schools who submitted logos.

"We are so proud of our commissioning committee, the State of Minnesota and everyone who has played a part in making this logo a reality," said Fancher.

Commissioning Committee member and Minnesota Navy League President Dave Hutton explained the significance of the logo and the tie with the state of Minnesota.

"This logo will be the visual 'brand' of the ship and it's very fitting that the strength of Minnesotans is represented by a proud Viking warrior.  Jacob also captured the message in Latin, 'Ex Septentrio, Virtus' which means when translated, "From the North Star, Power,'" said Hutton. "The incredible quality of all of the entries is a tribute to the talent of Minnesota students and they should all be proud of their work.  We look forward to continued work with the crew and spreading the message that the state of Minnesota is represented by this fine submarine."

The Minnesota Navy League coordinated a video created by Newport News Shipbuilding and the Minnesota crew that played during the Twins game to a crowd of nearly 40,000 on Aug. 8.

Jennifer Dunn, director of communications, Newport News Shipbuilding, and staff members created the video and discussed the teamwork they've experienced.

"The state of Minnesota has truly embraced its namesake submarine from the earliest stages of construction," Dunn said. "We appreciate the Navy League's support, interest and enthusiasm, and this logo contest reflects another creative way they are bringing a piece of their state to their submarine. We look forward to incorporating Jakob's logo design into the christening ceremony later this year, and to continuing our partnership with the state and with Cmdr. Fancher and his crew."

Under construction and set for delivery in 2013, PCU Minnesota will be the 10th of a projected 30 Virginia-class submarines. This will be only the third ship to be named after Minnesota, with the last one being more than a century ago in 1905. To Navy leaders, coming up with the right logo for this ship, are a vital piece of building the identity and culture of the crew.