Oklahoma City Displays “Right Spirit” While Undergoing Overhaul
Kittery, Maine—The third pennant in Submarine Group TWO’s “Right Spirit” pennant program was presented to USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) May 13.
Submarine Group TWO Representative, Captain Michael Martin, awarded the “Right Spirit” pennant to Oklahoma City commanding officer Cmdr. Aaron Thieme for the crew going 400 days without a driving under the influence (DUI) related incident.
“Oklahoma City is the first boat to earn this recognition while at [Portsmouth Naval] shipyard,” said Martin. Martin then expounded on the unique challenges faced by a crew undergoing an extended overhaul vice a deployment.
“More than 400 days is no small accomplishment,” said Thieme. “This can only be accomplished by taking responsibility for yourselves and your fellow Sailors.”
As their commanding officer spoke, the crew displayed their “Safe Ride” cards. The Safe Ride program is sponsored by the chiefs and first class petty officers assigned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the submarines in overhaul. The cards are available to all Sailors and have names and numbers to call when a designated driver is not available. “If you choose to have a drink,” said Thieme. “Make the smart choice to call for a safe ride.”
“This pennant will serve as a constant reminder of your accomplishments as individuals and as a team,” said Martin. “The goal is to have an Alcohol Incident free Navy—that begins with a DUI free Navy and crews like that on Oklahoma City.”
The first pennant was awarded to the crew of USS Hartford (SSN 768) in October 2009 after they passed their 1,000th DUI-free day. The second pennant was awarded to USS North Carolina (SSN 777) in December 2009 after they completed 2,000 days without a DUI incident.
The pennant is Navy blue with gold lettering and includes a gold star for each year the command is DUI free. A pennant with a single silver star represents five-consecutive years without a DUI incident. Commands are authorized to fly the pennant as long as they are DUI free.
The Right Spirit Campaign, initiated by the secretary of the Navy in 1995, was designed to enhance fleet readiness by the reduction of alcohol abuse and related incidents, to provide a safe and productive working environment and to ensure quality of life while de-glamorizing alcohol use. This pennant was the brainchild of waterfront leadership. Submarine Group TWO's Navy Alcohol and Drug Control officer designed and implemented the idea.
Oklahoma City arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) in September 2008 for an Engineered Overhaul. PNSY, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, provides the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet with quality overhaul work in a safe, timely and affordable manner. This includes a full spectrum of in-house support—from engineering services and production shops, to unique capabilities and facilities, to off-site support—all of which serves the multifaceted assortment of fleet requirements.
100513-N-6553L-001 KITTERY, Maine (May 13, 2010) – Capt. Michael Martin, Submarine Group 2 Shipyard Representative, speaks to the crew of USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) about the importance of the “Right Spirit” pennant. Martin presented the pennant to Oklahoma City, the third submarine to receive it, for having more than 400 driving under the influence (DUI) free days. . U.S. Navy photo by Jeremy Lambert, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Public Affairs.
100513-N-6553L-002 KITTERY, Maine (May 13, 2010) – Capt. Michael Martin, Submarine Group 2 Shipyard Representative, presents the Right Spirit pennant to Cmdr. Aaron Thieme, USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) Commanding Officer, and Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Jason Dinkel, Oklahoma City Chief of the Boat, May 13. Oklahoma City is currently undergoing an overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. U.S. Navy photo by Jeremy Lambert, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Public Affairs.