Commander, Submarine Group Two


PCU Mississippi Sailor Selected as "Service Person of the Month"

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Mississippi (SSN 782) was selected as "Service Person of the Month" for September by the Southeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and other organizations for his support and efforts in the local community, Sept. 22.

Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SS/SW) James Pearson, of Owensboro, Kentucky, serves as the volunteer coordinator for Mississippi and has been aboard the boat since July 1010. He was honored for his work at a luncheon at the Groton Inn & Suites.

"My overall plan for Mississippi all along has been to inform the local community about the U.S. Navy, and in particular, PCU Mississippi," said Pearson. "I think more Sailors should volunteer in their local communities to really gain an appreciation for the community."

The Ledyard Rotary Club, which serves the Ledyard and southeastern Connecticut area, presented the Service Person of the Month award to Pearson. This program provides community recognition of outstanding active-duty enlisted personnel stationed in the Groton-New London area.

The program is coordinated by the Southeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with local active-duty military organizations and actively supported by local service clubs and civic organizations.

These organizations honor and celebrate the active-duty service members' accomplishments at monthly events sponsored by the clubs and organizations.

Since mid-2010, Sailors aboard Mississippi have assisted with countless projects from cooking for veterans in the local area; educating students about the military at John B. Stanton Elementary School; conducting repairs at the New London Homeless Hospitality Center to packing boxes for deployed Connecticut service members.

"Since becoming the community service coordinator in July 2010, he has recruited 55 crew members of PCU Mississippi to participate in the community service program," said Cmdr. John McGrath, commanding officer of PCU Mississippi. "These dedicated volunteers have donated over 90 hours of cumulative community service per month."

Pearson said their volunteer program was created to emphasize their interest in Connecticut, and their desire to offer assistance wherever necessary. The program has impacted more than 10,000 people.

"PCU Mississippi is extremely proud of Petty Officer Pearson and because of his hard work, dedication, and volunteer spirit. As a result of his efforts, the command enjoys a strong and vibrant relationship with the citizens, government, and civic organizations of New London County," said McGrath.

During the luncheon, Pearson cited the advice of football legend Vince Lombardi.

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand," said Pearson.