Junior Officers of the Year
The Submarine Force Honors its Top Junior Officers

by Molly Little


The Junior Officers of the Year at the Navy Memorial.
Photo by Molly Little

You are immediately placed in a position where you are given the chance to make a positive impact both on the Navy and on the global community, a chance to defend the country. Take advantage of that opportunity, and make sure the lives of the sailors around you and in the boat are improved by your presence.
—Lt. Nicholas E. Saflund,
USS Cheyenne (SSN-773)

Every year submarine squadrons select the best and brightest from their wardrooms to be Junior Officers of the Year (JOOY). The process begins with the commanding officers of each boat and submarine tender nominating one of their junior officers. These nominations are then submitted to the squadron and each squadron picks one junior officer that best demonstrates superior seamanship, management, leadership, tactical and technical knowledge to be their representative.

The 2008 JOOYs are: Lt. Nicholas Bogaard, USS North Carolina (SSN- 777); Lt. William F. Cunningham, USS Alaska (SSBN-732); Lt. Michael Eliason, USS Los Angeles (SSN-688); Lt. David Hart, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN-708); Lt. Adam Zaker, USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN-705); Lt. Luke Swartz, USS Ohio (SSGN-726)(G); Lt. j.g. Jeremy Parm, USS Springfield (SSN-761); Lt. j.g. Michael Mazzone, USS Virginia (SSN-774); Lt. j.g. Cory Schneberger, USS Scranton (SSN-756); Lt. j.g. Ryan Hackman, USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723); Lt. j.g. Kevin Moeller, USS Annapolis (SSN-760); Lt. j.g. Jeremy Medlin, USS Florida (SSGN-728)(B); Lt. j.g. John R. Nakel, USS Seawolf (SSN-21); Lt. j.g. Nicholas E. Saflund, USS Cheyenne (SSN-773); Lt. j.g. Russell Jones, USS Topeka (SSN-754); Lt. j.g. Jesse Birbach, USS Kentucky (SSBN-737)(B); Lt. j.g. Travis Wagner, USS Emory S. Land (AS-39); Lt. j.g. Charles E. Barreras, USS Frank Cable (AS-40).

In honor of the significant achievements of each JOOY, a recognition program honored their contributions to the Submarine Force during a four day stay in Washington, D.C. for each JOOY and their spouse. While visiting the nation’s capital, the junior officers (JO) had the opportunity to talk with some of the top leaders of the Navy, including: Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations; Adm. Kirkland Donald, Director, Naval Reactors; Adm. Patrick Walsh, Vice Chief of Naval Operations; Rear Adm. Bruce Grooms, Director, Submarine Warfare; Rear Adm. Patrick Brady, Deputy Director, Submarine Warfare; and Rear Adm. Tom Eccles, Deputy Commander for Undersea Warfare (NAVSEA 07).

The JOOYs and their spouses also had opportunities to tour the Office of Naval Research, the Capitol, the Navy Memorial, the Naval Observatory, the White House, the Navy Museum, the Smithsonian Museums, and the Pentagon.

The experiences of the JOOYs and their spouses while in Washington, D.C., are chronicled through the photographs of their visit and insights they shared with UNDERSEA WARFARE.

Ms. Little is the managing editor of UNDERSEA WARFARE Magazine.


Lt. Mitch Eliason, Lt. David Hart, and Lt. j.g. Michael Mazzone at the Navy Memorial.
Photo by Molly Little
Always have a positive attitude—it is going to make what you are doing not so bad and as an officer, your attitude is mirrored in the guys that work for you.
Lt. j.g. Jeremy Parm, USS Springfield (SSN-761)
Knowledge is power. Knowing what you are supposed to do and having the confidence to do it is a characteristic of true leadership.
Lt. j.g. Jeremy Medlin, USS Florida (SSGN-728)(Blue)


The JOO Ys with their wives and Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations.
Photo by Molly Little

I think the best thing about being a submarine JO is the amount of back up and support you get, whether it be from your watch team, your division or your wardroom.
—Lt. Nicholas Bogaard, USS North Carolina (SSN-777)

Lt. j.g. Cory Schneberger walks along the wall at the Navy Memorial.
Photo by Molly Little
There are great lessons to be learned from your chiefs and first class petty officers, as well as senior leadership at your command.
—Lt. j.g. Travis Wagner, USS Emory S. Land (AS-39)

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