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What does it take to be selected as a Submarine Junior Officer of the Year (JOOY) from among the roughly 1,000 junior officers serving in submarines and submarine tenders? You need to have professional skills and personal deportment outstanding enough to win the nomination of your ship's commanding officer. Then you need to demonstrate complete mastery of mariner skills and the tactical employment of your ship. Finally, you need to be selected by your squadron commander.

In early April, the 15 JOOYs who emerged from this rigorous process in 2010 and their
significant others spent a week in Washington, D.C., meeting senior naval leaders, attending events that included the D.C.-area Submarine Ball, and getting in a bit of sightseeing on the side. While the 2010 JOOYs were visiting the Pentagon for meetings with naval leaders, UNDERSEA WARFARE Magazine had a chance to ask them what attracted them to submarines and continues to make a submarine career satisfying.

Lt. j.g. Bradley Rempfer, assigned to USS Frank Cable (AS 40), is currently qualifying as an engineer officer of the watch in the Navy's Limited Duty Officer Program. He enlisted in the Navy 16 years ago, inspired by his grandfather's stories of serving on a battleship in World War II. He said the Submarine Force has given him a "better quality of life, more job opportunities and better money."

Submarine Squadron Seventeen's Lt. Gregory Marvinsmith, from the Blue crew of USS Maine (SSBN 741), graduated from Harvard with degrees in chemistry and physics, a certificate in Spanish and varsity letters in water polo and lacrosse. As if all that weren't enough, he enrolled as a nuclear propulsion officer candidate after his sophomore year. "Military service was something important to me," he said. "I led a comfortable life growing up, and I wanted to earn that lifestyle."

Submarine Squadron Six's Lt. j.g. Brian Ross, from USS Montpelier (SSN 765), selected
submarines at the Naval Academy ('05) after two midshipmen cruises because he found the relationship between officers and enlisted Sailors "without walls of rank." He still finds that true. "I know when people's birthdays are, how many kids they have, their wives' names," he said. "It's really like a family." He also loves the adventure and opportunity to see the world, adding, "I don't know of any other job that has such potential for job satisfaction."


image caption follows (Top) Submarine JOOYs and their significant others with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead.
(Left) Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, greets the Submarine JOOYs.
Photos by Olivia Logan.

(Right) Submarine JOOYs and significant others pose with Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert around a model of USS Virginia (SSN 774). Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Church.

 

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