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Surface Forces Awards First Ever SWO of the Year

By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Elena Velazquez

SAN DIEGO - The inaugural Surface Warfare Officer of the Year award was presented to Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Tamulevich by Commander, Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. D. C. Curtis in the wardroom aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), Nov. 30.

Twenty-five officers from throughout surface forces were nominated by their respective leadership for this award. Tamulevich's record rose above the rest after a thorough review of all submissions.

"This award recognizes the best of the best in the surface warfare community and, as expected, the competition was extremely close,” said Curtis. “Everyone nominated for this elite group is to be commended and awarded for their dedication and demonstrated superior performance.”

Tamulevich, a native of Annapolis, Md., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a major in oceanography. He was commissioned in 1999 and now serves on the John Paul Jones as the combat systems officer.

“I still find myself in awe at having received this distinction,” said Tamulevich. “I know many of the other nominees and have the highest respect and admiration for them. They are terrific leaders and mentors in the surface community, and to find myself as the inaugural recipient of this award is both humbling and an honor.”

John Paul Jones Commanding Officer Cmdr. Sam Hancock was very confident in his nomination of Tamulevich, saying he had all the qualities a SWO of the year should have.

“I was looking for a true leader and warfighter that personified today's SWO and someone a young officer could look up to and gain inspiration from,” said Hancock. “Tamulevich is an all around superb naval officer and true warfighter. He is a standout leader in my wardroom and on the waterfront. I could not ask for a better officer - he was an obvious choice.”

Several Sailors who work with Tamulevich on a daily basis offered their opinions regarding the quality of leadership provided by the SWO of the Year winner.

“I view [Tamulevich] as a leader who is focused on the mission and the tasks that come with the demands of the U.S. Navy and our country,” said Information Systems Technician 1st class (SW) Ronnie Scott. “I would jump at the chance to serve on a ship under his command.”

Senior Chief Fire Controlman (SW) said, “Tamulevich leads from the front; be it his tactical knowledge, his mentorship or his true regard for the personal lives of his Sailors. I have yet to meet a Sailor that has not grown or benefited from having him in their chain of command.”

Tamulevich was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal and will be recognized at the Surface Navy Association Symposium in January. A plaque in his honor will also be displayed at the Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, R. I.

The SWO of the Year award was created by SURFOR to recognize the SWO who best personifies the ideals of SWO pride: excellence in warfighting and leadership, expertise in tactics, engineering, and weapons systems, and a commitment to mission accomplishment through superior professionalism and personal example.

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