Ten officers from across the Pacific Fleet Surface Force were nominated for the award. To compete for the award, they were required to demonstrate their knowledge on a variety of topics, including tactics, engineering, and navigation.
I had stellar leadership, peers and colleagues; and the crew, they were supportive," said Jacobsen. "It not only bolstered my individual success, but the success of the team. So being the SWO of the year, it s an individual recognition, but I couldn t have done it without the Preble crew.
Jacobson also thanked the staff of Destroyer Squadron 23, and the others who were nominated for the award.
I would like to congratulate my peers who were nominated for this distinction, she said. I m very honored to serve alongside them in what I consider to be the world s finest Navy.
She said that not only are there years of training and learning at a command that have accumulated, but that she was also the direct beneficiary of that collective knowledge.
Surface warfare is really a team sport, she said. It s about passion for the profession. Everyone contributes to the success of the group or to an individual.
Taking Control of Change
Her drive to constantly find ways to improve the command was noted by Cmdr. John Bowman, commanding officer of Preble, who was executive officer during the time Jacobson was aboard.
She was an innovator, looking for problems and finding solutions, he said. It s no surprise to me that [Jacobson] was selected as the SWO of the Year.
Jacobson served as the weapons officer and combat systems officer on board Preble from May 2012 to June 2015, deploying twice in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
She said that sometimes great improvements can be made by small, easily achievable changes, by taking charge of factors you have control over to balance the ones you don t.
Life on a ship is inherently dangerous, but we can mitigate those risks by changing the things that we can shape, said Jacobson. How much sleep a person receives the night before a major evolution, that s something we can affect and those are things that have to be looked at and should be looked at to see if things make sense and if they don t -- well, then we change them.
The first major change she was a part of on Preble was switching to shorter watches, with more time off.
That allowed for our crew to get in the normal circadian rhythm, said Jacobson. At least it allowed for the opportunity to do so with static watches. It went over very well with the crew.
Jacobson says that these kinds of small changes in conditions made a huge impact on morale and unit cohesion.
Sleep is paramount to being a good Sailor, a good decision maker, and a good warrior, she said.
Jacobson joined the Navy in 2004 after graduating from the Tulane University Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program in New Orleans, and holds a Master of Science in Operations Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School. She is currently assigned to the Federal Executive Fellowship Program at Research and Development Corporation in Washington, D.C.