PACIFIC OCEAN -
A Sailor from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 was named the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) of the Year Aug. 29 during a ceremony on board USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
Lt. Cmdr. William Blodgett, currently the DESRON 7 operations officer, received the SWO of the Year award in recognition of outstanding leadership in surface warfare standards while serving as operations officer aboard USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) in 2010.
"I feel very honored, privileged and quite humbled to receive this award," Blodgett said.
The SWO of the Year award was instituted 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.
Rear Adm. Robert Girrier, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 7, presented Blodgett with the award and highlighted his accomplishments.
"The Surface Warfare Officer of the Year is chosen from a pretty large field," Girrier said. "It all comes down to just one person. It's a unique crowd and earning this award is a credit to [Blodgett's] achievements."
Capt. James Morgan, DESRON 7 commodore, said Blodgett's achievement was well deserved.
"Bill is an embodiment of what we recognize in the Surface Warfare Officer of the Year-professionalism, drive, and a passion for doing things right," said Morgan. "Bill's a great planner and tactical professional. He's the kind of officer we all want on our team."
Sixteen officers from across the surface force were nominated by their respective commands for the award. Blodgett was nominated by the leadership aboard Curtis Wilbur, and his performance stood above the other nominees at the DESRON, Strike Group, Pacific Fleet and Commander, Naval Surface Forces levels.
"I was supported by an outstanding cast of chiefs, officers, petty officers and seamen," Blodgett said of Curtis Wilbur's operations department. "I was privileged to lead such a group. These are just a few of the people who have helped me along my career, and they continue to be role models for me. This award is as much a reflection of them."
Blodgett received his Navy commission May 25, 2001, and has served three separate tours aboard Curtis Wilbur as the anti-submarine warfare officer, training officer, and operations officer, respectively.
As the Curtis Wilbur operations officer, for which he earned the SWO of the Year title, Blodgett was responsible for maintaining the daily activities of the ship, planning future operations and executing current operations.
Along with the ships of the Ronald Reagan CSG, the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 includes the "Black Knights" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, the "Argonauts" of VFA-147, the "Blue Diamonds" of VFA-146, the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the "Black Eagles" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the "Cougars" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 139, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and the "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.