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Naval Submarine School
Naval Submarine School Selects 2017 Sailor of the Year

GROTON, Conn. (October 23, 2017)– Naval Submarine School has selected Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class (Air Warfare) Zachary Maxey as its 2017 Sailor of the Year, SOY.

Maxey is the Command Facilities Manager, assigned to the Training Support Department, charged with overseeing the care and maintenance of all Naval Submarine School, training buildings, barracks and administrative support and warehouse spaces.

Maxey, a native of Caroline County, Virginia, joined the Navy in the fall of 2003 with a plan he says, “to see the world and go to college.” Smiling, he adds, “but life changes and so do plans. I’ve remained in the Navy because I’ve enjoyed every assignment and hope I have made a positive difference in the course of my career."

An Aircrew Survival Equipmentman petty officer is not an everyday occurrence at a submarine training command, and Maxey concedes he was as surprised to receive orders to Naval Submarine School as some on the school’s staff were to welcome him. “When my detailer gave me my orders, I did a sort of double-take and asked him if he was absolutely sure, and he was.”

As Naval Submarine School’s Sailor of the Year, Maxey will represent the command when the Submarine Learning Center makes its selection in the coming weeks from across its training sites for the opportunity to be named Naval Education and Training Command’s 2017 Sailor of the Year.

Meanwhile Maxey is still getting used to being the Submarine School SOY.

PR1 (AW) Zachary Maxey

“The selection means a great deal to me especially since there are over one hundred and fifty First Class Petty Officers from whom I was selected. I know first-hand of the high quality of all those who were nominated, so just to have been considered is an honor.”

Thieme also noted Maxey had successfully accomplished all required qualifications to be designated a Master Training Specialist, MTS. Maxey thought long and hard before choosing to qualify for MTS.

“I decided to pursue the Master Training Specialist qualification to help diversify myself, and also to make myself a better leader/mentor. There are also a number of college credits that are earned once the qualification is complete, so it really is a win-win situation.

“The qualification process, specifically the theories and key learning aspects really do open your eyes to how different people learn. It’s not a cut and dried approach, but is something that varies from person to person. Qualifying, I now know how to appeal to different types of learners and help them fully understand the material.

“I also think a constant desire to learn is what drives us as humans, so it was important for me to better myself so I can help people learn and achieve their goals in the future.”

Learning to be a facilities manager, notes Maxey, with some understatement, was a rather steep learning curve.

“One of the most challenging aspects is the high level of coordination involved with the staff, training schedule, and contractor work times. We always try to minimize our footprint when doing some of the big jobs so that training can continue as scheduled even though there’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of people to keep up to date as changes occur.

at work monitoring a temperature gauge in bulding's boiler room

“The two most rewarding aspects of this job are being able to support world-class training by ensuring building upkeep and contractor maintenance is performed, and the interaction I have with initial accession students. This is my first assignment with Sailors from boot camp, and it is rewarding to have a positive impact on a young Sailor's life and career.”

Maxey was previously recognized for outstanding performance as the Naval Submarine School Sailor of the Third Quarter of 2017.

As Naval Submarine School’s Command Master Chief Eric Murphy noted, consideration and selection of the Sailor of the Year was, as it so often is, extremely difficult because of the caliber of the Sailors being considered.

”You’re trying to name the Most Valuable Player on an All-Star Team,” he said, “And every Sailor who was considered had consistently demonstrated sustained superior performance.”

Maxey thinks Sailor recognition programs are important, both to the Sailor and to the Navy. “Awards are important to an individual Sailor because they formally document exemplary professional performance. But awards also benefit the organization as a means to publicly thank Sailors for their hard work and dedication, and to show the command values their service.”

While he awaits the results of the SLC selection competition, Maxey continues to prepare for his next chapter in life which includes relocation to Whidbey Island, Washington. “There I’ll be attached to an electronic attack squadron (VAQ-136), and deploying to the western pacific.

“My professional goals are to requalify within my rate, requalify as an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist, qualify as a Surface Warfare Specialist, and be selected for Chief Petty Officer. In the long run, I’m hoping to complete my Bachelor's Degree and then work towards a Master’s.”

Excellence in Performance

GROTON, Conn. (January 24, 2018) – ND1 (DSW/EXW/SW/AW) Matthew Greiner is Naval Submarine School's Sailor of the First Quarter 2018, selected Wednesday, January 24, in award ceremonies at Naval Submarine Base, New London.

Greiner is a High Risk Instructor assigned to Pressurized Submarine Escape Training (PSET) in the Engineering and High Risk Training Department.

ND1 Matthew Greiner accepts a congratulatory handshake and Sailor of the Quarter Plaque from Captain Aaron Thieme.

Captain Aaron M. Thieme, commanding officer, Naval Submarine School, cited Greiner's extended and extensive engagement as the "Groton area 'Caring and Sharing President' in organizing and leading 110 volunteers in over 1,000 hours of collections of food and monetary donations.

"His management and dedication ensured donations were distributed to over 415 local military family members with 2,500 pounds of food provided to the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut. His efforts reinforce the strong Navy and local community relations."

Greiner received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (Gold Star in lieu of Eighth Award).

FT2 (SS) Steven Medrano, an instructor in the Advanced Training and Readiness Department was the Junior Sailor of the Quarter, selected by the Naval Submarine School First Class Petty Officer Association.

ET1 (SS) Christopher Reed was honored by the Naval Submarine School Master Training Specialist Board as Instructor of the First Quarter and ND2 (DSW) Ryan Johnson was selected as the Junior Instructor of the Quarter.

Naval Submarine School Selects Rao as 2018 COY
By Alexander L. Gago, Naval Submarine School Public Affairs

Ralph Rao as the 2018 Civilian of the Year (COY)

GROTON, Conn. (August 5, 2019)– Naval Submarine School (NSS), has selected Ralph Rao as the 2018 Civilian of the Year (COY).

Rao is the facilities manager, installation support coordinator, alternate contracting officer representative, and an active member of the New London Energy Board. He provided facility project management for nineteen projects valued over $14 million.

He also provided sage advice to NSS Commanding Officer on contractor performance, communications with naval facilities and supporting organization coordination.

Rao served over 3 decades of honorable military service and a NSS staff member since 2008.

NSS train officers and enlisted Sailors in the basic knowledge and skills upon which operational submarine commands in the Atlantic and Pacific can build competence and proficiency in operating and maintaining submarine and all their systems. (Navy Photo by Public Affairs Specialist Alexander L. Gago)