The 2011 Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT) Senior and Junior Sailors of the Year were announced today. The winners were recognized by Vice Adm. John Richardson, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, during a luncheon held at the Vista Point Center at the Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia.
Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon was asked to be a part of the selection committee as part of Freedom Alliance’s on going support of the Submarine Force. “It was an honor to part of the selection committee,” said Kilgannon. “Based on the sailors I met, I can tell the American people that the Navy is in good hands – these are outstanding young men,” said Kilgannon. “We looked at the best of the best in the Submarine Force. It was inspiring to see the pride these sailors take in their work, the skill with which they perform their duties, and the pride they have in wearing the uniform.”
The 2011 SUBLANT Senior Sea Sailor of the Year was Petty Officer First Class William Nagel, a nuclear-trained and submarine-qualified electrician’s mate assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Albany (SSN 753), home ported in Norfolk, Va. The 31-year-old Sailor is from Montgomery County, Texas, and joined the Navy in August 1998. He was also the Commander, Submarine Group Two (CSG2) Senior Sea Sailor of the Year.
“It is just a tremendous honor to be nominated, and for being selected I am lost for words,” said Nagel. “This means everything because of the great support I got from my wife and family. I don’t know what separated me from the other Sailors, but being the Educational Services Officer onboard helped. As the ESO, I mentored a lot of junior Sailors and was involved with every junior Sailor in providing them tools for advancement.”
Petty Officer First Class Scott Biden was recognized as the 2011 SUBLANT Senior Shore Sailor of the Year. He is a submarine-qualified yeoman assigned to staff at Commander, Submarine Group 10, headquartered in Kings Bay, Ga. He was born in Monica, Calif., but raised in Upland, Calif., and joined the Navy in February 2000. The 31-year-old was also the Commander, Submarine Group Ten (CSG10) Shore Sailor of the Year.
“Without the support and guidance of my wife, and the support of my shipmates, I would not be standing here today,” said Biden. “This is a tremendous award for all my mentors who have helped me get here, and continue to help me.”
As the Senior Shore and Sea Sailors of the Year, Nagel and Biden will go on to represent SUBLANT in the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) Sailor of the Year competition. The USFFC competition will be held in March with other Atlantic Fleet type command winners. The Atlantic Fleet sea winner from that competition will be meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer, while the Atlantic Fleet shore winner will enter the Chief of Naval Operations competition in Washington, D.C.
The 2011 SUBLANT Junior Sea Sailor of the Year was Petty Officer Second Class Mike Blizzard, a 25-year-old submarine-qualified fire control technician assigned to the Ohio-class ballistic submarine USS West Virginia (SSBN 736), home ported in Kings Bay, Ga. He is from Scranton, N.C., and joined the Navy in February 2007. He was also the CSG10 Junior Sea Sailor of the Year.
“We have a great command,” said Blizzard. “This means a lot and can’t really think of any additional words to describe emotions. Amazing and shows what hard work can do for someone’s career.”
Petty Officer Second Class Alexander Hiller was honored as the 2011 SUBLANT Junior Shore Sailor of the Year. He is a 25-year-old surface-warfare qualified boatswain’s mate assigned to the staff at Commander, Naval Submarine Support Facility, home based in New London, Conn. Hiller is from Dunkirk, N.Y., and joined the Navy in August 2003. He was also the CSG2 Junior Shore Sailor of the Year.
Freedom Alliance was also presented a plaque at the luncheon for “Outstanding Support of the SUBLANT Sailor of the Year.”