The Navy has selected its top junior officer ship-drivers.
These 28 officers, from ensign to lieutenant, were chosen by squadron and group commanders from across the Navy as part of an annual competition – think American Idol, but for steering gray hulls through busy shipping channels instead of belting out pop-rock.
“Reaching this point in the competition has distinguished these officers as the best of the best in the Navy,” Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis said in Navy newsstand story. Curtis, the commander of Naval Surface Forces, along with Rear Adm. David Thomas Jr., the commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic, announced the top ship-handlers in a Jan. 27 message.
The next step, of course, is to pick the very best.
For that, these finalists will go head-to-head in trainers on navigation, seamanship, and ship-handling on their bases. The top contestants will then head to Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, R.I., for the final, knockout round.
Who will win the coveted title of Surface Force Junior Officer Shiphandler of the Year? It’ll be one of these finalists:
Lt. Nicholas Hamm, USS Normandy (CG 60)
Lt. Matt Klock, USS Truxtun (DDG 103)
Lt. j.g. Andrew Branham, USS Carney (DDG 64)
Lt. j.g. Katie Burkhart, USS Philippine Sea (CG 58)
Lt. j.g. Tebin Glebus, USS Mcfaul (DDG 74)
Lt. j.g. Nicole Lobecker, USS Port Royal (CG 53)
Lt. j.g. Michael Mullee, USS Halsey (DDG 97)
Lt. j.g. Jordan Reagan, USS Kauffman (FFG 59)
Lt. j.g. Carlos, Roe, USS Chancellorsville (CG 62)
Lt. j.g. Stephen Szalai, USS Tortuga (LSD 46)
Lt. j.g. Charles Todd, USS Hue City (CG 66)
Lt. j.g. Casey Travis, USS Mcclusky (FFG 41)
Lt. j.g. Rachel Walker, USS Shiloh (CG 67)
Lt. j.g. Thomas Wright, USS Germantown (LSD 42)
Ensign Bryce Brown, USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55)
Ensign Steven Corbein, MCM Crew Conflict
Ensign Michael Collett, USS Ashland (LSD 48)
Ensign David Dorfman, USS Howard (DDG 83)
Ensign Darrel Emrys, USS Peleliu (LHA 5)
Ensign Matt Keller, USS Vandergrift (FFG 48)
Ensign Michael Leggett, USS Taylor (FFG 50)
Ensign William Lichtsinn USS Boxer (LHD 4)]
Ensign Brandon Naddell, USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108)
Ensign Ann Patterson, USS Mason (DDG 87)
Ensign Ann Petraiuolo, USS Wasp (LHA 1)
Ensign Daniel Rocha, USS Guardian (MCM 5)
Ensign David Schultz, USS Mcccampbell (DDG 85)
Ensign Chris Wilkens, USS Reuben James (FFG 57)
It’s just like Top Gun — except much, much, much slower.