USA: Surface Combatant Selected as Shore Mineman of the Year

Surface Combatant Selected as Shore Mineman of the Year

The Mine and Antisubmarine Warfare Center (MWTC) on board Naval Base Point Loma announced Jan. 10 that one of its instructors was selected as Shore Mineman of the Year for 2012-2013 by The Association of Minemen (AOM).

 Mineman 1st Class Marco Antonio Navarro, MWTC’s Mineman “A” School course manager and leading petty officer (LPO), was recognized during a ceremony honoring his accomplishments.

 “I’m humbled and most of all, thankful not only to my chain of command, but also to my shipmates,” Navarro said.

According to Cmdr. Mark Scorgie, MWTC’s commanding officer, Navarro is a remarkable mineman and leader.

 “MWTC was ecstatic to hear that Petty Officer Navarro was selected,” he said. “He is hard-working in and outside the classroom, and holds several key command responsibilities, including Urinalysis Program coordinator and Technical Training Equipment coordinator. I cannot think of a more deserving mineman.”

Navarro joined the Navy from his hometown of San Antonio. He has served in the Navy for more than 13 years, including tours onboard the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Avenger (MCM 1), serving as the combat information center division’s LPO, and on multiple platforms while attached to a rotational mine counter measure crew known as Crew Dominant.

Chief Mineman Mike Just, MWTC’s Mineman “A” School and Tactics Division leading chief petty officer (LCPO) said the Chief Petty Officers Mess nominated Navarro because of his professionalism.

 “The decision was difficult because we have the best of the best minemen here, but in the end, Navarro was the clear choice,” he said. “This year, he was our Instructor of the First Quarter and Sailor of the Second Quarter. He carries himself with great confidence and is not only an excellent representative for MWTC, but also minemen everywhere. His dedication to duty, field expertise and professionalism is admirable and his selection as Mineman of the Year is a well-deserved honor.

Navarro said he is proud of the professionalism he brings as an instructor.

 “Being an instructor is essential to me because I am the link between the student and fleet,” Navarro said. “I have the honor and responsibility of transferring all that I have learned to our junior Sailors. Knowing a Sailor who I taught and mentored is progressing and doing well in the fleet with the knowledge and tools I provided him is truly satisfying.”

According to Just, this award links the past with the present.

 “The mineman rating is small but we are a hard-working Jack of all trades group,” he said. “The AOM is comprised of active duty and retired Sailors that look to preserve our naval heritage and honor those who have served. This award shines a well-deserved spotlight on the minemen that perform above and beyond what is asked of them.”

Before joining the Navy, Navarro said he had no direction or goals but now, he is an example for his family and fellow shipmates to emulate.

“I joined the Navy for various reasons but the main reason was that I wanted to do something meaningful with my life,” Navarro said. “I now feel like I am and it gives me not only a feeling of accomplishment, but a great appreciation for the values the Navy has instilled in me.”

Naval Today Staff, January 11, 2013; Image: Naval Base Point Loma

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