SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The inaugural Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) of the Year award was presented to a USS John Paul Jones (JPJ) (DDG 53) Sailor by Commander, Naval Surface Forces in JPJ's wardroom Nov. 30.
Vice Adm. D. C. Curtis presented the award to Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Tamulevich.
Twenty-five officers from throughout surface forces were nominated by their respective leadership for the award.
"This award recognizes the best of the best in the surface warfare community and, as expected, the competition was extremely close," said Curtis. "Everyone nominated for this elite group is to be commended and awarded for their dedication and demonstrated superior performance."
Tamulevich graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a major in oceanography. He was commissioned in 1999 and now serves on the JPJ as the combat systems officer.
"I still find myself in awe at having received this distinction," said Tamulevich. "I know many of the other nominees and have the highest respect and admiration for them. They are terrific leaders and mentors in the surface community, and to find myself as the inaugural recipient of this award is both humbling and an honor."
JPJ Commanding Officer Cmdr. Sam Hancock was very confident in his nomination of Tamulevich.
"I was looking for a true leader and warfighter that personified today's SWO and someone a young officer could look up to and gain inspiration from," said Hancock. "Tamulevich is an all around superb naval officer and true warfighter. He is a standout leader in my wardroom and on the waterfront. I could not ask for a better officer - he was an obvious choice."
Several Sailors who work with Tamulevich on a daily basis offered their opinions regarding the quality of leadership provided by the SWO of the Year winner.
"I view [Tamulevich] as a leader who is focused on the mission and the tasks that come with the demands of the U.S. Navy and our country," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SW) Ronnie Scott. "I would jump at the chance to serve on a ship under his command."
Tamulevich was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal and will be recognized at the Surface Navy Association Symposium in January 2010. A plaque in his honor will also be displayed at the SWO School in Newport, R.I.
The SWO of the Year award was created by Naval Surface Forces 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.
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