For Sonar Technician First Class (Submarines) Scott Dean, his selection as Naval Submarine School’s 2009 Sailor of the Year actually began at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) seven years ago. It’s just been a matter of getting the timing right.
“I joined the Navy because of a strong desire to serve my country, an ambition to be a part of something bigger than myself, and a hope of growing personally, professionally, and academically….At MEPS, I chose Submarine Electronics Computer Field because of my family’s history with submarine service, and the promise of highly technical training in a dynamic and challenging environment.”
“At boot camp, one of my Recruit Division Commanders, who was a Submariner (a Chief Electrician’s Mate), told me, ‘Dean, you … are smart enough and strange enough to make an excellent Sonar Technician!’ My mind was set after that!”
Reporting to the Sonar Training Division of the Pipeline Training Department last September from USS Connecticut, Dean has his own view on sea and shore duty complementing a Sailor’s career, no matter its length.
“Being on a boat provides camaraderie and travel second to none. Being on shore duty affords more time for family and R&R, as well as using different talents. They are both necessary and important. There’s definitely a dichotomy between them – a different mindset, a different attitude, a different focus, if you will. For me, I had some phenomenal leadership on the boat; I learned a lot from them, and do my best to emulate their example.
“On shore duty, I try to maintain the same work ethic I had on the boat. Here at Naval Submarine School, I’m grateful for the ability to use my gifts for teaching and mentoring, talents utilized on the boat, but not to the same scale as within a training command.”
As for his selection, Dean offers “I felt elated! Completely surprised and humbled by being chosen. It is a huge honor. As submariners, it’s ingrained that we will not succeed without the help of our shipmates. And it’s 100-percent true on shore duty, as well. I work with an incredible bunch of men who challenge me on a daily basis. They’ve helped me grow in more ways than I can count, and I’m grateful for the privilege of working with them and learning from them.”
Speaking of challenges, Dean recognizes his students are often described as just that, and wouldn’t want it any other way. “Probably the single most challenging and most satisfying aspect of my job is sailorization. Every student comes to our schoolhouse with a unique history, personality, talents, problems, strengths and weaknesses – the work of molding these young men into fleet ready Sonar Technicians is a full-time job.”
While his selection caps a successful 2009, Dean looks ahead to the next chapters in his adventure. “I was honored and humbled to receive this award. I am challenged everyday to continue to grow as a leader and a follower, an instructor and a student, a mentor and a mentored. You can never stop learning, and you can never stop growing.
“In the future, I hope to continue to make a difference, either in the enlisted or in the officer ranks. As I’ve been so often told, ‘Your military career is what you make it to be – so make it a great one!’ I have every intention of doing just that.”