Congratulations to the Newest Submarine Qualified Member of the Crew!

 HMC (SS) David Morales, also known as DOC, has earned his dolphins! 🐬

Becoming qualified in submarines represents an intensive personal effort to meet the high standards and special requirements of submarine duty. This achievement highlights his dedication, skill, and commitment to excellence.

Well done, DOC! Welcome to the elite group of qualified submariners!


Highlands Resident Russell Karshmer, a cadet in the jNROTC program at MAST, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology, was honored at last week’s meeting of the Monmouth County Commissioners for his winning design of the commemorative coin for the Commissioning of the nation’s next fast attack submarine  – the USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796).

In presenting a certificate of appreciation to the cadet, Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone praised his talent and ingenuity in creating a design that not only featured the submarine, but also numerous historic highlights of Monmouth County and the state.

Each of the four other Commissioners joined the Director in their praise of the cadet and his work. 

Karshmer, who is a junior at MAST, explained the design which will appear on the back of the commissioning coin – commemorating this significant and historic event.  The ship is currently scheduled to be commissioned at NWS Earle in Leonardo, NJ on September 14, 2024.  He also spoke about why he included all the different aspects of the artwork. His design, selected by the Commissioning Committee, was selected from more than 300 submitted by high school students from throughout New Jersey.

Peter Engleman, a member of the USS New Jersey commissioning committee was also present for the ceremony.  Peter was given a few minutes to explain the significance of the commissioning, and to highlight the role that submarines play in protecting our freedoms.

Congratulations To Several Officers

Congratulations go out to several USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796) officers for their continued success and promotion.

LCDR Andrew Hutchison has been selected for Submarine Commanding Officer.

LCDR Andrea Howard and LT Scott Morris have been selected for Submarine Executive Officer.

LT Matthew Dods and LT Miriam Ewall-Wice have been selected for Submarine Department Head.

Congratulations to all of you! The Commissioning Committee applauds your continued dedication to being the best in your field and for your commitment to the safety of our country.

Firepower for Freedom!

Coffee For Sale

Wake up every morning with a great cup of coffee while knowing that you are supporting our sailors!!

We are proud to announce that the New Jersey Commissioning Committee has formed a partnership with Bridging the Gap, a non-profit organization located in Manasquan, NJ.  Bridging the Gap is a veteran run organization whose mission is to “educate, advocate, and assist in preparing Military Veterans and Family members to be successful in their career after honorable service to our nation.

The mechanism is through coffee (good coffee!).  We have established our own private label – “Firepower for Freedom,” matching the slogan of the ship.  Coffee, coffee mugs, and insulated travel tumblers can all be purchased on our store at

Mike Ferraro, President of Bridging the Gap stated, “The Coffee Platoon is thrilled to be the Official Coffee of the USS NEW Jersey Submarine Commissioning with our Firepower for Freedom Coffee Blend.  Every coffee bag or box sold supports sailors and families of the submarine.  We also look forward to being part of the celebration surrounding the commissioning week.”

Dine On Us

The commissioning of a navy vessel is one of the most sacred events in a ship’s history.  It officially marks the entry of the ship into the fleet, making it a commissioned and active warship.  The order “Man the ship and bring her to life” signifies this entry.

The week surrounding the commissioning is also very special for the crew, who have worked diligently to build the sub, and will man it to serve our country. It will be full of events, activities, and treats that will honor these “plankowners.”  With that in mind, we are pleased to recognize our partnership with Dine On Us – a NJ based non-profit who will be coordinating “New Jersey” themed breakfast and evening snacks. 

Dine on Us has a simple mission –  “to create dining and entertainment opportunities for our NJ active military who are not able to do so for themselves due to economic hardships while stationed here in NJ.”  When they heard of the opportunity to provide services for the crew of the USS NEW JERSEY – they jumped on it.

Cliff Baker, Dine on Us Founder and USN Veteran, added these thoughts: “While serving in the US Navy aboard the W.S. Sims, I experienced the importance of a random act of kindness, a hot meal from an unknown couple in France. That meal carried me through a severe tragedy while patrolling the Mediterranean Ocean.  This opportunity to give back to our sailors is the purpose God planned for me so many years ago.  Our gesture is the story and memory the crew of the USS New Jersey will remember as they travel many miles under the sea and get them through the challenges they will face!”  

A great story.  To learn more about Dine on Us, please visit their website –

And a thank you goes, in advance, to all of the local restaurants and businesses that will contribute to this endeavor.  We’re convinced that these “snacks” will put a smile on the sailor’s faces (Pork Roll or Taylor Ham??)  and provide them with fine memories of the state of New Jersey.

From the committee: For those that want to support the crew – please further explore our website. Support can be made through monetary donations or through purchases from our ship’s store – either way is available through our site.  We have set our budget so that every dollar generated going forward will go directly to supporting the crew, as detailed before.

Another Major Milestone

PCU NEW JERSEY (SSN-796) completed another major milestone towards delivery! They recently passed the Navy’s acceptance testing which is the final stages of becoming an operational unit to the fleet.

“The crew’s performance was exceptional as they demonstrated a full range of operational capability, said Captain Steven Halle. “Their tenacity and grit ensured the inspection board was able to observe an unprecedented number of events in a short period of time. “

A recent news article described NEW JERSEY as “the best and deadliest,” and their Captain could not be more proud of their accomplishments.

A bit of history… the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) was initially established by Congress in 1870, with legislation enacted in 1882, to inspect our Navy ships and to report on their readiness. It is a thorough inspection that examines ships against Navy standards to determine readiness in myriad areas. When a ship has been constructed by a shipyard and turned over to the U.S. Navy, an INSURV team must certify the vessel prior to declaring it operational.

First Stage of Sea Trials Complete!

The USS NEW JERSEY has successfully completed the first phase of Sea Trials as she prepares to join the fleet later this year.

Congratulations to the command triad and crew of SSN 796! Bravo Zulu!

The USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796) departs the shipyard at the start of her first voyage to commence Alpha Trials.

A view of the USS NEW JERSEY from astern as she proceeds to start with her first phase of Sea Trials.

A view aft from the sail as the submarine begins Sea Trials.

BB-16 Coins Available For Purchase

Join us in celebrating SSN 796’s legacy with a BB-16 command coin. Take part in honoring the first US warship to be named New Jersey, and join forces with the legendary Battleship New Jersey BB-62. Let’s salute and celebrate together all three Jersey girls!  A must-have for any military history enthusiast.

Link to Battleship New Jersey (BB-16) Command Coin in our Store

Roll Out

At the end of January or early February March or early April, NJ will be moved from its initial assembly building to a floating drydock.  Multiple hydraulic sleds will lift the 7,900 ton vessel and slowly move it a quarter of a mile to the water. 

She will stay within the floating drydock to finish the last remaining jobs before being ready to be lowered and moored next to the pier for the first time later this spring.