USS New Jersey Christening

On a windy but sunny Saturday in Virginia, the USS New Jersey was christened!

A major milestone in the life of a US Navy vessel is the christening. In this case it was an opportunity to officially name the USS New Jersey and also recognize and honor the men and women responsible for constructing her.

The ceremony took place outside of Newport News Shipbuilding’s Module Outfitting Facility and was attended by more than 1,800 guests, including Newport News Shipbuilding employees who are building New Jersey, members of the submarine’s crew, Navy personnel and other government officials, including Jeh Johnson.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, of Virginia, and U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, of New Jersey, both delivered remarks. Other speakers included New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy; Jay Stefany, acting assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition; Vice Adm. Johnny Wolfe Jr., director of the Navy’s strategic systems programs; and Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former chief of naval operations, provided an outstanding keynote address at this event on Saturday, November 13th, 2021.

Dr. Susan DiMarco Breaks The Bottle

The highlight of the event was when Dr. Susan DiMarco (the boat’s sponsor) broke a bottle of US sparkling wine at the bow of the boat. Pictured with Dr. DiMarco are Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding; Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former chief of naval operations; and Cmdr. Carlos Otero, the boat’s prospective commanding officer.

In attendance from the committee were Stephen Hutton, Carlton Hoye, Peter Engelman, Joseph Velez, and John Koehr and his wife Melissa.

Photo source:

Montgomery/Rocky Hill Rotary Club

Committee Chairman, Stephen Hutton, met with the Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill to present information about the submarine USS New Jersey (SSN-796) and the commissioning committee’s goal and objectives.

The audience were very engaged and had lots of questions about the boat and it’s crew.

Thanks to Paul Blodgett for helping make this meeting happen.

Looking forward to conducting more events of this kind to let folks around New Jersey know about the future addition to the US Navy, the USS New Jersey (SSN-796).

Montgomery/Rocky Hill Rotary

Our First Namesake Visit

On October 1st six crew members visited NJ as part of an ongoing series of ‘namesake’ visits designed to build a lasting relationship between the new submarine and the state of New Jersey.

Day 1

After driving up from Virginia the sailors gave a brief presentation and conducted a Q&A with jNROTC students (junior Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp) from MAST (Marine Academy of Science and Technology) in Highlands, NJ.

Pictured below while visiting MAST are MMA3 Marcos Briones, third from left, back row, is photographed with SSN796 crew members MMNC Steven Newton, MMN2 Matthew Baker, MMN1 Nick Herrin, YNSN Charles Miller, LT Cdr Nicholas Tuuk, Monmouth County Commissioner Lillian G Burry, and MAST cadets LCDR Aislinn Crowe, Battalion Commander, LT James Abbes, deputy battalion commander, LTjg Mary Catherine Harvey, training officer, and LTjg Jenna Lewandowski , drill commander. Photo by Michael J.Colarusso


Following that event the sailors were taken by US Army veteran Shawn Welch on a tour of Fort Hancock and Fort Lewis, addressing NJ’s role in military history – specifically related to harbor defenses during WWII.

Thanks to Shawn for taking the time to do this for us!

The day wrapped up with liberty free time with a meal at Bahrs Landing in Highlands.

Day 2

A full day started with an extensive VIP tour of the BB-62, the Battleship New Jersey, as well as a presentation while there to members of the local United States Power Squadron.

USS Nj Sub Crew signing banner
USS NJ Sub crew with Assemblyman Spearman.jpg

Lunch took place at the Park Place Diner in Matawan, NJ – where the sailors were welcomed warmly by the owner and other diners.

Following lunch the sailors visited Old Bridge and participated in a car wash fundraiser for the Air Force Junior ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) at the Old Bridge High School. Afterwards the XO and crew members introduced themselves to the students and answered a number of questions about life on a submarine and how such things as fresh air and water are made while underwater.

Shown below: the sailors washing cars to raise funds for the Air Force Junior ROTC unit in Old Bridge

Old Bridge Car Wash

The next stop was at a fitness event for children at the Carl Sandburg Middle School in Old Bridge. The sailors cheered for the kids as they completed their run, then took questions from parents and children about the submarine and life aboard the boat.

The sailors then challenged some of the kids to a race the length of the football field. A couple of the sailors ‘may’ have let some of the kids beat them. This is unconfirmed!

Liberty began with dinner at Harold’s New York Deli in Edison. Huge portions that shocked a couple of the sailors!

The night was completed by committee members Dan Dermer and William Aitken taking the sailors to New Brunswick’s Stress Factory Comedy Club for some liberty time to relax a little after a full day.

At the end of the evening they were requested by the owner, Vinnie Brand, to go on stage, introduce themselves and to talk about the boat. The XO did a great job talking about why they were in New Jersey and about the upcoming commissioning.

Day 3

On Sunday October 3rd the sailors travelled up from NWS Earle (where they had been staying) to conduct some storm damage cleanup activities primarily in Manville NJ. Manville was recently hit particularly hard by Tropical Storm Ida with extensive flood damage to homes and businesses.

This cleanup operation was coordinated by a group called Hope Force International (HFI). Also attending and helping out were Troop 18 of the Scouts.

Bravo Zulu to all who helped!

In all it is believed 27 deaths occurred in NJ as a result of the storm and millions of dollars in damage occurred.

Following the cleanup the sailors returned to Virginia, knowing NJ a lot better than before.

Thanks to EVERYONE who made this visit such a success and set the bar so high for the next visit, which will hopefully take place in December. Plans are afoot – more to follow!

PCU New Jersey Sailor of the Year

On August 19th the commissioning committee travelled to Hampton Roads Navy base in Virginia to present Sailor of the Year awards recognizing the outstanding performance of two individuals from the PCU New Jersey


Professional achievement while serving as torpedo division leading Petty Officer onboard pre-commissioning unit New Jersey (SSN 796) from January 2020 to December 2020.

As the recreation committee president, he managed sales and events that increased morale across the command by raising over $5,000.

As command liaison with CSS-6, he led a self defense program that increased entry control watchstanders from 12 to 42 in support of 12 local submarines.

His outstanding performance of duties have set the standard for his peers to emulate and resulted in his selection as junior sailor of the year.

Petty Officer Garmane’s managerial ability, personal initiative, and unswerving devotion to duty reflected credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Committee Chairman Stephen Hutton presents Sailor of the Year certificate


Meritorious service while serving as a member of machinery division and as assistant quality assurance officer on board PCU New Jersey (SSN 796) from January 2019 to January 2020 . Petty Officer Herrin’s outstanding performance of duty resulted in his selection as sailor of year. Using his intrusive leadership, mentorship and guidance, he molded 13 inexperienced watchstanders into a cohesive, effective and efficient watch team.

As the assistant quality assurance officer, he instituted the command’s quality assurance program, stood up the quality assurance qualification program, and oversaw the qualification of 41 personnel completing over 150 quality assurance qualifications.

By his exceptional professionalism and selfless devotion to duty, Petty Officer Herrin reflected credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the united states naval service.

Committee Chairman Stephen Hutton presents Sailor of the Year certificate