A Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet ombudsman was recognized as one of the top ombudsman in the entire Navy.
Amy McCormick, the former ombudsman of the Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22), was named one of the recipients of the 2017 Mrs. Sybil Stockdale Ombudsman of the Year Award.
“Amy guided the families of Sailors who had spent the previous 54-months in a Chief of Naval Operations availability through an arduous availability end-game,” said Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin P. Grant, executive officer of the Connecticut during McCormick’s tenure as ombudsman. “Then, just two weeks after availability certification, she became a rock of support for Connecticut families as the ship loaded weapons and deployed to the Eastern Pacific area of responsibility for the first time in five years.”
Ombudsmen from around the fleet were nominated by their commanding officers for the prestigious award but McCormick’s work stood out.
“She developed, employed and effectively moderated a group Facebook page, quarterly newsletters, and other forms of communication keeping Connecticut’s families informed and engaged,” said Grant. “She routinely published information about physical security, and social media security while maintaining the personal issues of Connecticut family members strictly private. She planned numerous fun events, and pulled off an amazing homecoming. In short, Amy performed her duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner.”
While the award formally recognized four outstanding individuals for their work as ombudsman the award also honors the dedication and the contributions of all ombudsmen.
“I am still in disbelief that I won,” said McCormick. “I have never met a good Ombudsman, all the Ombudsman I have ever met are great! Ombudsmen are volunteers, and just taking that first step to volunteer and being willing to help is what sets us up for greatness.”
Often the best way to measure the impact of a great leader is not their own actions but rather the work of those around them and by that measure McCormick was successful.
“Five of five sailors with expecting spouses traveled home during deployment to be present for the birth of their babies and four sailors took advantage of port visits to get engaged,” said Grant.” These required careful coordination and effective communication as both the ship's schedule and the babies' due dates were moving targets.”
“She even arranged for a proposal on the pier upon returning to port. She tracked every detail to include tasking me with making sure the young sonar tech acquired a ring in San Diego prior to returning to homeport.”
Grant said McCormick’s involvement and dedication to her duty enabled those events to go off without a hitch and lowered stress levels for Sailors and families assigned to the boat.
“This boat and her crew in my opinion are one of the finest,” said McCormick. “They are hardworking, dedicated, and determined. They go above and beyond anything they are tasked with. This is a direct reflection of the command and the families that support the crew.”
During McCormick's tenure the Connecticut enjoyed the lowest unplanned loss rate in the entire submarine force.
“Amy's initiative and drive were an inspiration to those around her. Her support enhanced Connecticut’s ability to achieve the mission and contribute to the boat’s culture of treating people like people and parts like parts,” said Grant.
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