EAST LYME, Conn. – A Sailor assigned to USS Montpelier (SSN 765) was awarded Service Person of the Month (SPOM) for outstanding achievements and contributions to his command during a dinner, Feb. 5.
A native of Belding, Michigan, Machinist’s Mate (Auxiliary) 2nd Class Robert McCully is the leading petty officer and work center supervisor of Dive Division aboard Montpelier. He has gained the recognition from his chain of command for punching well above his weight when it comes to qualifications and contributing to his boat.
“I’m the petty officer in charge of the emergency diesel,” said McCully. “I’m also a SAPR [Sexual Assault Prevention and Response] victim advocate. On the other side I’m the MWR [Morale, Welfare and Recreation] vice president. I’m one of three scuba divers on the boat. It’s the best and the worst of times; obviously better in the summer.”
Montpelier’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Roderick Hodges, said McCully has earned qualifications normally designated for Sailors far above the paygrade of second class petty officer.
“There are very few second classes on a submarine who qualify chief of the watch,” said Hodges. “I don’t think it’ll be long before [McCully] is standing duty chief, which is normally stood by chiefs and higher. Chief of the watch underway is the hub of operations, it’s a big responsibility for a second class.”
McCully’s leading petty officer, Machinist’s Mate (Auxiliary) 1st Class David Lee, shared an example of McCully’s outstanding service to the submarine.
“Petty Officer McCully is the superstar in our division,” said Lee. “If there is a repair that needs to get done he takes ownership of it without fail. One time we had a part we had to retrieve in Portsmouth. It was supposed to get here in two days, but he drove there himself and got it back in 18 hours and repaired it himself.”
At a Niantic Lions Club dinner held in McCully’s honor, Angie Clay, a representative of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut (the Chamber), read a prepared statement about McCully and presented him with a plaque recognizing him as February 2020’s SPOM.
“Petty Officer McCully’s dedication to command involvement and mission readiness is evident by his initiative to qualify ‘senior in rate’ giving watch bill flexibility to Montpelier,” said Clay. “His insatiable drive for success was noticed by qualifying chief of the watch as a second class petty officer, a watch on submarines slated for second tour first class petty officers and chief petty officers. Petty Officer McCully’s ship-wide involvement is seen throughout Montpelier through his time as command victim advocate, assistant command fitness leader and vice president of MWR. Petty Officer McCully’s honesty, integrity and sound contributions within the command and community have earned him the strongest personnel recommendation for selection as USS Montpelier’s Service Person of the Month.”
The SPOM Program is organized by the Chamber and local Rotary and Lions Clubs to honor local military personnel of all branches who not only excel in their regular duties, but also go above and beyond in their contributions to their community.