UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class DeMarkus McCarter, assigned to Naval Submarine Support Facility (NSSF) on board Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London was recognized as Service Person of the Month during an award breakfast, Oct. 22.
McCarter is a leader not only among his fellow Sailors, but also in the community. He serves as leading petty officer of his shop on duty and as a little league flag football coach off duty.
“I’m the leading petty officer of our shop, in charge of five Sailors,” said McCarter. “We’re a facilities group that does electrical work on lower base. We take care of wiring new equipment. Coaching is quite the pick-me-up. I coach four to six year olds and they can be a handful, but it helps me stay young.”
It was for these efforts that McCarter was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut (the Chamber) and the Rotary Club, who presented McCarter with a plaque and various awards from local businesses.
“Petty Officer McCarter established himself as the core of this command’s cohesiveness and ability to get the job done,” said Angie Clay, a representative of the Chamber. “Respected as a leader amongst his peers, he serves as the leading petty officer for five multi-rated Sailors attached to the Facilities Support Group Department. He was responsible for the critical upkeep and repairs of 29 chill boxes, four forklifts and 60 pieces of support equipment. Petty Officer McCarter’s dedication to command involvement and mission is also evident as he serves on the board for the command’s Recreation Committee. Having helped raise $3,000 for command Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) functions that support a crew of 600 Sailors. His outreach to the community is nothing less than astonishing as well.”
Clay added that McCarter is a model of leadership and Navy outreach.
“Volunteering 50 off-duty hours to coach Groton Little League and Mystics Flag Football for youths, he set the standard for the entire command to emulate,” said Clay. “Petty Officer McCarter is a model Sailor, a dedicated mentor, and a true ambassador for both our Navy and our local community. His sound contributions within the command and community earned him the strongest personal recommendation for selection as the Naval Submarine Support Facility Service Person of the Month.”
After receiving his awards and the thanks of the Rotary Club members, McCarter expressed his gratitude for the recognition and explained how he got started coaching kids sports.
“It started with the team reaching out, saying they needed extra people to help coach,” said McCarter. “I always wanted to try something and I can spend a little more time with my kids outside of the house. My wife said, ‘Don’t worry, my husband will do it!’ We have a total of about 24 kids, four to seven years old. It’s so much fun! They keep me young. It’s something I don’t regret and look forward to do it again.”
McCarter’s Leading Chief Petty Officer, Chief Hull Maintenance Technician Ryan Entrikin, also shared his gratitude to the Chamber and Rotary Club for the recognition and appreciation they show to his service members with programs like SPOM.
“I just wanted to say thank you for putting this on,” said Entrikin. “A lot of the work our Sailors do goes unnoticed. We want our Sailors to reach out to the community, take that step outside of their regular work and do that. A lot of them do, but don’t get recognized. This sort of even means a lot to the Navy and NSSF and especially Petty Officer McCarter.”
SPOM 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 through volunteer service to the community.