Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sub School Earns MUC

For those of you who served on the staff of the Navy Submarine School in Groton between July 2005 and June 2007 -- Congratulations! You just earned a MUC. From an article in The New London Day:
Vice Adm. Mark E. Ferguson, chief of naval personnel and deputy chief of naval operations, presented the commendation to Capt. Daniel Forney, Naval Submarine School commanding officer, on Jan. 9.
The commendation for meritorious service, from July 2005 to June 2007, states that, “Naval Submarine School consistently demonstrated unparalleled success by instilling advanced submarine technologies, procedures, and dynamic initiatives in the provision of team and self-paced learning to more than 4,000 students enrolled in more than 200 courses and team trainers.”
The Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to a unit that "...distinguished itself, under combat or non-combat conditions, by either valorous or meritorious achievement which renders the unit outstanding compared to other units performing similar service, but not sufficient to justify the award of the Navy Unit Commendation. .. To justify this award, the unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would merit the award of a Bronze Star Medal, or achievement of like caliber in a non-combat situation, to an individual."

I've written about this before, and I'm wondering what some of the new commenters think about the practice of awarding MUCs to shore stations. The two components of my fruit salad of ribbons of which I'm most proud are the Battle "E" and MUC I got from USS Topeka (SSN 754) during my JO tour -- they're the ones that I felt I had to go "above and beyond" my normal job to help earn. I'm not sure I would have felt that way had I gotten one for shore duty. That being said, I'm sure Sub School did a good job during that 2 year period, so congratulations to all the awardees.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoo-hoo! I gets me another ribbon! CAPT Swan did do a damn good job running the show when I was there (Aug 05 – Oct 06), even though he is a boomer guy. As far as the MUC being awarded to a shore duty command: as long as it isn’t the norm, I have no problem. And believe me: there was very little normal going on at SUBSCOL while I was there, between curriculum revisions and inclusions, installing VIRGINIA dive & drives, mailing the SEAWOLF dive & drives to Bangor, the new oceanographic software, the new “portable” attack centers (I’ve already brain-flushed the real names of those two things), updating the Attack Centers from CCS Mk1 to BSY-2, SSEP’s new toys and OPTEMPO, the new escape tower… As much as I resisted going to Groton, it was a great time to be there.

/Now all I need is the JointMUC to complete the set!


1/14/2009 6:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that SUBSCOL did some great things, but the unit awards should be for those units that are on the tip of the spear and perform "above and beyond". To me this detracts from the meaning of the same award for performance at sea. Find some training command award...g

1/14/2009 6:59 AM

Blogger Allison said...

My husband informed me last Thursday that he would be getting a MUC. I'm not going to lie I had no idea what it was (and I'm pretty knowledgeable) After reading about it online I saw how great it really is! Congrats to the all the sailors at SUBSCOL.

1/14/2009 9:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"either valorous or meritorious achievement which renders the unit outstanding compared to other units performing similar service"

OK, will someone tell me another unit that performs "similar" service to what Subschool does? Do we have another Subschool somewhere?

1/14/2009 10:47 AM

Blogger Patty Wayne said...

I've never been fond of the ribbons and medals that were awarded for preparation or marking time. As a fast attack submariner I have more respect for a deterrant pin than a shore duty MUC. I have more pride in the COMSUBRONONE Letter of Commendation for repairing the diesel speed control than the sea service ribbons or good conduct medal.

Even the Expeditionary Medal I got I don't really feel I earned, though the boat and the coners did some remarkable stuff. I guess I contributed to it for smashing trash quietly.
Crank (me): "Control, Mess Deck, request permission to smash trash"
COW: "We're rigged for Ultra-Quiet. All off-watch personnel are supposed to be in the rack"
Crank: "Tell it to the COB"
COW: "You have permission to smash trash, no glass"
Crank: "Smash trash, no glass, crank aye"


1/14/2009 2:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, my "shore duty" was at NSSF, doing dual media resin discharges that used to be done by the I had no issues with getting that MUC. As far as SubsSchool getting one....if they were doing all the stuff posted above...
Yeah! Give it to them.

Congrats on the "Best Up and Coming" BLOG award!

1/14/2009 2:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if not a MUC, then what do we give them? There is no "training command award." And you can compare Sub School against all other training commands, or against all other shore commands. If they deserve recognition, the MUC seems appropriate to me.

1/14/2009 2:55 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

The Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard have lower level unit awards than their equivalent of the MUC; it's the "Superior Unit Award" in the Army and "Outstanding Unit Award" in the Air Force. Maybe the Navy could come up with an equivalent for shore commands.

1/14/2009 4:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
So if not a MUC, then what do we give them? There is no "training command award."

NETC Gives out the "Training E" (E being for excellence) Award every year. TTF Bangor has received it for the last three years. I know it goes to various training commands in their respective categories.
TTF Bangor has done alot also with newer stuff. Seawolf moves to Bangor and all the SSGN stuff! So as for what constitutes receiving a MUC, who knows!


1/14/2009 7:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome idea, Joel! Let's start a campaign for the Navy to institute a Superior Unit Commendation. I know many a sailor would think earning a SUC would be the highlight of his career!

1/14/2009 8:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe the the Fleet Unit Commendation!

1/14/2009 8:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't begrudge the Sub School its MUC. Even NR has a MUC. Although in NR's case, it was one of Admiral Bowman's retirement awards. NR wanted a NUC, but the approving authority awarded the MUC. Query NDAWS and see for yourself.

1/14/2009 9:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't RTC Great Lakes get a MUC in the early 80's for operating through a snowstorm or something that closed everyone else down? I remember wearing the ribbon only while there, since I wasn't there during the award period.


1/15/2009 4:35 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Nothing is more painful than to see the MUC on a sign post outside a building. Meanwhile, there are many ships, doing damn crazy hard things on mission, that will never get a MUC, NUC or even a thank you.

1/16/2009 12:38 PM

Blogger Bryan Lethcoe said...

In CAPT Swan's defense, although he was a boomer CO, he was all fast boats up to that point. As his ENG, I was aboard for the "challenging operational test of national level interest" referred to in his bio, and it was not a typical boomer patrol (can't say much more about it). He got a lot of mileage during his command tour.
He was a good CO, and I am glad he has continued his success afterwards.

1/17/2009 7:51 PM

Blogger HMS Defiant said...

I worked in a lot of buildings with the fruit salad either on a board out front or hanging from the yard arm. There are a lot of deployable/deploying units in the navy that routinely get into action, earn the CAR, JMUA, PUC, NUC, MUC etc and, not being ships, have nowhere else to display the damned things cause, you know, they don't actually get underway.


1/17/2009 10:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

all the mids wear a MUC at the naval academy for "record low Plebe Summer attrition; the highest graduation rate of any service academy". (so basically they got a MUC because the naval academy got easier)

1/18/2009 8:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yeah, I just put that there to fan the flames of the FastBoat/BoomerFag inferno. I did once ask him how he got command of a Boomer after a career on FastBoats and he said the detailer gave him two choices: Omaha or Boomer, you will have STRAT experience before going up for Flag. He chose Boomer.

And that "Operational Test" was rather interesting. Was that also when she made the UK visit? I was on GWE's last patrol (#34) as a Mid and that crew was almost as beat down as the one on my Ustafish. They deserved a guy like CAPT Swan.

@ 1/18 Annon.

My big gripe is that the students get a MUC. The staff improved standards and enforced them, the students did what they were supposed to do.

1/18/2009 1:24 PM

Blogger Bryan Lethcoe said...

Different patrols - enough said.

Also, CAPT Swan was my 2nd CO - you probably met me (my first full patrol in TN would have been your patrol on TN) but I was a bit busy breaking stuff that run.

1/19/2009 6:48 AM

Anonymous Ilene said...

This will not actually have success, I consider this way.

9/24/2012 12:39 PM


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