Military Sealift Command names Sailor of the Year
Beating out competition from MSC headquarters in Washington, D.C., and four additional area commands under MSC worldwide, BM1(SW) Graves is assigned as a waterfront coordinator in MSC Europe's operations and readiness department.
Within MSC Europe's strategic sealift tanker office, Graves directed the movement of seven commercial tankers, delivering over 211 million gallons of aviation and diesel fuels to bases, ships, and aircraft throughout Europe, year-round. Further, BM1 Graves routinely performed the work of a senior civilian marine transportation specialist, coordinating the movement of both military and commercial cargo vessels.
In addition to tankers, BM1 Graves also supported dry cargo operations, including equipment rotations in support of U.S. peacekeepers in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo. MSCEUR deploys and redeploys thousands of tons of military hardware supporting the U.S. mission in the former Yugoslavia. In Sept. 2002, Graves lead a team of MSC reservists to Rijeka, Croatia, where the MSC-contracted ship MV Scan Bothnia, loaded 35,000 sq.ft. of SFOR equipment in just nine hours, including 11 OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and 19 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, 50 containers, 12 trailers, and five wheeled vehicles. On numerous occasions, Graves was the sole MSC Europe representative during ammunition cargo operations, and major military exercises.
Overall, Graves is credited for managing the on-load and off-load of millions of square feet of general military cargo, and over 2,000 metric tons of ammunition. He worked closely with the civilian ship masters of MSC and contracted commercial cargo ships, husbanding agents, as well as all branches of the U.S. military in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.
As MSC Europe's command leading petty officer since May of last year, Graves also directed nine personnel in various command functions, including military training and physical readiness. "BM1 Graves' leadership and professional accomplishments improved the overall mission performance," said Capt. Dirk Deverill, USN, Commander, Military Sealift Command, Europe. "He clearly performed duties well beyond what is required of his boatswain mate rating, but this is what makes a sailor of the year... someone who is willing to step forward, take responsibility, accept chances and get the job done."
Military Sealift Command, Europe, operates dry cargo ships, tankers, and other vessels, including fleet oilers, combat stores ships, prepositioning ships, and special mission ships, from the arctic waters of Norway to the tip of South Africa. On any given day, in peacetime, about 120 MSC ships are deployed around the globe. For more information, log on to the command's website at www.msc.navy.mil/msceur <http://www.msc.navy.mil/msceur>.