A Royal Navy submariner recently received US Navy Submarine Service “dolphins”, making him just the second UK officer to qualify on a US Navy submarine.
It has been a tough process, but getting my US Navy dolphins is one of the highlights of my career and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Lieutenant Matt Main RN
Lieutenant Matt Main has already earned his Royal Navy dolphins – the unique badge which signifies a qualified submariner – but on June 10 he was presented with the US equivalent after a gruelling 27 month training and qualification process.
Matt, a Marine Engineer (Submarines) in the Royal Navy, was presented with the US dolphins by Commander George Perez, Commanding Officer of the USS New Mexico, after his success as part of the US-UK Personnel Exchange Programme.
Fully integrated into the crew of USS New Mexico, Matt is currently the Damage Control Assistant and will become the Assistant Engineer in due course before returning to the Royal Navy.
US Navy submarine officers must qualify both forward and aft to earn their dolphins and so, for Matt, learning to drive the submarine both surfaced and submerged has been a unique experience.
“It is a real privilege to serve on this fine submarine with such a professional, motivated crew,”
“It has been a tough process, but getting my US Navy dolphins is one of the highlights of my career and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
“The welcome I received when I reported on board a year ago was incredibly warm and I am proud to call these men my brothers.”
Commander Perez said:
“After a fast-paced, demanding year of intense operations, Lieutenant Main has earned his gold US dolphins.
“He is fully qualified to stand Officer of the Deck on USS New Mexico and will do so repeatedly over the next year as he assumes an even larger role in the day-to-day operations of the ship.
“When an officer earns his dolphins in the US Navy, it signifies that they have demonstrated, through performance as the Officer of the Deck, a thorough understanding of all aspects of submarine operations.”
Lieutenant Main was presented his dolphins during a ceremony alongside HM Naval Base Clyde. Witnessing events were the crew of USS New Mexico as well as Royal Navy colleagues.
Matt is the second Royal Navy officer to earn US Navy submarine dolphins, with the first, Lieutenant Commander Ralph Coffey, receiving his after serving with USS Providence from 2010-12.
Source – Royal Navy Website