NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va., –
In 2001, Moored Training Ship (MTS) Daniel Webster (MTS 626) was having work done at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY). An Electronics Technician Second Class Petty Officer stood fire watch onboard the Daniel Webster, not knowing he would return 20 years later as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and as NNSY’s Nuclear Engineering and Planning Manager (NEPM).
“I’m excited to be back to help NNSY become the shipyard that our Navy needs us to be,” said NNSY’s new NEPM Jeremy Largey.
The Hemet, Calif. native attended Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. Working two full-time jobs as a cook at Red Lobster and Chili’s and attending college part-time made it tough for him, his wife and newborn daughter. “I was working so much, only making slow progress in school and it seemed that I only got to see my family when they were asleep. I know it sounds strange but I decided to look into joining the military in hopes that I could see my family more,” he said.
“The Army said I could be a linguist, the Air Force said I could refuel air planes and the Marines said I could be a Marine,” said Largey. “The Navy offered me the option to enter the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program where I would get to go to school full-time for two years. I would only have to work one job, and I would get to serve my country aboard a submarine. I was sold!”
In addition to serving onboard the Daniel Webster as both a student and a staff instructor, Largey also served onboard USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) and upon his selection as a Chief Petty Officer, he transferred to USS Louisiana (SSBN 743). Both of Largey’s sea duty assignments were served in the Pacific Northwest at Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor. After eight years of active duty service, he decided that he wanted to serve the country in another capacity.
“I got out of the Navy and joined the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Immediate Maintenance Facility’s (PSNS&IMF) team, as a civil servant, where I served in various roles over the years including as a Nuclear Engineer in the Control Engineering Division (Code 2330), Trouble Desk Lead Engineer, a branch head, a Process Improvement Manager, an Assistant Production Superintendent in the Production Department (Code 900) responsible for waterfront logistics and job readiness services, the Code 2330 Division Head, the Head Nuclear Engineer, and the NEPM. I am a bit of a geek and I think that nuclear power is one of the most incredible things that humans have ever developed. I feel very privileged to still be able to be a part of it and to continue to serve the Navy and my country.”
When signing the paperwork to become a member of the SES, he knew that he would eventually relocate to take another assignment. “I had been in the position for two years and I have to admit that I didn’t think I would relocate so soon but I am truly excited to be here as a part of the NNSY team,” said Largey.
Largey’s first impression of NNSY as the NEPM was that the people of NNSY are passionate and determined to make a difference. Largey stated that people are the “secret sauce” that makes America’s Shipyard great and will enable us to deliver on-time every time.
“Unfortunately, today our customers and stakeholders don’t have the confidence that we will deliver on-time every time. It will take the engagement and best efforts of every person to work together as one team focusing on one mission to create a new mental model with our customers and stakeholders. We want to be known for dependably delivering not just on-time but better than ever before,” said Largey. “It won’t be easy, but we are already taking the steps needed, starting with our new Strategic Framework, to make this happen.”
Largey believes that the shipyard of tomorrow is here today. It just needs to be unlocked. It will take bright ideas and innovation from shipyard employees at all levels to make it happen.
“I like to say that I only do things the way I do them because I haven’t learned a better way yet. We must be open minded and have the humility to learn and change when we find a better, smarter way, even if it wasn’t our way or our idea. Ideas about better ways to work come from everywhere but especially from the cognizant person who is actually doing the work. Good leaders foster environments were the team feels empowered to bring their ideas forward, knowing they will be listened to and acted on when they lead to us being better able to deliver our mission. There are better ways of doing things and we just need to work together to find out what those better ways are and then act on them.”
Largey made it clear that the shipyard wants to invest in its employees’ “whole person development” which he described as technical, leadership, and character focused. “Strength in each of these areas is needed to create the most capable team and best environment to deliver our mission,” said Largey.
Largey also spoke about the value of a great workplace environment. “Several years ago, I was on a leadership panel as part of the Naval Sea Systems Command Project Management Fundamentals (PMF) course where I was asked what I want to be remembered for,” said Largey. “My answer then and now is the same. I want to be remembered for delivering great products and services and doing that on-time of course but most importantly, I want to be remembered for doing that with a great, uplifting environment. Creating a great environment where we each feel valued and committed to what we are doing brings out the best from people. The environment we work in is up to us, we can make it as great as we want it to be. We spend so much of our life together here in our workplace, why not make it a great environment? From what I have seen of the talented team so far here at NNSY, I am thoroughly convinced that if we can create an environment where we get the best from every person, we will truly be the shipyard that our Navy and our country needs us to be.”