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NEWS | July 10, 2019

USS John S. McCain Sailors Honored for Damage Control Efforts Following 2017 Collision

By 7th Fleet Public Affairs Office

YOKOSUKA, Japan – 50 Sailors who distinguished themselves for their bravery and contributions to damage control efforts aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), were recognized in a ceremony aboard the ship, July 10.

“To commemorate on this ship what these men and women did is both notable and fitting, because the memory of their actions represent the toughness and pride of our Navy,” said Adm. John Aquilino, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “It also helps remind the next generation of Sailors the moral character, personal sacrifice, and selfless commitment required to not give up the ship.”

Aquilino, along with Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, presented medals to seven members of the McCain crew in attendance.

Those sailors recognized during the event were: Lt. Aaron Van Driessche who received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Patat and Chief Damage Controlman Anthony Ebarb received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, while Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 3rd Class Steven Osenbruk, Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Ethan Golston, Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 2nd Class Thomas Neff, and Navy Counselor First Class Menh Luc each received the Navy Achievement Medal.

“This morning you will hear about a crew, that in the midst of chaos and calamity, displayed exceptional initiative, technical competence, teamwork, grit, determination, and an unconquerable spirit." said Cmdr. Ryan Easterday, commanding officer, USS John S. McCain. “Today is about publicly sharing the untold stories of heroism from the collision—the second, more positive half of a painful chapter in the ship’s history.”

Overall, Seven McCain Sailors were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, 15 were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, while 28 received the Navy Achievement Medal. The awards represent all those who distinguished themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement or meritorious service following the ship’s collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC Aug. 21, 2017.

One of McCain’s Ombudsmen, Lakela Granados was also honored for her actions providing counseling and support to the ship’s crew and families following the collision.

The collision claimed the lives of ten John S. McCain Sailors, and the crew fought back against progressive flooding across numerous spaces for hours on end. Facing constant peril from flooding, electrocution, structural damage and noxious fumes, these Sailors prevented further loss of life and ultimately saved the ship.

The list of personnel receiving awards is as follows:
Navy and Marine Corps Medal
LT Aaron Van Driessche
CWO3 Michael Calhoun
DC1 Justin Ramirez
DC1 Michael Cooper
GSM1 Delando Beckford
OS3 Malachi Shannon
SH2 Mark Williams

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
LT Michael Shofner
LTJG Kathryn Hussey
LTJG Meghan Meriano
CWO2 Joshua Patat
GSCS Bryan Hayes
DCC Anthony Ebarb
DC1 Hosey Brooks
HM1 Alan Aaron
HM2 Justin Lam
HT2 Darwin Dunlap
MM1 Nicholas Healy
GSM2 Jonathan Spence
MM2 Joseph Ligon
DC3 Harley Peterson
ET2 Royce Black

Navy Achievement Medal
LTJG Glory Armentrout
LTJG Jordan Snitzer
LTJG Madelyn Ryden
LTJG Thomas Foster
ENS Daniel Coley
ENS James Brisotti
CSCS Donnel Robinson
PSC Philip Torio
CS1 Christopher Plowden
GSM1 Mark Winter, Jr.
MR1 John Ray, III
NC1 Menh Luc
DC2 Anthony Dana
EM2 Ethan Golston
EN2 Edwin Loredo
GSE2 Thomas Neff
GSM2 Yong Gao
HT2 Laurin Bynoe
MM2 Jorge Rivera
PS2 Jerrell Dean
BM3 Tevin Vassel
DC3 Christopher Christensen
DC3 Jeremy Snyder
EM3 Alejandro Alemanayala
GSE3 Steven Osenbruk
GSM3 Ivan Cruz
MM3 Elijah Swantkoski
EMFN Lashawn Kellom, Jr.

Superior Public Service Award
Lakela Granados
Kathleen Hoar


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