Pictured here is the now former Chief of the Boat, J.R. O'Donnell, and the Commanding Officer, Commander Gary Montalvo.
The COB received the first SSN 777 Club plaque made from original teak decking of the Battleship North Carolina when he departed the 777 in early September.
The Club's intent is to present such a plaque to each departing crew member, both enlisted and officer. So far, we've shipped 5 plaques to Pearl Harbor for presentation. Affixed in the center of each plaque is a 777 coin; the plaques are inscribed with name, dates of service aboard the 777 and identification of the teak as being from BB 55.
In exchange, each departing crew member supplies a memento to the Club such as a rating badge or a set of officer bars. We intend to save these items and to display them in the order in which the crew members depart. The 777 crew turns-over at a rate of 4 per month. After its forecasted service-life of 20 more years, we'll have a library of rating badges and bars approaching 1,000. These will be offered to the North Carolina archives in honor of its namesake submarine.
Launching this program for the acquisition and production of plaques relied on the timely support of the retail store staff at the Battleship North Carolina, the generosity of Captain Walt Flippin USN (ret) and the skills of Chuck Dean and his crew at Fine Wood Designs.
It's a great feeling to help the crew to feel appreciated by their friends in North Carolina.