Seaman to Chief, a plankowner’s success story aboard USS North Dakota

Photo: Chief Justin Stewart from Prattville, AL.

GROTON, Conn. – An accomplished submariner is not uncommon in the world’s finest Navy. Earning one’s dolphins. Achieving the rank of chief. Some even do it in record-setting time. But one North Dakota sailor did it all... on the same boat.

Meet Justin Stewart, a husband, a submariner, a plankowner, a chief, a navigator, and an all-around swell guy. And it’s his positive attitude as a young Seaman that he credits for his success. Young “Seaman” Stewart, a native of Prattville, Alabama, checked aboard the Virginia-class submarine USS North Dakota (SSN 784) in November of 2012 and will leave in October of 2021 – a year shy of a decade.

Today, “Chief” Stewart, an Electronics Technician (Navigation) and ship’s Assistant Navigator (ANAV), spends his days training the crew, managing charts, and planning future operations.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.