I was born on the crest of a
wave in Queens, New York,
After high school, I studied at
the State University of New York at
Buffalo for a while and decided
that growing up a little in the military was the way forward for me.
Since joining the Navy, I’ve gone
back to college and completed my
major in Workforce Education and
Development from Southern Illinois University and graduated
from the Senior Enlisted Academy.
I came into the Navy as an electronics technician [ET], the nuclear type originally. Let’s just say
that ‘Nuke School’ is as hard as I
had heard and it didn’t go very well
for me. I was converted into a communications ET and went to ‘C’
school to be a technician.
After I reported to the boat, I
learned everything about submarine operations, including how to
operate my own equipment. The
Sailors took me under their wing,
taught me how to be a ‘radioman’
and I quickly learned how to communicate off a submarine. I enjoyed doing that part of my job,
but appreciated the people who
took the time to help me learn. I
still keep contact with many of
I have had a unique career as far
as assignments go, serving on board
three submarines — USS Boston,
USS Louisville and USS Charlotte —
all during my first sea tour. To be
honest, I was pretty grumpy after
the third boat and planned on getting out of the Navy after shore duty.
Naval Submarine School was the
shore duty I chose and it changed
not only my career, but my life.
I married a beautiful, brilliant
woman and began a family, advanced
to first class petty officer, ran the
Master Training Specialist program
and became a mentor to a struggling
Sailor. I learned that I enjoyed teaching people and helping them
improve; that it wasn’t about me anymore. I was being developed into a
leader and I didn’t even realize it.
From there, I reported to USS
Springfield as the leading petty officer and made chief about a year
later. I transferred to USS Dallas as
the leading chief petty officer; yes,
two more boats in one sea tour. My
second shore duty was at Submarine
Development Squadron 12 as the
assistant communicator, and then I
transferred to USS Annapolis in 2014
to be the chief of the boat [COB].
If you were to ask me my job
description, I would tell you that I
am the senior enlisted adviser to the
commanding officer on all matters
concerning the enlisted crew and
operations. Although that definition
is certainly true, I have learned my
role is much deeper than that.
I do work directly for the captain, and very closely with the XO
[executive officer], to make sure
we are the best command we can
be. But in order to do that, it has to
be about the crew for the COB. The
best part of being a COB is that it is
100 percent about the people.
I truly believe that all Sailors
deserve a great leader. I heard that
saying once and it resonated with
me. Therefore, on most days, I really
work for the crew. Without them,
the submarine force is nothing; pretty simple philosophy actually. It is
my duty and responsibility to develop a culture on board where everyone can enjoy coming to work, feel
included in the command and strive
to improve themselves and each
other every day. I call it Team Submarining, although I am pretty sure
I didn’t make that up.
Everyone has a role. If we foster a
culture of teamwork and open communication, we learn from each
other, always improve and train our
reliefs. ‘Shipmates helping shipmates’ is a phrase often heard at
quarters or in leadership discussions
on board. A crew looking out for
each other becomes more efficient
and effective. Small victories lead to
large ones and success is contagious.
It also builds confidence.
Our families are also a vital component to the command’s success. It
is their support and encouragement
that allows us to do our jobs every
day. They have one of the toughest
Master Chief Electronics
Technician Jason Avin
CHIEF OF THE BOAT
PROFILES IN SERVICE
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