NAS Patuxent River Solicits Nominations for the 2021 Admiral Merlin O’Neill Officer of the Year Award

August 21, 2021

NAS Patuxent River announced Aug. 18 that it is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Admiral Merlin O’Neill Officer of the Year Award.

The award was established in 1981 by the Southern Maryland Chapter of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) to recognize exemplary junior officers and is named in honor of Admiral Merlin O’Neill, Commandant of the Coast Guard from 1950 to 1954 and a prominent southern Maryland resident in his later years. O’Neill was a decorated veteran of World War II and known for taking a personal interest in the development of junior officers.

“The junior officers at Pax River are a force multiplier when it comes to the Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation mission here, and the Admiral Merlin O’Neill Officer of the Year Award is one way we can highlight the achievement of these hard-chargers,” said Capt. John Brabazon, NAS Patuxent River commanding officer. “Whether on base or in the community, our JOs exemplify the Navy core values of ‘Honor, Courage, and Commitment’ every day, and we want to recognize that.”

To be eligible, officers must be grade O-4 or below and may be from any service branch, to include U.S. Coast Guard, assigned to activities onboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Particular emphasis must be placed on sustained superior performance and leadership. The officer’s emphasis on volunteer activities and involvement in community service are important factors in selection. An officer should not be nominated if they are separating from active service or are scheduled for permanent change of station within 90 days of selection.

The winner of the Admiral Merlin O’Neill Award is recognized by the Southern Maryland Chapter of the MOAA with a certificate of recognition, a nameplate mounted to the O’Neill Award plaque, lunch for two with chapter members, and a cash award of $250.

Nominations must be received by Sept. 15, 2021 by the NAS Patuxent River Administration Office; point of contact is NAS Patuxent River Administration Officer Misty Green at 301-757-1996 or [email protected] . Information and a sample nomination are available for download at under “NASPAXRIVINST 1650.3K Admiral Merlin O’Neill Officer of the Year Award.”