SUBASE Sailor recognized as January’s Service Person of the Month

A Sailor from Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE) was recently recognized as January’s Service Person of the Month (SPOM) by the Niantic Lions Club and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut (Chamber).

Sonar Technician Submarines First Class Dakota L. Spahr, from Punta Gorda, Florida, who currently resides in New London, Connecticut, received the award during a dinner meeting of the Niantic Lions Club, February 1, at Flanders’s Fish Market restaurant.

The award is sponsored by the Chamber and local service organizations, such as the Lions Club, and is part of a yearlong program led by the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council. Military organizations permanently based in the area such as the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Connecticut National Guard help with input.

“The Service Person of the Month program supports community recognition of outstanding enlisted personnel stationed or living in the Southeastern Connecticut area,” said Angela Clay, a supervisor at the Navy Federal Credit Navy Federal Credit Union and a Chair of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council, who participated in the recognition dinner. “It highlights those in uniform who have made noteworthy community service contributions while also excelling in their military duties.”

Spahr has helped lead the SUBASE First Lieutenant Department in providing key support services to the base and tenant commands, from ground and road clean-ups and foul-weather and storm preparations to special event assistance. He was hailed as “a model military service member,” and “a deck-plate leader.”

In the local community, Spahr helped organize and support volunteers from the First Lieutenant Department in removing scrub, trimming vines and branches, and cleaning-up the Town of Sprague War Memorial Park, on two separate occasions. These two full-day efforts were significant in ensuring the park along the Shetucket River - which is home to one of the first memorials in Connecticut honoring female combat veterans – was ready for public veteran ceremonies. Additionally, he helped lead volunteers from the First Lieutenant Department in building more than 30 youth bicycles for a holiday give-away event to military families coordinated by Pfizer and the SUBASE Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Department.

“He’s ever ready to say ‘yes,’ and get things done for both the base and community,” said Chief Petty Officer Dylan Hutton of the SUBASE First Lieutenant Department. “We’re going to miss him.”

Spahr will be leaving SUBASE by the end of February with orders to sea duty.

“My wife Shelby and I have loved living in Connecticut,” said Spahr. “And I’ve enjoyed being able to make a difference giving back to such a wonderful community.”

Niantic Lions Club President Bob LaTourette praised Spahr for his commitment and dedication to others.

“Petty Officer Spahr embodies the Lion’s motto ‘we serve,’ and the club is so happy we’ve been able to honor him and recognize his achievements,” said LaTourette.