Anderson found that he missed the active duty Navy while serving in the reserves and attending college. “I enjoyed the Navy the first time, so I decided to go back to active duty,” he said.
The decision took Anderson across the world on several deployments. He is hard-pressed to pick a favorite assignment, but his time onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln is high in the running. There, he prepared meals for the ships officers and a variety of distinguished visitors, including NBA superstar Karl Malone, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, then Secretary of Defense William Cohen, Steve Forbes and Gen. Tommy Franks. The latter guest, who was leading Central Command at the time of his visit, made an especially positive impression on Anderson. “General Franks was down to earth. he was Texas and had that accent,” he said.
Operationally, the deployment was exceptionally busy and lasted nearly 11 months. “We had some big milestones when I was on the ship,” said Anderson. “We did what was at the time one of the longest deployments in history.”
Another assignment on the USS Iwo Jima allowed Anderson to serve veterans of the battle of Iwo Jima during anniversary celebrations. “Talking to the old vets and listening to their stories and everything. that was really good.”
Anderson is wrapping up his second tour at Dahlgren and will soon depart for an assignment onboard the USS George H. W. Bush in March. “The thing I like about [Dahlgren] is that it’s really family-oriented,” said Anderson. “People are so nice here; they’ll give you the shirt off their back if you need something. Everybody takes care of everybody.”
The father of three has enjoyed the extra family time afforded by shore duty. “We spend most of our weekends at football games, baseball games or soccer games. I love it because when you’re out at sea, you miss a lot of those things like sports, school function or plays.”
Continuing his education is another goal for Anderson, who holds multiple associate degrees and is wrapping up a bachelor’s degree.
Anderson offered words of wisdom to junior Sailors looking to compete in the Sailor boards. “You have to stay up on your job and current events, your chain of command, things like that.”
While Anderson is thankful for the distinction, he repeatedly returns to a theme: to lead is to serve. “Recognition is nice,” he said. “I appreciate it, but I give all credit to the junior Sailors that I work for. I tell them I work for you all.”
For Primeau, the decision to join the Navy came quickly. “I just got up one morning and felt like joining the Navy,” she said. “I wanted to do something good.”
Since then Primeau, who is part of the Full Time Support (FTS) program, has completed a variety of assignments, serving at Andrews Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. She relished the latter assignment, where she worked as a baker in the galley. “Working in the galley was good,” said Primeau. “The hurricanes. not so much.”
After a tour in Norfolk supporting Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 84 (HSC-84), Primeau came to Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren in 2011, where she assists installation emergency management operations. “It’s very educational,” she said. “It’s a new experience to work outside my rate.”
Primeau is an active participant in several volunteer activities, assisting the American Cancer Society, Holiday Assistance Program for King George County and Fredericksburg, funeral honor details and serving as a Voluntary Income Tax assistant.
Along with her husband, Primeau cares for her teenage nephew, who moved in with the family two years ago. “I helped him graduate high school,” she said. “He calls me a big teenager in an adult body.”
Shouldering that kind of responsibility reflects the leadership skills Primeau has learned while serving in the Navy. She was grateful to be recognized by the Sailor of the Quarter board. “[You] go above and beyond and do your job and hopefully you get nominated.”
Primeau discussed what it is like to go through the board process. “It’s all about the questions, eye contact and how you present yourself,” she said. “I answered the questions to the best of my abilities.”
When she isn’t working or spending time with her husband and nephew, Primeau enjoys tag and tug-of-war with Lilly-Ann, her bichon frise. When it comes to hobbies, however, Primeau is singularly-focused. Preparing food and experimenting with new recipes and ingredients sparks Primeau’s imagination.
Primeau gets a kick out of feeding her family and friends and is completing a cookbook, “Sweet Treats and Gourmet Eats” under the pseudonym “Chef Firecracker.” Remarkably, Primeau continued her love of cooking all things even after she became a vegetarian in 2007. She regularly prepares meals that include meat, to rave reviews.
Primeau’s recipes that do not include meat have also impressed her shipmates. Her cookie entry at the kickoff for Dahlgren’s Combined Federal Campaign took home the blue ribbon.