Atlantic Fleet Sailor of the Year
MS Steven Lannon earns top leadership award
By Joanie Veitch,
Master Sailor Steven Lannon likes to keep things light, joking around and enjoying a laugh with the other sailors on board ship, but when it’s time for serious work, he’s always ready for a challenge.
That spirit of leadership and willingness to consistently go above and beyond his regular duties has earned MS Lannon the Atlantic Fleet’s Sailor of the Year award, which he received at Tribute Tower on June 23 — in Mr. Mac’s Room — with Commodore Richard Feltham, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic (CANFLTLANT), and Fleet Chief CP01 Darcy Burd presenting.
“We are blessed with extraordinary people in our fleet. We have the best and the brightest Canada has to offer,” Cmdre Feltham said. “To have been chosen as the best of all that group is significant, it really is significant.”
When MS Lannon, who began his career with the Navy in 2009 as a Hull Technician, now a Marine Technician (MARTECH), joined the crew of HMCS St. John’s in June 2020, the ship was getting ready for an extended maintenance period. This required a complete de-storing of the ship and total crew swap to HMCS Ville de Québec — all during strict COVID-19 protocols.
“To meet the restrictions, we went in after hours and worked late nights. It was a hard time but we did a lot of check-ins to make sure everyone was doing ok,” said MS Lannon.
As the crew worked to get Ville de Québec ready for the multinational Operation NANOOK 20 happening in the Eastern Arctic in early August, to be followed by the UK-led Exercise JOINT WARRIOR in October, the ship’s command team hit a major snag. The senior firefighter on the ship — usually a job held by a Petty Officer, Second Class — was unable to sail.
Without someone in the senior firefighting position, the ship didn’t have a coordinator for the vital role of helicopter crash rescue firefighting (HCRFF) on board ship.
While MS Lannon had the full HCRFF training, to be able to take on that operational role and enable HMCS Ville de Québec to take part in the upcoming exercises, he needed to recertify immediately.
“I had to step up into that role to enable the ship to be capable for flight ops. It was a big responsibility but I was able to take on the challenge,” said MS Lannon.
Accepting his award, MS Lannon gave credit as well to his co-workers in the Marine Systems Engineers (MSE) department for their hard work, saying he wouldn’t have been able to take on the extra responsibility without their support.
Now, with COVID-19 restrictions beginning to lift, MS Lannon hopes to get home to Paradise, NL for the first time in a year and a half with his wife Kimberley, who works at the IWK Health Centre, and their two-year-old son Liam.
He’s also looking forward to spending time at home and keeping busy with projects around the house. Three years ago MS Lannon and his wife built a house in Brookside; he said he loves spending his time off doing yard work and just being outdoors.
“I like to challenge myself,” he said. “When I get a job done, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. It’s just good to keep busy.