Clarion Sports Zone Recognizes Chief Boatswainsmate (SW) Stephen Elder (10/14/18)
After announcing Clarion Sports Zone’s desire to give recognition to Bobcat athletes and support staff etc. who are in service to our country in the Military and/or to their communities in law enforcement, corrections, firefighters or other first responder positions, it was mentioned that there are others throughout the county (some not involved in sports) who deserve recognition for their service.
Though the Clarion Sports Zone’s scope of coverage is Clarion Area High School Athletics and local youth sports in the Clarion area, it is an honor to recognize those from the county, who honorably serve country and community, even if not from CAHS.
One such person is: Chief Boatswainsmate (SW) Steven Elder, from Fisher, who is the son of Lisa Smith and Don Elder. Steven graduated from Clarion-Limestone High School in 2009 and was an active member of Future Farmers of America (FFA). Steven’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, farming, and firefighting
Steven didn’t play any sports because he devoted his time working on his grandfather’s farm (Smith Farms of Limestone) and running fire calls with Limestone Volunteer Fire Department. Aside from that, Steven was found in the woods hunting or standing in a stream fishing.
He has been in the Navy for nine years, joining on the 19th of August in 2009 as an undesignated Seamen Recruit. While at boot camp in Great Lakes, Steven was meritoriously promoted to Seamen Apprentice. Following boot camp, Steven was assigned to LPD 18 USS New Orleans out of San Diego, California, where he struck the rate of Boatswainsmate (BM). BMs drive ships, conduct underway replenishments (taking on fuel and stores from another vessel while underway), driving small boats, mooring ships to the pier, dropping anchor, carrying out the daily routine while underway, and keeping the skip painted and maintained to carry out the mission.
Steven was on USS New Orleans from December 9th, 2009 until December 14th, 2014, where he completed one deployment as a Southern Partnership and two deployments to the Middle East. From there, he reported to USS Barry (DDG 52) in Norfolk Virginia, where after a workup cycle and INSURV inspection, they did a home port shift to Yokosuka, Japan (meaning the ship got moved to Japan and the crew would move with her).
After being forward deployed onboard Barry for a year and a half, Steven transferred to the United States Naval Academy in May of 2017, as a Yard Patrol Boat Craftmaster, where he would train Midshipmen basic seamanship and navigation. Currently Steven is still stationed at United States Naval Academy, where he is the Sailing Department’s Leading Chief Petty Officer in charge of 70 Sailboats and 15 training support craft.
Steven’s Military decorations include Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), three Good conduct Medals, Global War on Terrorism, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Expert Rifle Marksmanship and Expert Pistol Marksmanship.
(Thank you for your service Chief Boatswainsmate (SW) Steven Elder!!!!)