Groton - Chief Hospital Corpsman Retroyreo Conner was recognized as the Submarine Independent Duty Corpsman of the Year for 2012 at a command awards ceremony.
He is an independent duty corpsman on the USS New Mexico (SSN 779). The award is presented annually to enlisted medical professionals who have contributed significantly to the combat readiness and overall health of sailors on submarines.
Conner, who has served for 14 years and was pinned chief petty officer in September, was named the winner earlier this year but couldn't be presented with it because the submarine was at sea.
"It was a total surprise I can honestly say that," Conner said. "I have a great crew and I can say that I received this recognition based on their stellar performance and support of me."
Cmdr. George Perez, commanding officer of the New Mexico, said Conner's "dedication to the health and well-being of the New Mexico crew, his constant drive to help those around him achieve success, and his positive, infectious attitude makes him an inspiration to every sailor on board."
"He is, without a doubt, one of the finest sailors I have ever had the privilege of serving with in my 26-year career," Perez said.