Groton, Connecticut — Though Lieutenant Matthew Giannone hails from the landlocked state of Nebraska, he will tell you he was forged by the sea – with a family legacy of service behind him.
“I was always interested in being in the military,” said Giannone. “My father and grandfather were Navy, so it was in my blood.”
Giannone’s father was a submariner and served as a machinist’s mate-nuclear first class aboard USS Madison (SSBN 627), USS James Monroe (SSBN 622) and USS Kamehameha (SSBN 642). His grandfather served as a naval doctor.
Giannone is currently serving as the supply officer aboard the 17th and newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine in the Navy, Pre-Commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790), which is scheduled to be commissioned February 2.
The ship’s supply officer is directly responsible for all parts and food onboard, to include handling of all finances and logistics for the entire crew.
“This job is crucial because when a submarine is underway and something breaks, time is of the essence in repairing what is broken,” said Giannone.
As the supply officer, Giannone assists in investigating and issuing any needed tools or parts for repairs.
“My favorite part of my job is the sense of accomplishment you get when you are able to help someone on the boat repair something, knowing that you directly helped the boat continue its mission,” said Giannone.
It is the unique role he plays as a submariner that he counts as his crowning achievement while also taking great pride in his role as a supply officer.
“My proudest moment in the Navy was earning my ‘Fish’,” said Giannone. “As a surface Sailor first, I never really thought about submarines and their mission. I will say it was the hardest qualification I have earned.”
Officers must learn every watch station on the submarine prior to earning the submarine warfare qualification commonly referred to as “fish.”
Giannone’s hobbies include watching college football, golfing and traveling. “I’m a big sports fan,” said Giannone. “I love watching college football. Go Big Red!”
Giannone currently lives in Mystic, Connecticut. His father, Frank, lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The South Dakota is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of special operations forces, strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare. It’s 377 feet long and 34 feet wide and weighs nearly 7,800 tons, powered by a nuclear reactor to push the boat through water at speeds of more than 25 knots while submerged.
As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities.