GROTON, Conn. — Naval Submarine Base New London celebrated one of their own Feb. 16 when a sailor assigned to the base was recognized as Service Person of the Month by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut and the New London Lions Club.

Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Kieleyanne Chaisson, a native of Richmond, who serves as assistant leading petty officer of the base Religious Ministries Department, was honored for her extensive community service in a virtual ceremony. The event was held via video call to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic, according to a news release from Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristan B. Lotz, SUBASE NLON Public Affairs.

Angie Clay, a representative for the Chamber, read some of the things Chaisson did for both her command and her community, for which she was recognized.

“Petty Officer Chaisson has quickly set herself apart from her peers as the go-to person to coordinate and manage events for the SUBASE New London Religious Ministries Department,” said Clay, according to the release. “She has established herself as an integral part of the team, helping to ensure the smooth running of day-to-day operations. As assistant leading petty officer, she is responsible for professional and personal development of six sailors and completion of daily operations.”

Chaisson has supported various community service programs ranging from toy drives to food programs. She has also supported community organizations for schools, veterans and more.

“She supported her local community through her multiple outreach programs, such as SUBASE New London’s angel tree program,” said Clay. “Her assistance has provided Christmas toys to more than 100 children of military families. She has given back to her community through various programs such as the Harbor Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association, the SUBASE New London Sharing and Caring Food Drive, Groton Submarine Veterans Club Thanksgiving dinner, SUBASE New London’s Junior Enlisted Association, and the Navy Wounded Warrior Program. In addition, Chaisson leads the SUBASE New London Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program, as well as the annual SUBASE New London food drive. During the annual food drive, she worked as the military liaison for the Town of Groton and SUBASE New London fire departments to help collect food donations that provided food to 10 local neighborhoods.”

For her efforts, the New London Lions Club and the Chamber awarded Chaisson gift cards and certificates from various local businesses and a plaque with her name on it. Chaisson expressed her gratitude to those on the virtual call and her surrounding community.

“I just want to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who put my name in there and thank you all for the recognition,” said Chaisson.

Her supervisor, SUBASE New London Chaplain Cmdr. Jamie Stall-Ryan, expressed his appreciation for Chaisson’s contribution to his department as well as her positive attitude.

“She is nothing but a breath of fresh air!” said Stall-Ryan, according to the release. “She deserves this. She is one of the hardest working people I know. When life hands you lemons, she doesn’t just make lemonade, she puts a little something special in the lemonade we all thoroughly enjoy. We’re happy to have her, happy to see he recognized. When we award these sailors, we give them the motivation to continue to do what the country has asked them to do. Thank all of you for providing one of my sailors the support and appreciation.”

The SPOM Program is organized by the Chamber and local Rotary and service clubs such as the New London Lions to honor local military personnel of all branches who not only excel in their regular duties but also go above and beyond in their contributions to their community.

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