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Lt. j.g. Monique Jefferson is the Navy's ship handler of the year.

Lt. j.g. Monique Jefferson earned the Ship Handler of the Year Award, which is given to surface warfare officers who demonstrate superior performance while standing officer of the deck underway onboard the Navy’s newest platform, the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship.

Jefferson is from Katy, Texas, and received her commission from Southern University in Baton Rouge. She recently completed a seven-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean Ocean when she was previously stationed onboard the USS James E. Williams.

Surface warfare officers are naval officers whose training and primary duties focus on the operation of Navy ships at sea, leading sailors and managing the various shipboard systems and programs.

Jefferson is the weapons officer onboard the USS Indianapolis Blue crew and is the expert for all weapons systems onboard the LCS platform. Her responsibilities include daily verification that all weapons systems are fully operational and combat-ready. Additionally, she is responsible for ensuring her sailors are fully qualified trained and are developing personally and professionally.