Meet the Crew- Photos and articles by Damon Runyan

Commanding Officer

CDR George Perez


Commander George Perez, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, enlisted in the U. S. Navy in 1986. Upon completion of training as a Nuclear Electrician's Mate, he was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program (Nuclear Option). Attending the University of Texas, Commander Perez earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in August, 1991.

Commander Perez's first sea assignment was onboard USS HELENA (SSN 725) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from August 1993 to November 1996, where he served in a variety of division officer billets including Damage Control Assistant and Quality Assurance Officer. While onboard, he completed two deployments to both the Western Pacific and the Arabian Gulf.

His follow-on assignment was as Naval Science Instructor at the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida where he served from December 1996 to December 1999. During this tour he earned his Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida.

In May 2000, Commander Perez reported as the Combat Systems Officer onboard USS MONTPELIER (SSN 765) in Norfolk, Virginia. During his time onboard, he completed two deployments, including operations off South America during UNITAS 2000 and in the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. In July 2003, Commander Perez reported for duty as a Combat Evaluator for the Tactical Readiness Evaluation Team for the Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. In October 2005, Commander Perez reported as Executive Officer onboard USS RHODE ISLAND (SSBN 740)(BLUE) homeported in Kings Bay, Georgia, where he served for two years completing three strategic deterrent patrols and earning two Battle ‘E' Awards.

In December 2007, Commander Perez took command of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Nuristan Province, in eastern Afghanistan where he served with both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following this combat tour; Commander Perez served as the Current Operations Officer, Navy Region Southeast, in Jacksonville, FL from February 2009 to March 2010 before entering the Submarine Command pipeline.

Commander Perez is entitled to wear the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards) and various unit and service awards. Commander Perez is married to the former Ms. Elizabeth Masterton of Brooklyn, NY and has two children, Matthew Austin and Sydnie Marie.

Executive Officer

USS NEW MEXICO Executive Officer, LCDR Michael Grubb

USS NEW MEXICO Executive Officer, LCDR Michael Grubb

The Executive Officer is Lieutenant Commander Michael Grubb. LCDR Grubb, a native of Southampton, New York, graduated from the University of Michigan in 2000 with a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and was commissioned through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC).

Following nuclear power and submarine officer training, Lieutenant Commander Grubb reported aboard USS MIAMI (SSN 755) in October 2001 and served as the Chemistry and Radiological Controls Assistant and the Communications Officer.  During his tour MIAMI completed a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf, as well as a surge deployment to the North Atlantic Ocean.

Following his tour on MIAMI, in August 2004 Lieutenant Commander Grubb reported to the staff of Destroyer Squadron Twenty Two in Norfolk, Virginia.  Serving as the staff Submarine Operations Officer, his tour included a deployment to the Arabian Gulf embarked on USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.  In February 2006 Lieutenant Commander Grubb reported to the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he earned a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies and completed Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I.       

From September 2007 to October 2009 Lieutenant Commander Grubb served as the Engineering Officer aboard USS PENNSYLVANIA (SSBN 735)(BLUE).  During this time PENNSYLVANIA (BLUE) completed three strategic deterrent patrols and earned the 2008 COMSUBRON 17 Battle Efficiency Award.

In October 2009 Lieutenant Commander was assigned to the Naval Reactors Line Locker in Washington, DC, where he served as the Technical Assistant for S8G, S9G, and prototype reactor plants. 

Following completion of the Submarine Command Course Lieutenant Commander Grubb reported as Executive Officer aboard USS NEW MEXICO (SSN 779) in March 2012.

Lieutenant Commander Grubb is single and resides in Mystic, CT.

Chief of the Boat

The Chief of the Boat is Steven B. Fritzler, ETCM(SS), USN. Master Chief Fritzler was raised in Worland, Wyoming and enlisted in the Navy 12 July 1988.  He completed Recruit Training in Great Lakes and Radioman “A” School in Groton, Connecticut.

Master Chief Fritzler’s sea duty assignments include USS SAN JUAN (SSN 751), USS ANNAPOLIS (SSN 760) and USS NEW HAMPSHIRE (SSN 778).  His shore duty assignments included Naval Submarine School and on the staff of Commander Submarine Squadron 4.

Master Chief Fritzler first qualified in submarines in 1991 on board the USS SAN JUAN.  During this tour he was advanced to RM1 and completed two deployments to the North Atlantic.

Following his tour on USS SAN JUAN he reported to Naval Submarine School where he earned the Master Training Specialist certification and was advanced to Chief Petty Officer.

His follow-on assignment was the USS ANNAPOLIS, where he served as the Navigation Operations Department Enlisted Advisor, Communications Division Leading Petty Officer and advanced to Senior Chief Petty Officer. During this tour he completed one deployment to the Mediterranean. 

Upon completion of his tour on USS ANNAPOLIS he was assigned to the staff of Commander Submarine Squadron 4 where he served as the Communications Assistant from 2004 to 2007. 

He then reported to the commissioning crew as the 3M Coordinator on board the USS NEW HAMPSHIRE. During this tour the NEW HAMPSHIRE deployed to AFRICOM and was the first Virginia-Class to complete an overseas deployment.

Master Chief Fritzler returned to Commander Submarine Squadron 4 where he served as the Communications Assistant from 2010 to 2012.

Master Chief Fritzler reported to USS NEW MEXICO (SSN 779) in August 2012 and is currently serving as the Chief of the Boat.

Master Chief Fritzler’s personnel awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (seven awards) and various unit and campaign awards.