Defense Media Network

USS Delaware (SSN 791): Ship’s Sponsor, CO, XO, COB, and Crest

Dr. Jill Biden

Second Lady of the United States (2009-2017) Honorary Co-chair, the Biden Foundation

Dr. Jill Biden is a lifelong educator and served as Second Lady of the United States from 2009–2017.

As Dr. Biden often says, being a teacher isn’t just what she does — it’s who she is. She spent over three decades teaching in community colleges, high schools, and a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. She has two master’s degrees — both of which she earned while working and raising a family — and she earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware in January of 2007. Her dissertation focused on maximizing student retention in community colleges.



As Second Lady, she worked to underscore the critical role of community colleges in creating the best, most educated workforce in the world. She hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Obama and led the Community College to Career Tour across the country to highlight industry partnerships between community colleges and employers. Today, she continues to teach at a community college in Northern Virginia — a position she held throughout her time in the White House — and is the honorary chair of the College Promise National Advisory Board, leading the effort to make community colleges free for responsible students.

As a military mom, Dr. Biden understands the experiences of military families: supporting their service members, feeling incredible pride for their work, and carrying the fear that comes with this sacrifice. In her role as Second Lady, she brought significant attention to the challenges military families face, in part through her and former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative to support military families worldwide. Dr. Biden also released a children’s book in 2012 — Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops — about how her family dealt with her son Beau’s deployment to Iraq.

Dr. Biden has also been a prominent voice on the rights and welfare of women and girls, especially as related to education. During her White House tenure, she traveled to nearly 40 countries, visiting almost every region of the world.

In 1993, after four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer, Dr. Biden started the Biden Breast Health Initiative in Delaware, which has educated more than 10,000 high school girls about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. And after Dr. Biden and former Vice President Joe Biden lost their son Beau to brain cancer in 2015, they helped push for a national commitment to ending cancer as we know it. Today, they continue the mission that started as the White House Cancer Moonshot through the Biden Cancer Initiative to inject a sense of urgency into cancer research and care and to deliver better outcomes for patients.

Following their time in the Administration, Dr. Biden and Vice President Biden launched the Biden Foundation, continuing their work to strengthen the middle class, protect women and children against violence, advocate for community colleges, and support military families.


CDR Matthew Horton

Commanding Officer PCU Delaware (SSN 791) United States Navy

Commander Matthew Horton, a native of West Monroe, Louisiana, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. Additionally, he holds a Master’s of Science in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America. Commander Horton’s operational assignments include service in fast attack and ballistic missile submarines. He completed a Western Pacific deployment as a Division Officer in USS Los Angeles (SSN 688), Southern Pacific and Northern Atlantic deployments as Engineer Officer in USS Newport News (SSN 750), and four strategic deterrent patrols as Executive Officer in USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) (GOLD).





His shore assignments include assignments as an intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Junior Board Member on the Fleet Forces Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, and as U.S. Strategic Command Task Force One Four Four Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Operations.

Commander Horton’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Additionally, he has served on commands that have been awarded the U.S. Strategic Command Omaha Trophy for highest performing strategic platform, the Navy Meritori ous Unit Commendation, and multiple Battle Efficiency “E” awards.

Commander Horton is married to the former Kelly Prince of Norfolk, Virginia, and they have one daughter, Eloise.


LCDR Joshua J. Hodge

Executive Officer PCU Delaware (SSN 791) United States Navy

Lieutenant Commander Joshua J. Hodge, a native of Amarillo, Texas,  enlisted into the Nuclear Officer Propulsion Candidate Program in 2002. In 2004, he completed his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and earned his commission through Officer Candidate School in 2005.



Since commissioning, his sea tours include serving as the Electrical Assistant, Assistant Weapons Officer, and Assistant Engineer on USS Springfield (SSN 761) for two deployments, and Navigator on USS Tennessee (SSBN 734)(GOLD) for five strategic deterrent patrols.

His staff assignments include being a policy analyst at Navy International Programs Office and serving as a Personnel Exchange Program Officer as United Kingdom’s Deputy for Submarine Operations. Additionally, LCDR Hodge received an Executive Masters in Business Administration from Naval Postgraduate School and a Masters in Arts in Defense Studies from Kings College London when he attended the United Kingdom’s Joint Advanced Command and Staff College.

His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various unit and campaign awards.


FTCS(SS/EXW) Travis L. Grammer

Chief of the Boat PCU Delaware (SSN 791) United States Navy

Senior Chief Petty Officer Travis L. Grammer is from Eudora, Kansas  – a 1996 graduate at Eudora High School. He reported to Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, in July 1996 and began his career in submarines. He attended Basic Enlisted Submarine School, FT”A,” “C,” “Ops” school, and became a Fire Control Technician in 1997.

He has served in a myriad of sea duty assignments, including USS Billfish (SSN 676), USS Minneapolis St. Paul (SSN 708), USS Frank Cable (AS 40), USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705), OSA to Balad, Iraq as the First Sergeant for CJSOAD-AP, and USS Hawaii (SSN 776).



His previous shore tours include service as the Sonar and Fire Control shop 67GS LPO at SIMA SSMD later known as SWRMC in San Diego, California, Comsubron Eleven as the Staff Fire Control Technician in San Diego, California, and most recently at Comsubdevron Five as the staff Fire Control Technician in Bangor, Washington.

He completed five shipboard deployments to the Western Pacific and two Mediterranean shipboard Deployments in support of multiple operations. He also completed an ICEX and an Eastern Pacific operation.

Senior Chief Grammer is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 200/ Blue) and COB/CMC (Class 207). He has been awarded the Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), and various other personal and unit awards.

He is married to Stefanie A. Grant of Bartlett, Illinois and has a son, Wyatt L. Grammer.


USS DELAWARE (SSN 791) Ship’s Crest

The hand-drawn theme of the crest represents the simple submarine crests of World War II; a submarine silhouette around a fighting blue hen with a traditional navy blue background.

Two dolphins adorn the bottom of the crest, one silver and one gold, which represent the enlisted and officer warfare insignia.



The “First Defenders of Liberty” banner is in reference to Delaware being the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

Delaware’s official state bird, the blue hen, dates back to the Revolutionary War, when a company of soldiers from Delaware, known for their courage acquired the nickname “Sons of the Blue Hen.” It is said to come from the fighting offspring of a particular hen owned by their captain, John Caldwell, that were famous for winning fights.

The six silver stars that appear to the right and left of the blue hen are representative of the six previous active warships named Delaware.


Check out this story along with others in the complete commissioning magazine:


From Employee Accounts