Brandon Pearson, 24, the son of William and Sharon Balcom, of Oakland Beach, was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade in the U.S. Navy. LTJG Pearson was a 2006 graduate of Warwick Veterans Memorial High School where he was an Academic All-state, All-Class, and All-Division runner for Vets in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track. He was the recipient of the Providence Journal’s High School Correspondent Scholarship in 2006, Secretary of State’s Leadership Award, the Dartmouth Book Award, and was a member of the National, Rhode Island and Spanish Honor Societies. He graduated 12th in his class, and was Congressman James Langevin’s principal nomination for admission to the United States Naval Academy, class of 2010.
While at the Naval Academy, Pearson served as the vice-chairman of the Honor Committee, responsible for processing, adjudicating and publicizing the results of all honor boards of the 4,400-member Brigade of Midshipmen. After four years at Annapolis, Pearson graduated from the Naval Academy in May of 2010 with a B.S. in History and accepted a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and his first ship assignment as repair officer and electrical officer on USS Antietam (CG 54), home-ported in San Diego, Calif.
Onboard USS Antietam, Pearson led his division through a series of arduous Navy engineering material inspections with unprecedented results. USS Antietam’s scores for Light-Off Assessment (LOA), Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), and Maintenance and Material Management (3M) Certification were the highest ever recorded for the ship’s Damage Control systems in the entire Cruiser class. Pearson also achieved his Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) qualification, passing a rigorous oral examination chaired by the ship’s commanding officer and other experienced qualified SWOs.
Pearson’s professional awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Global War on Terror ribbon, National Defense ribbon, and sharpshooter for both the M-16 rifle and M-9 pistol. Brandon and his wife Giselle are happily married and currently reside in Coronado, Calif., but hope to relocate to Norfolk, Va., following Pearson’s next ship assignment.