By Lt.j.g. Timothy Cullen

HSM-72 Public Affairs Officer

The "Proud Warriors" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72, based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, achieved another significant milestone in its rich 33-year history on March 31 by crossing over the outstanding mark of 1,500 DUI-free days.

Since 1984, the Proud Warriors have been a premiere squadron on the East Coast, leading the HSM community in an exceptional history of operational, tactical, and professional excellence.  Over the past year, HSM-72 has earned the Squadron Battle "E" Award, Isabell Trophy, Adm. "Jimmy" Thatch Award, Grampaw Pettibone Award, Blue M Award, "Golden Anchor" for retention excellence, and surpassed more than 30 years and over 219,000 Class "A" mishap-free flight hours.  

This achievement of 1,500 days is yet another example of the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication put forth by every single Sailor who has been a Proud Warrior over the past four-plus years.

In addition to standard training, leadership at all levels within the squadron focus on the fundamentals of the responsible use of alcohol, having a plan, and taking care of one another.  

"The Chiefs Mess makes eye contact with every Sailor and puts out clear guidance to be responsible and have a plan before every weekend liberty call," said ATCS Joseph Becker.

"The Chiefs Mess is backed up by the first class petty officers and the junior Sailors who all have buy-in and are personally invested in the squadron's success." 

The commitment to staying true to Navy Core Values and the command's philosophy has stemmed the highest sense of responsibility and camaraderie within the squadron along with a great sense of pride amongst all Proud Warriors.  

"The Proud Warrior Professional Family is grounded on the principles of treating each other with dignity and respect. It means every woman and man is valuable and we all must do our part in order for the command to succeed," said Cmdr. Brian Binder, HSM-72 commanding officer. 

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Joined by Commander, Carrier Air Wing 1, Capt. John Perrone, HSM-72 held a command-wide cake cutting ceremony and every Sailor wore a 1,500-day DUI-free command T-shirt to recognize the importance and celebrate the collective milestone.  HSM-72 is a member of Carrier Air Wing 1 and embarks on the aircraft carrier and surface combatants assigned to Carrier Strike Group 8.