Brandon Pearson, 27, son of William and Sharon Balcom of Oakland Beach, was recently selected by Naval Personnel Command and the United States Naval Academy (USNA) to participate in the USNA Company Officer Program. The program requires officers to attend the George Washington University for one year to earn a master’s degree in Leadership, Education, and Development before serving as role models, mentors, and instructors for midshipmen at USNA for two years after completing all degree requirements.
Pearson, a 2006 graduate of Warwick Veterans was an Academic All-State, All-Class, and All-Division athlete in Cross-Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track. He was a member of National Honor Society, Rhode Island Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society, and was the recipient of the Dartmouth Book Award and the Secretary of State’s Leadership Award. He was also named the Providence Journal’s 2006 Dick Reynolds Correspondent Scholarship recipient for his service in reporting results of Vets’ track meets to the newspaper. He graduated 12th in his class at Warwick Vets, and was named Congressman Jim Langevin’s Principal Nomination for R.I.’s 2nd District to the United States Naval Academy Class of 2010.
Brandon was a foster child in R.I.’s DCYF system from age 7 to 16 before he was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Balcom in the 10th grade.
While attending the United States Naval Academy, Pearson achieved the rank of Midshipman Lieutenant Commander (MIDN LCDR) as he served as Vice-Chairman of the USNA Honor Board his senior year. Brandon graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History and earned his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy from USNA in May 2010. Brandon married his wife Giselle shortly after, and the Pearsons reported to USS ANTIETAM out of San Diego, Calif., for his first assignment as Repair Officer and Electrical Officer. After his tour on ANTIETAM, Brandon reported to USS MONTEREY in June 2013 as Auxiliaries Officer/Assistant Chief Engineer. Brandon and Giselle recently reported to the United States Naval Academy in May 2014 upon Brandon’s selection to the USNA LEAD Program, where he was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
Pearson has been a part of three deployments and earned his designation as a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) in April 2012. He earned his Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) qualification in October 2012, a major milestone in the pipeline for SWOs in attaining higher rank and responsibility within the U.S. Navy. Pearson’s awards and decorations include the Navy Achievement Medal (3 awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Global War on Terror (with Expeditionary), Sea Service Ribbon, and sharpshooter designations for pistol and rifle.