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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

CNAL Announces FY2020 Sea & Shore Sailors of the Year

by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bonnie Lindsay
20 April 2021

Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL) named the fiscal year 2020 Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year, April 15. 

Aircrewmen (Tactical Helicopter) 1st Class Chad Matthews, assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40, was named Shore Sailor of the Year, and Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Bryanne Iddings, assigned to the Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), was named Sea Sailor of the Year by Rear Adm. John Meier.

“It’s just an honor to represent so many hard-working and talented Sailors at the CNAL level,” said Matthews. “Being able to represent them is truly an honor and a very humbling experience for me.”

 Matthews and Iddings were chosen as Sailors of the Year after a week-long of events centered on naval history and heritage, building camaraderie, mentorship, and individual boards testing their military knowledge.

“This has been the single most amazing experience in my Navy career,” Iddings said. “Spending this last week with eleven of the best of the best, I met new shipmates, made new friends, and learned so much about leadership, teamwork, and family. This was wonderful.”

CNAL’s Force Master Chief Huben Phillips congratulated the nominees and reflected on his self-assurance and pride in the Navy’s ever-heightening abilities.

“I am inspired by all of you,” said Phillips. “I was thankful that I have so many years in front of you, because I don’t think I could compete with Sailors of your caliber. I absolutely walk away from this week knowing that our Navy is in good hands.”

Sailors pose for a group photo after the Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Sailor of the Year announcement ceremony at Sewell’s Point Golf Course.
SLIDESHOW | 3 images | Sailors pose for group photo NORFOLK, Va. (April 15, 2021) – Sailors pose for a group photo after the Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Sailor of the Year announcement ceremony at Sewell’s Point Golf Course. The Sailor of the Year program recognizes Sailors who best represent the large number of dedicated professionals serving in a particular type of duty as assigned. The Sailor of the Year candidate is epitomized by a history of sustained superior performance, command impact, mission contribution, proven leadership, dedication to self-improvement, outstanding professionalism and superior personal appearance. (U.S. Navy Photo Illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brennen Easter)


Likewise, Meier commended the highly-qualified Sailors, and turned his gaze to the future that these Sailors help build for the United States.

"My biggest take away over the course of the week was that, my goodness, is our Navy in good hands,” said Meier. “You’re all future Chief Petty Officers – that’s evident – but you’re all entrusted with our nation’s most precious resource, which is her sons and daughters.”

Meier emphasized his gratitude, reminding all that these Sailors may one day be the very leaders that future generations look up to. 

“How you set the table for success – how you mold future Sailors in your image and the standards that you uphold – makes all the difference in the world,” said Meier.

Sailor of the Year is a time-honored tradition introduced in 1972 by Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet. This annual competition is held to recognize superior performance of individual Sailors, who best exemplify the ideals of professional Sailors throughout the fleet.

CNAL is responsible for six nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, 54 aircraft squadrons, 1,200 aircraft and 48,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel based on the East Coast of the United States. It provides combat ready, sustainable naval air forces with the right personnel, properly trained and equipped, with a focus on readiness, operational excellence, interoperability, safety, and efficient resourcing.
 
 


 
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