FORT GORDON, Ga. – Once again, excellence springs forth and all eyes are on Center for Information Warfare Training Command (CIWT) Det. Fort Gordon.

Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 1st Class David Dillon, of CIWT Det. Fort Gordon, was presented with both the Department of Defense Language Professional of the Year (DoD LPoY) as well as the Department of the Navy Language Professional of the Year (DoN LPoY) awards for fiscal year 2019, Aug. 18.

When informed of his selection as this year’s recipient, Dillon was humbled, and quick to share the success with others.

“It is a great honor to have even been considered among such great linguists within the DoD,” said Dillon. “I could not have done it without the help of my peers and exceptional mentorship from above and below the chain of command, and [I] will continue to strive to be worthy of the title.”

Competing against DoD-wide E-6 and below, and Navy-wide E-6 and below career linguists, respectively, Dillon sustained an impressive range of language proficiency by maintaining scores well above requirements in no less than seven languages and dialects. In addition, with less than eight years in the Navy, Dillon demonstrated leadership and technical expertise on par with leaders and subject matter experts much more his senior.

“Our entire team here at the Detachment was very excited to learn that Petty Officer Dillon was selected as the DoD and DoN Language Professional of the Year,” beamed CIWT Det. Fort Gordon Officer-In-Charge Lt. Cmdr. Joseph J. Kruppa. “Petty Officer Dillon is a hard-charger who is always looking for ways to improve not only the processes, but more importantly the people around him, and this achievement is a testament to all his innovative ideas and hard work.”

Ambitious, capable and focused, Dillon has brought some serious competition to the First Class Mess at CIWT Det. Fort Gordon. His record is impressive. In fiscal year 2019, Dillon delivered 1320 hours of instruction to Advanced Cryptologic Language Program students, and served as division leading petty officer, Det. language standards officer and department fitness leader. He also devoted over 25 hours to community service events, including leading the Navy Information Operations Center Georgia Funeral Honors Detail at four veteran funerals.

According to a Department of the Army memorandum, the DoD Language Professional of the Year competition “is designed to identify and recognize outstanding military language professionals and their accomplishments, as well as the critical role that military linguists play in supporting the warfighting mission.” The DoN LPoY has a similar mission, focused on Navy language professionals.

In addition to meeting their service-specific height, weight and physical fitness standards, nominees must also be a Defense Language Institute graduate and maintain a minimum Defense Language Proficiency Test score of 2/2 in their control language. Nominees must also write an essay, which is submitted with the command’s nomination letter. This year’s essay topic elicited strategies to “train and sustain” language proficiency of 3/3 or higher within the first 10 years of military language professionals’ careers.

Dillon’s award-winning essay described a multi-level approach, targeting potential shortcomings in many areas of the training pipeline simultaneously in order to improve overall success.

Looking forward, Dillon clearly has a lot more to say and do for the Navy.

“Knock on wood, I’d like to stay for as long as they’ll let me, and as long as I can make a difference,” shared Dillon. “I just plan on doing my best and seeing what opportunities arise.”

With the momentum he has gained in the first seven and a half years of his young career, the Navy would be wise to keep their eyes on this aspiring savant.

As a training location for CIWT, CIWT Det. Fort Gordon delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services, enabling optimal performance of information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations. CIWT Det. Fort Gordon specializes in training to fleet Sailors in the areas of satellite communications operation and maintenance, maritime cryptologic systems operation and maintenance, and language training graduating approximately 225 students in 30 courses of instruction annually.

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

By Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 1st Class Amanda Girard, Center for Information Warfare Training Det. Fort Gordon

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