IWTC Corry Station Sailor Earns Distinct Gold Samuel B. Morse Award: Cmdr. Zach McKeehan (left), Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station commanding officer, presents Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Seaman Apprentice Daniel M. Vega with the Gold Samuel B. Morse Award onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station.

Vega is the first student in recent history from the revised Basic Manual Morse Trainer course awarded the Gold Samuel B. Morse Award.

Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Seaman Apprentice Daniel M. Vega received the Gold Samuel B. Morse Award during his graduation from Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station’s Basic Manual Morse Trainer (BMMT) course, Oct. 2.

Vega is the first student in recent history from the revised BMMT course awarded the Gold Samuel B. Morse Award, which was last achieved in April 2016 and the first to graduate in record time.

“My classmates helped me persist through the lessons when it was getting tough,” said Vega. “If somebody can do it, anybody can.”

The BMMT course provides basic instruction and practical application in the interception of Morse-type communications. BMMT is a 560 hour / 70 day self-paced course, with an average completion time of 60 days, and the previous fastest time of completion was 34 days.

Vega completed the course within 19 instructional days. He also qualified for the Gold Samuel B. Morse Award by deciphering 26 groups consecutively within a minute. To earn this prestigious award, a student must decipher 22 groups consecutively in one minute.

“He is the most impressive student that I have ever encountered,” said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Bradley Ezell, an instructor at IWTC Corry Station. “I am honored to be the instructor of a student that earned those accomplishments.”

Vega also received the Navy Enlisted Classification C23A Morse code intercept operator, and undergraduate college credits recommended through the American Council on Education.

“CTRSA Vega is highly impressive,” said Lt. Shaun W. Stirrat, department head at IWTC Corry Station. “He raised the bar high for future students of the BMMT course.”

Morse code training has been taking place continuously at IWTC Corry Station since 2005, when the Navy moved the training back to Corry Station in favor of cost and time savings by relocating the course with the Cryptology “A” School. A long partnership with the Army providing the training ended at that time.

“In the Navy community of cryptology, it is widely understood that the heart of foreign language training is Monterey, California,” said Cmdr. Zach McKeehan, commanding officer at IWTC Corry Station. “I agree that is true for spoken foreign languages; however, our outstanding information warriors here at Corry Station lean and excel in many foreign languages, including C++, Java, Python, and as in the case of this morning’s award–international Morse code!”

McKeehan added that the Sailors and staff at IWTC Corry Station are fully dedicated to excellence in the information warfare mission and Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Seaman Apprentice Vega exceeded the highest standards of academics and technical proficiency.

“We know firsthand here at Corry Station that our future success in multi-domain information warfare is assured, and we can confidently trust it in the hands of outstanding shipmates like CTRSA Vega,” added McKeehan.

 IWTC Corry Station is a part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT). 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 (Collection) 1st Class Antonio J. Guidry, Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station

(U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician Collection Raymond M. Donato/Released)