Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) commander Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach announced the Shore and Sea Sailors of the Year for the Navy Information Warfare domain at the Information Warfare Conference (INFOWARCON) on May 18.
“The competition for the Sailor of the Year awards is fierce, and our recipients are absolutely the best of the best of our IW force,” said Vice Admiral Kelly Aeschbach, commander, Naval Information Forces. “You often hear me say that our people are our greatest resource, our greatest weapons system, and our asymmetric advantage in dealing with the challenges of great power competition. Our Sailors of the Year are exactly that – they are technical experts, problem-solvers and force multipliers who have dedicated themselves to becoming masters of their craft and leaders among their peers. They’ve made our IW force better – and they’ve made our Navy better!”
Sea Sailor of the Year: CTI1 Jake Ivey
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive First Class Petty Officer Jake Ivey was selected as the NAVIFOR Sea Sailor of the Year. Ivey was stationed at Naval Information Operations Command (NIOC) Georgia, filling the vacant Airborne Cryptologic Direct Support Element Leading Chief Petty Officer billet, leading 18 forward-deployed Sailors. He coordinated operational tasking with eight co-deployed NIOC Whidbey Island and NIOC Maryland personnel, essential for mission execution due to specialized skillsets. He conducted 17 Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Flight Evaluations, resulting in the qualification of 16 evaluations, instructors and observers Additionally, he led more than 200 hours of Aircrew Combat Training Continuum training, resulting in the expansion of mission knowledge for 112 aircrew personnel from three commands. He also serves as a Climate Action Team member, Directorate Command Managed Equal Opportunity lead, Directorate Command Career Counselor, and Command Resilience Team member. Ivey has since transferred to NIOC Pensacola.
Ivey thanked his chain of command and junior enlisted sailors as well as his mentors for contributing to his success.
“It is a true honor to be selected as the NAVIFOR Sailor of the Year. While this award may have my name on it, it would not have been possible if not for the help and support of my amazing family, who have kept me motivated and are my driving force,” said Ivey. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the leaders who have helped guide and shape me into the Sailor I am now. Of course, all the Sailors in the NIOC GA Air Shop whose sustained superior performance has motivated me daily for the last few years, I truly believe that they are the best Sailors in the Navy, and I was fortunate enough to have served with them.”
Shore Sailor of the Year: CTM1 William Shaw
Cryptologic Technician Maintenance First Class Petty Officer William Shaw was selected as the NAVIFOR Shore Sailor of the Year. Shaw was stationed at Naval Information Warfare Training Group Norfolk as the N83 Leading Petty Officer, Course Supervisor for Subsurface Maintenance Course. He led eight instructors in 34 iterations of eight different “F” schools for 291 students. Additionally, he oversaw the engineering, design, testing, documentation, coordination, and deployment of three maintenance education gear suites consisting of 10 systems, closing a NAVIFOR-identified training gap providing fundamental training to Atlantic and Pacific subsurface CTMs. He also served as the Command Drug and Alcohol Program lead, Assistant Command Fitness Leader, and Divisional Repair Parts Petty Officer, and is a respected voice in Sailor 360 and the First Class Petty Officer Association. Shaw has since transferred to a Naval Special Warfare.
“Being selected as NAVIFOR Shore Sailor of the Year is an amazing honor because I am entrusted with representing NAVIFOR, IWTG Norfolk, my current Command, Rate, and family,” said Shaw. “I realize every person I have worked with or met helped get me here. I am greatly humbled by being selected out of the vast number of talented Sailors that work within NAVIFOR’s purview.”
The Navy’s Sailor of the Year program is a time-honored tradition introduced in 1972 by then-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 exceed in personifying the ideals of the Navy Core Values.
NAVIFOR’s mission is to generate, directly and through our leadership of the IW Enterprise, agile and technically superior manned, trained, equipped, and certified combat-ready IW forces to ensure our Navy will decisively DETER, COMPETE, and WIN.
By Joshua Rodriguez