NAWMU-1 Sailor of the Year sets high standard
Naval Airborne Weapons Maintenance Unit (NAWMU) 1’s 2012 Senior Sailor of the Year returned from Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific (CNAF) Shore Sailor of the Year competition where he competed against two other finalists to represent CNAF for the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet's (COMPACFLT) Sailor of the Year title.
Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW/SW) Jason P. Hecker was named the Senior Sailor of the Year for the command, Commander, Fleet Air Forward, and Commander, Patrol Reconnaissance Forces 5th and 7th Fleets.
Although Hecker was not selected to move forward in the competition, he said he was fortunate enough to represent his command at such a high level.
“The competition was extremely tough and the other finalists were outstanding Sailors,” he said. I am humbled by this process and will use my experience here to enhance my leadership skills, strengthen my commitment and provide additional mentorship to those junior Sailors whose goal is to become Sailors of the Year.”
COMPACFLT Sailor of the Year participants competed in numerous activities which included local tours, meetings with veteran organizations, a physical fitness test and an extensive interview process.
Vice Adm. David Buss, CNAF and Commander, Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet, in his speech said he never met a more humble group of Sailors.
"They've set goals for themselves and demonstrated that through striving for a common purpose you can achieve great things,” he said. “They represent more than 40,000 Sailors who make up Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet and countless more who have formed the backbone of naval aviation for more than a hundred years... These Sailors represent an absolutely incredible group of professionals in our Navy today. Each has a unique story to tell. Each took a unique and different path and has taken challenges and obstacles in their way and transformed them into opportunity.”
Buss awarded Hecker his first Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his superior contributions to his command and the Navy.
While assigned as NAWMU-1’s leading petty officer and production leading petty officer, Hecker was the driving force behind the command’s maintenance production efforts. He managed 38 technicians in the unpacking, testing, repair and packaging of air-launched missiles, guided weapons, munitions components and related support equipment in locations around the world. Approximately 2,300 ordnance items were tested and maintained in theater to sustain mission critical weapons for the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
The finalists and their spouses joined their service counterparts from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Commander, Naval Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet at various social events and luncheons, including a visit with the local Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and an event aboard the USS Midway Museum.