ATRC Announces Its 2012 SOY

ATRC Announces Its 2012 SOY

Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) announced its 2012 Sailor of the Year (SOY) Nov. 15.

Fire Controlman 1st Class Matthew Irwin, data division leading petty officer and instructor, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., was flattered by his selection.

I’m honored to be recognized for my contribution to the command,” said Irwin. “Having worked personally with the other nominees, and knowing their devotion and integrity, I knew that any one of us was worthy of the recognition.”

Irwin said he chose to become an instructor because he wanted to make a difference.

“I wanted to instruct and positively impact junior Sailors,” he said. “As an instructor I have the platform to impart not only technical knowledge, but more importantly, practical experience. I have made mistakes in the fleet, and while I am a better Sailor for making them, I hope my example can better equip future technicians.”

During the year Irwin took on additional responsibilities, notably as command fitness leader (CFL), command financial specialist (CFS), class counselor and videographer.

Capt. Ian Hall, ATRC’s commanding officer, praised Irwin for going beyond the call of duty.

“He not only excels in his primary duties as an instructor, but he also took on one of my biggest challenges at the school house, our physical fitness program,” Hall said. “I needed it done right and done now; there was only one choice and that was Petty Officer Irwin.”

Hall said that prior to joining the Navy he was about to graduate college with a music degree, but then decided that he wanted a technical skill and enlisted like his father had as a young adult.

Irwin has served in the Navy for more than nine years, including a tour aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).

“I’ll continue to serve until retirement and hope to be selected as a chief petty officer or limited duty officer,” said Irwin. “I will always endeavor to be a positive influence on junior Sailors through mentorship, to my peers through bystander intervention, and the command by stepping up and leading the way.”

Irwin will now compete for Center for Surface Combat Systems Sailor of the Year. Irwin said he will continue to excel because of the strength of his family and his ATRC sisters and brothers.

“My selection as SOY is a culmination of time, hard work, determination, mentorship from numerous chiefs and officers, and sacrifice,” said Irwin. “I thank my family for their understanding and their own sacrifice. I have been fortunate to have had a great physical fitness staff, whose own efforts made this selection possible.”

Naval Today Staff, November 19, 2012; Image: US Navy