2002 Navy Times
Winner
Petty Officer First Class Neil Martin

Aircrew Survival Equipmentman First Class Neil Christian Martin embodies the ideal of the unsung "everyday hero." He is an inspiration to his shipmates in Strike Fighter Squadron One Nine Two, known as the "World Famous Golden Dragons." "Unquestionably, one of the finest sailors I've ever known. Awesome skills, super dependable, a true leader," said one fellow Petty Officer. One member of the VFA-192 Dragons commented "he's an inspiration to us, a phenomenal Leading Petty Officer." Filling a position usually reserved for Chief Petty Officers, Petty Officer Martin is the Leading Petty Officer for the Aviation Life Support Systems work center, where his expertise and dedication helped the command to win two major awards in recent years, the Chief of Naval Operations Safety "S" and the Commander, Naval Air Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Battle "E".

He was lauded by inspectors during one visit as having "the model PR shop in Carrier Air Wing FIVE." He is an exceptional team builder, teacher and mentor to those in his supervision, as evidenced by his work center securing a 75% advancement rate and 100% retention rate. Even as a Petty Officer First Class, Martin has been called on to assume the duties of Aircraft Division Leading Chief Petty Officer on numerous occasions, flawlessly coordinating 55 personnel in five work centers in all aspects of maintenance and administration.

"He is a model sailor...whose leadership, job knowledge and dedication is unmatched," said one superior officer. His maintenance shop is "flawlessly managed, the ultimate in efficiency, quality, competency," said another. "He's the go-to guy, the one with the knowledge," said one shipmate, adding "we all respect him, learn from him and look to him as an example."

At home at Naval Air Facility Atsugi (Japan), Petty Officer Martin is involved in his community, coaching in youth sports leagues and volunteering at teen events. And while deployed, he participates in community relations projects in almost every port he visits, extending goodwill for the U.S. Navy and our country. Petty Officer Neil Martin epitomizes the best of U.S. Navy tradition and values. His devotion to duty, his unsurpassed skills and knowledge, and his honor, integrity and leadership are a credit to the Navy and an example to sailors everywhere.