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USS O'Kane Sailor honored as "defender of the year".

Fire Controlman (SW) 1st Class Shawn A. Walker was recently recognized by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) as the "best of the best" in supporting the U.S. Navy's missile defense system worldwide. MDAA, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, serves to educate the American public on the critical role recipients play in defending our national security.


Walker is the acting Systems Test Officer and AEGIS Weapons System Supervisor aboard USS O'Kane (DDG 77). He was honored at an MDAA-hosted awards ceremony held in Alexandria, Va., that included winners from the Air Force, Army and U.S. National Guard.

"I felt honored that they considered me and I knew they had high expectations for me to try to perform at this level," Walker said.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert and Riki Ellison, MDAA chairman and founder, jointly presented the award to Walker and praised him for his leadership, effort and sacrifice.

"Petty Officer Walker demonstrates his commitment to excellence every day," said Greenert. "It's appropriate to recognize those qualities and exemplary efforts as the award honors those who inspire others."

The event was the culmination of an annual MDAA program that each month honors exceptional individuals responsible for defending the U.S. Armed Forces, homeland and allies. The defenders are active-duty officers, enlisted personnel or Reservists from each service branch who work within the missile defense system and are nominated by their peers and commanding officers. The 2010 Defenders of the Year were chosen from each service's monthly honorees.

"I was really surprised when I was told I was receiving this award," said Walker. "It felt really great knowing all my hard work has been recognized by the chain of command."

During 2010, three Sailors were honored by MDAA as Defenders of the Month: July--Lt. Travis Klempan, Officer in Charge, Mobile At-Sea Senior (MATSS), Pacific Missile Range, Kauai, Hawaii; November--FC1(SW) Walker; and December - Chief Fire Controlman (SW) Nathaniel Melvin, CF Division Leading Chief Petty Officer, USS Lake Erie (CG 70).

Navy Air and Missile Defense Command (NAMDC) in Dahlgren, Va., coordinates Navy submissions. NAMDC is the Navy's ballistic missile defense Warfare Center of Excellence and the lead organization for naval, joint and combined integrated air and missile defense matters.

Story courtesy of Navy Air and Missile Defense Command (NAMDC) Dahlgren, Va.
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Title Annotation:Focus on Service
Publication:All Hands
Date:Mar 1, 2011
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