Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP), announced Lt. Matthew Johnson, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105), as the 2014 CNSP Surface Warfare Officer of the Year (SWOY) April 15.
The award recognizes the finest officers in the surface warfare community and the competition was extremely keen.
“Everyone nominated for this elite award is to be commended for their dedication to our culture of professionalism and demonstrated superior performance,” said Rowden.
This award was instituted in 2009 to recognize the SWO who best personifies the ideals of excellence in warfighting and leadership, expertise in tactics, engineering, and weapons systems, and a commitment to mission accomplishment through superior professionalism and personal example.
Fourteen officers from across the U.S. Pacific Fleet surface force were nominated for the award. Johnson’s record rose above the rest after a thorough review of all submissions.
“I am deeply humbled to have received this distinction,” said Johnson. “I know many of the other finalists personally or by reputation on the waterfront. All are fantastic officers and SWOs, so it was quite an honor to be picked from amongst such a stellar field of candidates for which I have the highest respect and admiration.”
He also credits his success to the hardworking Sailors of Dewey.
“I accept this award on behalf of the officers and crew that made this possible,” said Johnson. “Everyday, I have the privilege of working side by side with them to accomplish tasks and missions that have real-world geopolitical impacts. They pull together as a team and have performed brilliantly in every inspection, mission, and evolution we’ve encountered – Dewey does it right, and I could not be more proud of our team.”
Dewey’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Mikael Rockstad was very confident in his nomination of Johnson.
“[Johnson] exceeds my expectations of a department head and makes a positive difference in the personal and professional lives of every Dewey sailor,” Rockstad said.
A native of Port Clinton, Ohio, Johnson was commissioned through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Norwich University, where he graduated in 2005 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science. He holds a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. He reported to Dewey in 2013 as the weapons officer, and currently serves as combat systems officer. Johnson has since been promoted to Lt Cmdr. Dewey recently returned from at 10-month deployment as part of the Carl Vinson Strike Group.