DAHLGREN, Va. - A USS O'Kane (DDG 77) Sailor was recognized during the first annual Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) Defenders of the Year Awards Banquet held in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 14.
Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Shawn A. Walker was presented the Defender of the Year Award by Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert and MDAA chairman and founder Riki Ellison.
"This award is a remarkable testament to Petty Officer Walker's talent and leadership. He has already helped strengthen our afloat BMD Force," said Adm. Greenert. "I expect more great things from him in the future."
The event also included award Defender of the Year winners from the Air Force, Army and U.S. National Guard.
The event was the culmination of an annual MDAA program that honors exceptional individuals each month who are 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.
In 2010, three Sailors were honored by MDAA as Defenders of the Month:
July - Lt. Travis Klempan, Pacific Missile Range, Kauai, Hawaii;
November - Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Shawn A. Walker, USS O'Kane (DDG 77).
December - Chief Fire Controlman (SW) Nathaniel Melvin, USS Lake Erie (CG 70).
Navy Air and Missile Defense Command in Dahlgren 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.
MDAA, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, serves to educate the American public on the critical role recipients play in defending our national security.