USS Decatur
Bold and Daring
2015 SOY Finalist (Sea) - IC1(SW) John A. Zion
2015 SOY Finalist (Sea) - IC1(SW) John A. Zion
A native of Toledo, Ohio, he graduated High School from Temecula Valley High School, California, and then attended Palomar College, while working full time. In 2001 he enlisted in the Navy and attended Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. He then attended Interior Communications “A” school, and upon completion reported to USS Shiloh (CG-67).

While onboard Shiloh, he deployed in 2002 and was onboard when Shiloh launched missiles in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. After he attended the SGSI and IVCS “C” schools, he deployed again in 2005, where Shiloh participated in Operation Unified Assistance, rendering aid to those who suffered from the 2004 tsunami off the coast of Aceh, Indonesia. After a Ballistic Missile Defense modification and a successful missile test in 2006, he deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for a crew-swap with USS Chancellorsville (CG-62).

He then transferred to Navy Operational Support Center, Buffalo, New York. There, he served as Assistant Training Officer to over 200 Reserve Component Sailors, submitting over 1,700 travel pay claims, conducted four physical fitness assessments as CFL and over 200 urinalysis tests as UPC and 25 funeral honor ceremonies.

After attending Shipboard Information Training and Education (SITE TV) “C” school, he reported to Defense Media Activity Vicenza, Italy in May 2010. During this time he provided radio and television service to over 1,600 Soldiers and demonstrated AFN capabilities to the Secretary of the Army. He was awarded the 2012 American Forces Network Europe Sailor of the Year.

In 2012 he reported onboard USS Decatur (DDG-73) and quickly deployed to the 5th Fleet AOR. He was selected as Decatur’s 2013 Sailor of the Year and Destroyer Squadron Twenty-One (DESRON 21) Sailor of the Quarter. He is currently the Leading Petty Officer for ER09, and serves as the First Class Petty Officer Association Mess President. He recently completed his Associate’s Degree in General Studies from the University of Maryland University College.

Petty Officer Zion’s award include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (4), Humanitarian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal (4) and various other service and unit awards.
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