Newport News Native Awarded Civilian Commendation Medal from Navy Expeditionary Combat

June 1, 2020
kat simons
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John Brown, a native of Newport News, Virginia, was recently awarded the Navy Civilian Service Commendation Medal on Joint Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia.

Brown, who serves as the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) Boat Type Desk Officer, received the award for crafting a highly effective maintenance program for NECC’s globally distributed fleet of more than 300 combatant craft.

“I was totally surprised,” said Brown. “I have always thought that the NECC chain of command looks after their Sailors and civilians but this brings it up to another level. After the award ceremony, I returned to my office and immediately showed my co-workers then called my family (wife and son).”

NECC is responsible for organizing, manning, training, equipping, and sustaining the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force (NECF) to execute combat, combat support, and combat service support missions across the full spectrum of naval, joint, and combined operations which enable access from the sea and freedom of action throughout the sea-to-shore and inland operating environments.

The NECF is comprised of Sailors skilled in a diverse set of specialized capabilities. These expeditionary Sailors support the U.S. Navy while serving as members of Coastal Riverine and Naval Construction Forces, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and Diving and Salvage Units; and as part of expeditionary units that provide unique intelligence and logistics capabilities.

As a member of NECC Staff, John Brown, manages and assesses all NECC’s combatant boats, the force’s equipment and its programs. He provides fleet guidance on engineering and technical issues throughout the force and day-to-day solutions regarding afloat operations using U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Regulations. Additionally, he provides updates, schedules, and briefs to U.S. Fleet Forces, type commanders, task force commanders, and the Program Office on all of NECC Craft to include a Seven-year Overhaul Plan, MK VI Patrol Boat Five-year Maintenance Plan, and Annual Intermediate/Depot Level Funding requirement.

Brown, a 1987 Warwick High School graduate, also holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from Argosy University. He credits his success as part of the Navy team to many of the lessons learned growing up in Newport News.

“Keep pursuing excellence and concentrate on the small details because the big ones will fall into place,” Brown advised. “Study and work hard, the rest will follow.”

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Brown, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Brown is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“I grew up poor in a small village in the Philippines without parents,” said Brown. “I was adopted by an Air Force man in Clark Air Force Base, Angelis City, Philippines. After his tour there, we moved to Lubbock Texas, and ultimately ended up at Langley Air Force Base.”

After completing one semester at Christopher Newport College, now Christopher Newport University, under a pre-law degree, Brown didn’t have the money to continue his studies so he enlisted in the Navy in 1987. He worked his way up to senior chief before being commissioned under the Limited Duty Officer Program and then retired after 30 years as a lieutenant commander “Mustang.” He began working at NECC directly after his retirement from active duty.

“I enjoy working with Sailors and making their lives better,” said Brown. “So, when NECC gave me the opportunity to be part of their team, I applied quickly. I really enjoy my work, the chain of command I work for, the units I deal with on a daily basis, and I still get to operate our craft and perform a few missions with the squadrons.”

According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea.

The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on warfighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force.

“I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “We will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy team, Brown, as well as other Navy employees, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of Sailors who will follow.

“I could not have asked for a better job than this job now,” said Brown. “I am really appreciative and grateful for the award and it feels good to be noticed for my hard work. I love my job and to be recognized provides more fuel for me to do better.”

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