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NPS Cyber Student Honored With Prestigious Vice Adm. Richard Mayo Award

Article By: Amanda D. Stein
NPS Cyber Systems and Operations student Lt. Jason Hughes, left, was presented the Vice Adm. Richard W. Mayo Award by NPS Senior Intelligence Officer Capt. Jennith Hoyt, right, in a small ceremony, Nov. 5. The award is presented annually to an Information Professional officer who demonstrates vision, innovation and exceptional performance in information technology and operational command, control, communications and computers. 

NPS Cyber Systems and Operations student Lt. Jason Hughes was presented the Vice Adm. Richard W. Mayo Award during a small ceremony, Nov. 5. Hughes was nominated for the award by his previous command, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic (NCTAMS LANT) Commanding Officer, Capt. Danelle Barrett.

“It is with great pleasure I announce the selection of Lt. Jason J. Hughes of NCTAMS LANT as the recipient of the CY2011 Vice Adm. Richard W. Mayo award for inspirational leadership while making exceptional contributions within the information professional officer community,” read the award citation, delivered by Information Dominance Center for Excellence Director Cmdr. Tim Unrein, on behalf of Navy Cyber Forces Commander Rear Adm. Gretchen S. Herbert.

“A true leader and visionary in the Information Dominance Corps who is already thinking and operating at a more senior level, his contributions to the areas of operational communications for joint and afloat naval forces are exceptional and have longstanding, positive impacts on national security,” Unrein continued.

The Mayo Award, named for the first commander of the Naval Network Warfare Command, is presented annually to an Information Professional (IP) officer who demonstrates vision, innovation and exceptional performance in information technology (IT) and operational command, control, communications and computers (C4).  

“Lt. Hughes was selected for the award over his peers in the Information Professional community worldwide,” said NPS Senior Intelligence Officer Capt. Jennith Hoyt after formally presenting Hughes with his certificate. “This shows what an exceptional officer Lt. Hughes is, and I know he will continue to be an instrumental leader in the Information Dominance community and the Navy.”

Hughes joined the Navy over 18 years ago, and started as a Fire Control Technician, a job that required him to have a basic understanding of entry-level electrical engineering. From there, he considers most of his Navy career to have been in some way related to information technology and C4, including time spent teaching information technology “C” Schools. During his tour with NCTAMS LANT, Barrett credits Hughes for setting the standard for excellence in Defensive Global Information Grid Operations.

“Because of his maturity, innovative thinking, and expert knowledge, he was selected as the Joint Fleet Telecommunications Operations Center (JFTOC) Director, a position normally held by a more senior officer,” explained Barrett. “He led five watch teams providing the operational platform for information to thousands of Navy, joint and coalition forces worldwide.

“His direct oversight during deployment planning and execution ensured flawless communications support to the multiple Strike Group deployments,” she continued. “His ability to adapt to a volatile and changing environment of providing communications to the operational forces resulted in valuable lessons learned for future deployments and generated doctrine to affect pertinent installation training. His efforts significantly improved Navy warfighting and operations.”

For Hughes, continuing education has been a personal commitment, having dedicated free time during his 2010 commissioned tour to earning an academic certificate in Information Systems Technology through NPS’ distance learning program. When the opportunity presented itself for Hughes to attend NPS full-time for his master’s degree, he jumped at the opportunity. Although only one month into his studies at NPS, Hughes says he looks forward to bringing his unique experiences in IT and C4 to the cyber conversation.

“You look across, not just military, but federal government as well, and no one really has the clear direction for how we proceed in cyber,” said Hughes. “That means it’s important for leadership to bring people together with diverse opinions and backgrounds to work to develop these solutions.

“I think you’re going to find a lot of people who bring different things to the table. And some people who turn out to be true leaders and visionaries in cyber, may not even have a background in cyber. And that’s what’s interesting about the information professional community,” he added. “You’ve got people of quite diverse backgrounds all coming into this community, and they all bring interesting strengths and different ways of looking at things.”

Posted November 20, 2012

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