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    CNATRA Aerospace Experimental Psychologist earns Capt. Sonny Carter Memorial Award for excellence in aeromedical science

    CNATRA Aerospace Experimental Psychologist receives Capt. Sonny Carter Memorial Award

    Photo By Anne Owens | CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Jan. 13, 2021) - Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) Rear Adm....... read more read more



    Story by Anne Owens 

    Chief of Naval Air Training

    The Society of United States Naval Flight Surgeons (SUSNFS) named Chief of Naval Air Training’s Aerospace Experimental Psychologist (AEP) as this year’s recipient of the Capt. Sonny Carter Memorial Award.

    Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Robert Westendorff presented the award to Lt. Michael Natali, PhD during a small ceremony at the command, Jan. 13.

    The award is given to the Medical Corps or Medical Service Corps officer who has made the most significant contribution toward promoting communication and teamwork among the aeromedical communities and for superior performance in advancing the frontiers of aeromedical science for the U.S. Navy. SUSNFS selected Natali based on his operational medical support, leadership, professionalism, and cooperation across the aeromedical community.

    Natali, a native of Appleton, Wisconsin, and graduate of the University of Minnesota, is responsible for the administration, evaluation and development of undergraduate instructor pilot, naval aviator, naval flight officer, and enlisted aircrewmen training for Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and selected international military partners.

    “Natali’s aeromedical expertise has been an invaluable component of Naval Air Training’s modern requirements,” CNATRA Assistant Chief of Staff for Training Capt. Kevin Delano said. “His vision for the future of our profession is transformational and helped us modernize aviation training in a safe, effective way. His work ensures we continue to bring the best of the best into all training pipelines.”

    CNATRA’s most recent training advancement is Naval Aviation Training Next (NATN), a cross-functional team in which Natali serves as lead scientist. His efforts examine various disciplines spanning from incorporation of emerging technology, including virtual reality, to a focus on the individual learner and optimizing their learning experience.

    As part of a team of six scientists, Natali led evaluation, data collection, and focus groups with civilian engineers and military instructor pilots and students to identify gaps in virtual training capabilities and areas where improvements would be most beneficial. Additionally, he analyzed more than 1,000 student training records to identify optimal advanced training aircraft assignment with the goal of reducing attrition and improving student performance.

    “It’s a great honor to be recognized by the aeromedical community with the Capt. Sonny Carter Memorial Award,” Natali said. “I have been fortunate to serve at a command at the forefront of re-engineering aviation training and it has been extremely exciting to be able to conduct and implement the innovative research to support these efforts. I hope my hard work and naval career is able to match the standard set by the award’s namesake, and I can continue contributing to the culture of excellence and camaraderie that make the aviation community great.”

    In addition to his regular duties, Natali was hand-selected to serve in numerous capacities including: evaluation and research for Navy Personnel Command; serving as a member of the Simulation Sub-committee as part of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference; as Department of Defense Human Factors Engineering Personnel Selection and Classification co-chair; and as a member of the Medical Service Corps High Reliability Organization Strategic Goal Group.

    The Capt. Sonny Carter Memorial Award was instituted in 1993 in memory of Capt. Manley Lanier "Sonny" Carter Jr. who passed away in 1992. Carter was a naval officer, naval aviator, flight surgeon, and a member of the Astronaut Corps. He was respected for his technical abilities, energy, and dedication to his profession, and probably most of all, for his ability to inspire others. The Capt. Sonny Carter Award recipient is judged not only on accomplishments in the last year but also on a career history of aeromedical community involvement. Criteria for selection include: resourcefulness and dedication in promoting and accomplishing operational medical support; demonstrated leadership in forming and promoting teamwork among the various aeromedical specialties; demonstrated professionalism, integrity, unselfishness and respect for all aeromedical communities; demonstrated communication skills, and embodiment of the spirit of cooperation.

    CNATRA, located in Corpus Christi, trains the world’s finest combat-quality Naval Aviation professionals, delivered at the right time, in the right numbers, and at the right cost to naval forces that are ready to fly, fight, lead, and win.



    Date Taken: 01.13.2021
    Date Posted: 01.20.2021 15:59
    Story ID: 387253
    Location: CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, US 
    Hometown: APPLETON, WI, US
    Hometown: MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US

    Web Views: 439
    Downloads: 1