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    Ford announces NMA awards



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Seelbach 

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)     

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) announced the recipients of the Navy and Marine Corps Association (NMA) Leadership Awards, last month.
    The NMA Leadership Award recognizes the most outstanding leaders within Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic operational aviation communities, and onboard aircraft carriers. There are four categories of awards, based on the awardee’s paygrade. Recipients are peer nominated based on their character, ability and professional performance.
    Ford’s winners include Senior Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician James Mayhew, assigned to Ford’s aircraft intermediate maintenance department, Cmdr. Eric Nagley, Ford’s maintenance officer, Chief Warrant Officer Anthony Della Jacono, assigned to Ford’s air department and Lt. Cmdr. Adrian Gray, Ford’s first lieutenant.
    “I think the most important leadership trait of a dynamic leader is the characteristic of humility,” said Gray. “Humble leaders are consistent and disciplined in their treatment of others. Humble leaders treat everyone with respect regardless of their position, role or title, and understand their limitations.”
    The four award categories are based on rank. Senior enlisted, division officer, department head and commander. Each person in these separate paygrades are responsible on different levels to their respective departments and to the command at large.
    Della Jacono explained that his success, as well as his department’s success, is based on the Sailors he serves with.
    “V-2 division can be a bit grueling at times, especially during flight operations. These Sailors [in my division] make me a good leader. I make every effort to make my presence known whether it be on the flight deck or in the engine rooms watching the maintenance,” said Della Jacono. “My success lies in the chiefs and the junior Sailors. It is all because of them. I will continue to listen and be there for them the best way I can.”
    The NMA is an organization built by retired veteran volunteers who provide support for Sailors and Marines and their families. Annually, they sponsor more than 400 leadership awards for presentation by the commanders of U.S. Naval Air Forces, Naval Surface Forces, Marine Forces Atlantic and Pacific.
    Gray went on to explain that other than being humble, there are many qualities that encompass a great leader.
    “Just being able to talk to Sailors and mentoring them through life’s challenges and issues brings me the utmost satisfaction each day. An important part of being a leader is establishing and holding oneself to a high level of integrity,” said Gray.
    Both Gray and Della Jacono offered advice to junior Sailors on the Ford and across the Navy.
    “Never get discouraged or give up. If you want something bad enough, strive towards it and you will succeed,” Della Jacono said.
    Gray followed up by stating, “My leadership attributes must exemplify the highest standards of service, conduct and performance. I don’t think any personal award is about the individual Sailor. It’s always been and should always be about our Sailors and their family members that continue to sacrifice so much of themselves for the betterment of our nation.”
    Ford is in port Newport News Shipyard executing a Planned Incremental Availability (PIA).
    For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit



    Date Taken: 08.29.2021
    Date Posted: 08.29.2021 19:22
    Story ID: 404129
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 

    Web Views: 151
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