7th Fleet Sailor selected as junior Intel officer of the year (Afloat)

Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Kofonow

Date: 05.31.2018
Posted: 06.01.2018 08:23
News ID: 279155
7th Fleet Sailor selected as junior Intel officer of the year (Afloat)

A Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet officer has been named the Rear Admiral Thomas A. Brooks Intelligence Junior Officer of the Year (Afloat) in an award announcement from Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, May 18.

Lt. Jason Figgeroa, a native of Waipahu, Hawaii, was selected for the award for his contributions throughout the previous year. The Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI) established the Intelligence Junior Officer of the Year awards in 1990 to promote high morale and recognize professional excellence in the Naval Intelligence Community.

“There is a saying in our community that ‘Intelligence drives Operations’ and I wholeheartedly believe that holds true,” said Figgeroa. “The overall battle effectiveness of operations throughout the fleet is driven by the intel family as we operate a 24/7 - 365 day Indications and Warning Intelligence Watchfloor that supports all operating platforms in this ever-changing dynamic AOO (area of operation).”

Figgeroa served as the lead intelligence planner for five major multi-lateral exercises and led 48 personnel across three geographic regions , ensuring multiple fleet commander and bilateral partners’ training objectives were meticulously planned, executed and achieved driving improved mission and operational readiness throughout 7th Fleet.

“Receiving this award is a milestone achievement for any junior intelligence officer,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “Lt. Figgeroa demonstrates the professionalism and aptitude required of his demanding position and it doesn’t surprise me at all that he was selected for this distinction.”

Beginning his naval career in the enlisted ranks as a hospital corpsman, Figgeroa served as a Fleet Marine Force Surgical Technician from 2008-2012, including a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Since his commissioning in 2012, Figgeroa has leveraged his background and experience from both the enlisted side and as an intelligence officer and is sought of by his junior Sailors for career management advice and mentoring.

“Coming from a non-intel enlisted rate to winning this award means everything,” said Figgeroa. “From having to learn the basic fundamentals of the Intelligence Cycle and OODA (observe, orient, decide, and act) loop theory to supporting and providing direct influence to ongoing operations, plans and exercises is something that I never saw coming.”

7th Fleet, which celebrates its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. 7th Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th Fleet.