BOSTON, Mass. - Navy geographer Matthew Page holds the plaque presented to him by Careers & the disABLED Magazine Editor Larry Jaffee, left, and Robert Bills, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Disruptive Technologies Branch head, at the magazine's 21st Annual Awards reception and dinner. The Navy announced May 22 that Page - a wounded warrior - received the magazine's 2013 National Employee of the Year award for outstanding achievement. The former Army captain's leadership and experience as a Navy civilian led to the development of several innovative systems to aid warfighters in combat. He was also recognized as a strong and successful volunteer advocate for wounded warriors and their families.
DAHLGREN, Va. Navy civilian geographer Matthew Page a wounded warrior injured by an improvised explosive device blast in Iraq received Careers and the disABLED magazines National Employee of the Year award for outstanding achievement, the Navy announced May 22.
Honored for his civilian career at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Pages leadership and experience led to the development of several innovative systems to aid warfighters in combat.
The former Army captain simply "never left the fight," say Navy leaders.
"I am so thrilled for Matt and all that he has accomplished, said Cmdr. David McAfee, who directs wounded warrior program support for Naval Sea Systems Command. He was a hero in deploying to the desert in uniform. He became wounded while defending our freedoms. Now Matt works as a civilian at NAVSEA and has stayed in the fight. Matt is an inspiration for us to never get discouraged or quit regardless of our circumstances.
Page was recognized as a strong and successful volunteer advocate for wounded warriors and their families.
"Wounded warriors, like Matt, raise the employee of the year concept to a higher level," said John Lysher, NSWCDD Asymmetric Defense Systems Department head. "Their resumes are in their service to our country, their skills in their war fighting expertise, their references are their purple hearts."
Page suffered severe injuries resulting from the IED blast while working as part of a U.S. Army transition team in Iraq. He overcame all of his physical challenges to start a new career as a government geographer working on projects in support of warfighters.
The wounded warrior dedicates his personal time to supporting, endorsing and advocating for fellow wounded service members and their families.
Page serves on the Families of the Wounded Funds board of directors for the greater Fredericksburg region. His efforts include the coordination of fundraising events to provide financial resources to support family members of wounded warfighters who are receiving medical treatments in local health care facilities.
As a civil servant, Page directly impacted the NSWCDD Hydra Hunter teams integration, testing and production efforts on seven high visibility, high risk projects that resulted in the fielding of more than 1,000 systems to U.S. troops that met aggressive schedule and technical requirements.
"Wounded warriors are of extraordinary value to the workforce, providing a blend of relevant military background, education, skills and abilities," said Lysher. "They are valuable contributors to the work we perform to help DOD win the global war on terrorism. We now have 16 Wounded Warriors or "heroes" working beside us (at NSWCDD Asymmetric Defense Systems Department) and we will continue to take advantage of any and all opportunities to hire many more."
The NAVSEA wounded warrior program seeks to provide wounded service members with education and training that will expand their professional skills and, ultimately, enhance its workforce. In all, NAVSEA has hired more than 1,600 wounded warriors since fiscal year 2009.
NAVSEA's Wounded Warrior program includes outreach, education, training and hiring initiatives that begin in military treatment facilities, and continue through job placement. Mentors work with wounded service members during their recuperation and rehabilitation, to provide education and training for specific career paths. NAVSEA works with learning and employment centers to provide these same resources to those service members already separated from service.