North Miami Beach Native is Navy Training’s 2018 Junior Enlisted Instructor of the Year

Electronics Technician 2nd Class Christian T. Chen
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Electronics Technician 2nd Class Christian T. Chen

PENSACOLA, FL – A 2002 graduate of St. Christopher’s Secondary School in Nairobi, Kenya and North Miami Beach, Florida, native was announced as a 2018 Military Instructor of the Year, junior enlisted category, for Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in Pensacola at a ceremony onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola at the National Naval Aviation Museum Dec. 5.

Electronics Technician 2nd Class Christian T. Chen serves as an Apprentice Technical Training instructor, Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit Great Lakes, Illinois. He instructed 144 students over five classes and taught 922 hours of advanced electronics. Under his mentorship, 62 of his students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance and uniform inspections, resulting in 13 being selected as “ATT Best of the Best,” the top one percent of students. He also assessed 536 learning objectives that applied to what Sailors do in the Navy’s fleet concentration areas for the Ready, Relevant Learning initiative of Sailor 2025, the Navy’s program to more effectively recruit, develop, manage, reward and retain the force of tomorrow. As a quality technical advisor, he ensured 4,500 repairs and the accountability for 3,449 pieces of portable electronic equipment valued at $3.7 million.

Representing the top achievers from a pool of more than 8,000 military members, Chen received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his accomplishments.

“The most important part of leading is not to make people better, but to give them the tools you have and the motivation and incentive to use those tools,” said Chen. “You must be available and willing to help. When you leave, and they start performing on their own, you must continuously provide feedback to reinforce and applaud their accomplishments.”

Chen is part of the team that takes sailors from “street to fleet” by transforming civilians into highly skilled, operational, and combat-ready warfighters, as well as providing the tools and opportunities for continuous learning and development.

NETC Commander Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad congratulated the finalists for their roles in developing the Navy’s future force and for their contributions to the training and education mission.

“Each of you here today represent the best of the very best in our Navy, making the force development mission a success,” said Cozad. “We serve in a great Navy – and that greatness is centered on the initiative, leadership and competitive nature of our people. These sailors and officers illustrate everything that is right about our Navy and continue to represent our greatest advantage over any competitor and our most important means to achieving our desired ends. Everything that each of you does on a daily basis sets the highest bar when it comes to building a talented fleet for the Navy the nation needs, and it manifests through your recruiting and training accomplishments.”

Chen is also qualified as a Master Training Specialist, which is a designation for demonstrating highly effective teaching skills and a comprehensive understanding of schoolhouse management, as well as for taking a leadership role in mentoring, instructing and evaluating instructors and curriculum. He enrolled 18 instructors, provided 32 hours of MTS training, scheduled 40 boards, and performed for four final boards which resulted in 37 qualifications and contributed to an 18 percent command increase in qualifications.

“I am so impressed by the caliber of all of our finalists,” said NETC Force Master Chief Karim Cole. “We brought them together at NETC to recognize their tremendous talent and to show them how much we appreciate what they do to train, guide and get our Sailors ready to man the fleet. They all represent a great deal of hard work and sweat that goes into creating a combat credible and lethal Navy and Marine Corps Team.”

Chen is the son of Lascelles Anthony and Janet Chen of Kingston, Jamaica.

The NETC IOY program recognize sailors throughout the NETC domain who exhibit attributes, such as sustained superior performance, leadership, mentorship, knowledge and teaching of military history and heritage, self-improvement, command and community involvement, and exemplary military bearing.

For additional information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit the NETC website: or Follow us on Facebook at and Twitter @netcpao.


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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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