FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (NNS) - Cmdr. David Varona, deputy assistant chief of staff for intelligence, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F), was named as one of the recipients of this year’s Rear Adm. Edwin T. Layton Award for Leadership and Mentorship.
“I am truly honored and humbled to have received this award,” said Varona. “Some of the most impressive officers I've been honored to serve with were former winners, three here at FCC/C10F alone. The naval intelligence community has always had strong leaders, so to be selected for this recognition is extremely humbling.
Established by the Director of Naval Intelligence in 2001, the Rear Adm. Edwin T. Layton Award for Leadership and Mentorship recognizes Sailors for outstanding leadership and mentorship in the furtherance on naval intelligence performance. The awardees have exemplified the leadership qualities of honor, courage, and commitment. Furthermore, each have been clearly recognized as a model leader for the naval intelligence community.
Varona emphasized his selection reflected the successes of his fellow shipmates at FCC/C10F.
“My selection speaks more to the successes of the team I am a part of than anything I've done individually,” said Varona. “We are truly fortunate to have some of the best from the Navy intelligence community right here at FCC/C10F, be it civilians, officers, chief petty officers, and our junior enlisted. This award belongs to the FCC/C10F team here and the leadership we have across the ranks.”
Captain John Watkins, chief of staff, FCC/C10F, credited Varona’s selection to his character.
“Although he gives the credit for winning the award to his team, Cmdr. Varona’s leadership and dedication to his team is why he was selected for this award,” said Watkins. “He makes my job easy. He is an incredibly talented leader with contagious enthusiasm and impeccable standards of personal conduct.”
When asked what leadership attributes are necessary for intelligence officers just coming into the community, Varona offered some advice.
“First, always be sincere,” said Varona. “This is what I’ve anchored on in my own approach to leadership. If you are honest with your team and honest with your leadership, your intent and desire will be clear and you can focus on the mission. Second, be professionally inquisitive. The credibility you need to do your job effectively is not something easily attainable in standard work hours. Take the time to read and learn. It will pay dividends for you. Third, and finally, lean on your senior enlisted. Get out and talk to people, get buy in and perspective from your senior enlisted and listen to what they have to say. The corporate knowledge inherent in our workforce is astounding, and your teams can do amazing things when they are empowered and feel they own part of the solution.”
Rear Adm. Edwin T. Layton, the award's namesake, was primarily known for his code-breaking techniques in support of Adm. Chester Nimitz during World War II. His techniques ultimately contributed to providing information that was vital to winning the Battle of Midway.
Varona also emphasized the importance of family and mentors making an invaluable difference in his career.
“The success I’ve enjoyed this far would not have happened without the support of my family, my kids, the constant sacrifice of my wife, in particular, and the support of my parents,” said Varona. “The people closest to me gave me the confidence to believe in myself from the start. I've had several professional role models I've looked up to in my career, most notably Capt. Jason Hines and Capt. Craig Whittinghill from within our community, and plenty of others from without.”
FCC is responsible for Navy information network operations, offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, space operations and signals intelligence. Comprised of over 14,000 Sailors, Reservists and civilians stationed across the world, C10F is the operational arm of FCC and executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders.
For more news and information from Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, visit www.public.navy.mil/fcc-c10f/, www.dvidshub.net/unit/USFCC, or follow us on Twitter @USFLEETCYBERCOM.