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JOHN W. FINN
OF THE YEAR 2021
AO1 ERIC WINTERS
USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN69)
Aviation Ordnanceman First Class Eric Michael Winters was born on April 24 1991 in
Harrisburg, PA and was raised in Sunbury, PA where he attended and graduated from Shikellamy High School in 2009. Following high school graduation, he enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program and reported to Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL in August 2010. After his successful completion of Recruit Training, he attended and graduated Aviation Ordnanceman "A" school in December 2011 and received orders to his initial duty assignment at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron NINE (HSC-9) in Norfolk, VA.
At HSC-9 he quickly advanced to Third- and Second-Class Petty Officer, completing two combat deployments onboard USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN-77) to the Commander, Fifth and Sixth Fleet Areas Of Responsibility (AOR) supporting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and INHERENT RESOLVE. In October of 2015, AO1 Winters transferred to Naval Air Technical Training Center (NAITC) in Pensacola, FL where he advanced to Petty Officer First Class in July of 2016 and earned his Master Training Specialist designation. During this tour, AO1 Winters was honored as a finalist for the 2018 Pensacola Navy League Margret Flowers Award for service to the local community.
In January 2019 he reported onboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) deploying twice in less than 18 months to include an unprecedented 206 consecutive days at sea deployment to the Commander, Fifth, and Sixth Fleet AORs in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM'S SENTINEL. During this tour MIGHTY IKE Weapons Department received the Commander, Naval Air Forces Black W award for Weapons Department excellence marking the first time in more than a decade that IKE had received this distinction.
AO1 Winters is married to his wife of 9 years, Alyssa and they share two children together Julian and Blair. His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Navy Rifle Expert Medal. Navy Pistol Expert Medal, Navy League Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, Congressional Letter of Recognition, and various unit and campaign awards.
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