WASHINGTON (NNS) — A Sailor assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River became the first service member to be recognized as a Certified Navy Emergency Manager, November 20, 2019.

Chief Damage Controlman Johnathan Zavatsky was presented with the certification on the Washington Navy Yard, after serving as an emergency management officer (EMO), completing personnel qualification standards (PQS), a series of online courses and the Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Emergency Manager Course.

“This is another milestone in my career,” said Zavatsky. “I always shoot to do the best that I can and I think this is just a testament to that.”

Part of the reason no Sailor had received the certification prior, is because of the requirement that applicants serve in the EMO position for three years.

“By the time you do your three-year tour as an EMO, people are looking to transfer, but I’ve been a damage controlman for 16 years and worked in emergency management, so CNIC was willing to waive the additional year for me,” said Zavatsky.

Zavatsky arrived at NAS Patuxent River two years ago and made an immediate impact on the way the installation approached emergency management.

“He came in and our program was broken,” said Patrick Paulsen, NAS Patuxent River emergency management officer. “Chief learned our program, learned how to operate it and became an expert. He’s worked through multiple hurricanes and real world events, in addition to being the go-to-NCO on the installation.”

“Chief Zavatsky accomplishing this is consistent with his performance as a non-commissioned officer,” said Paulsen. “I can’t say enough good about him. I retired after 26 years in the Army, working most of my career in Special Forces and he’s one of the top NCOs I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. He’s a phenomenal individual, leader and team player.”

Zavatsky recognizes the contributions of those around him as key factors in his accomplishment.

“It was a lot of hard work, but it wasn’t just about me. I always try to do the best that I can, but this was about the people who helped me get here. Pat Paulsen, Jeff Sanford, who is the region emergency manager for Naval District Washington and Stephen Henrick were all a big part of this and a lot of the credit. I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Zavatsky.