NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Installation Child/Youth Program (CYP) Director Courtney Hillery and Senior Building Manager Darryl Romer were named the NAS Patuxent River 2021 Senior and Junior Civilians of the Year, respectively. Also recognized as the 2021 Supervisor of the Year was Supervisory Electronics Technician Adrian Bateman.

Selected from among other nominees in the competition, the winners’ service and contribution to NAS Command’s mission and the Department of the Navy was deemed exceptional via their demonstrated professional abilities, accomplishments, performance, and leadership.

“Our winners of civilian of the year embody the ‘Pax Pro’ spirit of the installation” said Capt. John Brabazon, NAS Patuxent River Commanding Officer. “There was strong competition in all categories this year, but Courtney, Darryl, and Adrian stood out in their respective fields to really earn their titles. The services they provide to our installation and tenant personnel, both on the ground and in the air, mark them for this distinction, and I am damn proud to be their CO.”


COURTNEY HILLERY – Senior Civilian of the Year,

In her role as the Installation CYP Director, Hillery serves more than 575 children and their parents, operating the Navy’s largest Child Development Center with a capacity of 360 children.

“She continues going above and beyond in extraordinary measures with a keen understanding of how reliable child development programs support Sailors and civilians who conduct naval aviation test and evaluation in support of the fleet,” wrote N9 Director Jeff Sias in Hillery’s nominating package. “She handled all actions related to COVID-19 with professionalism and aplomb, including adjusting the schedules of 160 staff members, training staff remotely, enforcing stringent guidelines for mission essential care, processing refunds, and instituting formidable health and safety protocols.”

Some of her recent accomplishments include:

• Instituted new employee virtual indoctrination to keep ahead of normal staff attrition

• Realigned staff to develop rotating teams into Blue/Gold Crews to separate “bubbles” of staff to support the increase of children in care

• Ensured CYP successfully met or exceeded CNIC inspection criteria

• Initiated expansion of the School Age Center Before and After School Program

• Prepared a brief for the Chief of Naval Operations on the status of CYP at Pax River during COVID-19

• On-the-Spot award winner for superior Command Resilience Team participation and Combating Extremism facilitating

• Meritorious Civilian Service Award

“She worked diligently with NDW and CNIC program managers to expand the After School Youth Center capacity by over 100 spaces to reduce the bottleneck between the CDC and Youth Center in support of the ‘continuity of care’ objective,” Sias noted. “Ms. Hillery blazed the path with a new vision for Navy CYPs and her daily actions clearly demonstrate how the CYP Program is capable of supporting critical mission requirements and providing a safe and educational environment for the children of our military and civilian workforce.”


DARRYL ROMER – Junior Civilian of the Year

Described as the “backbone of Unaccompanied Housing” (UH) during his long tenure at Pax River, supervisors, colleagues and UH residents all rely on Romer for his vast knowledge of daily operations and components that keep equipment in good working order.

“Over this past year, Darryl has taken steps to identify problematic issues with plumbing in Building 2818, the new $40 million dollar barracks at Pax River,” Sias said. “His efforts identified 48 leaking shower drains, which caused lighting issues in the units below. His detection allowed the fixing of the improperly installed shower pans under warranty via NAVFAC work orders, saving the command thousands of dollars in repairs.”

Romer’s accomplishments include:

• Organizing and distributing work orders for corrections, ensuring the quality of life remains high for the 187 service members residing in the barracks facility

• Led the UH staff in completing more than 110 work orders, keeping equipment and appliances in good working order

• Customer service skills contributed to Pax River earning the CEL “Crystal” Award for UH customer service excellence, an award earned by only 13 naval installations worldwide

• Received numerous accolades for meticulous record-keeping documenting all maintenance issues and corrective actions, which assists in identifying trends and preventive maintenance plans. This practice is emulated by other installations, giving credit to Pax River as being the best UH team in the NDW Region.


ADRIAN BATEMAN – Supervisor of the Year

With the Ground Electronics Maintenance Division only having had one military electronics technician for the past 12 months, Bateman managed the training and qualification of three new technicians in all preventive and corrective maintenance of the Precision Approach Radar System (PAR).

His team also investigated the loss of remote control for the PAR turntable, quickly identifying a failed linear actuator.

“Due to part unavailability and inadequate logistics support, they performed a complex and extensive actuator rebuild on station restoring the PAR to full runway coverage within days vs. months waiting on parts support,” wrote Pax River Air Operations Officer Cmdr. Ken Sheffield in Bateman’s nomination package. “His actions allowed for Pax River Air Operations to continue all flights as scheduled.”

Concurrently, Bateman collaborated with Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific to correct a PAR receiver video fault, allowing the station to complete and pass a required Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight check for the system.

“His efforts greatly improved safety of flight operations for all aircraft requiring precision landing during periods of poor visibility and adverse weather conditions,” Sheffield added.

Other accomplishments of note include:

• Team critical in fully flight certifying the Instrument Landing System for Pax River while working hand-in-hand with the FAA and PMA-231, effortlessly coordinating and managing the interagency and interdepartmental workforce

• Developed and tested all Preventive Maintenance System Maintenance Requirement Cards, which will be implemented Navywide

• Sustained equipment at the highest level of operational capability directly contributing to the overall safety of flight operations and played a major role in the Navy’s ability to participate in and support the FAA’s National Aerospace System.

Congratulations to the well-deserved winners who will now advance to the Naval District Washington Region level of competition.

U.S. Navy photos by Patrick Gordon