PENSACOLA, Fla. – A 2007 Scranton Preparatory School graduate and Spring Brook, Pennsylvania, native was selected as the 2017 officer Military Instructor of the Year (IOY) for Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) at a ceremony onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola at the National Naval Aviation Museum Dec. 14.
Lt. Christopher DeMatteo is an instructor at Submarine Learning Facility (SLF) Norfolk, where he teaches submarine tactics for submarine crews and prepares Sailors for local operations and oversea deployments.
He is the son of Thomas and Joan DeMatteo, Roaring Brook Township.
DeMatteo instructs junior officer and submarine surface contact management courses that cover proper submarine watch standing.
He serves as the high risk training safety officer and oversees safety requirements for damage control and fire-fighting training.
Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, NETC commander, congratulated all the finalists in each category for their roles in shaping the Navy's future force and for their contributions to the training and education mission.
"You represent the best of the very best throughout the domain," said Cozad. "Each one of you here today has a common theme: a hard work ethic, a drive to be a better leader, and teamwork. Each and every one of you is a competitor, and that competitive edge is the thing that makes our Navy better than the other navies today."
DeMatteo is 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.
“I inspire students to learn by relating my own submarines experiences, successes and failures, to help motivate my students, as well as to prepare them for the challenges they will face onboard as a division officer,” said DeMatteo.
“Not all students learn the same way, and it is important to identify how your students effectively learn the fastest.”
DeMatteo said he values the time he has spent at a training command.
“I have personally grown during this tour by developing a greater amount of patience in my day-to-day life,” said DeMatteo.
“As an instructor, it is paramount to display patience and understanding with your students in order to teach effectively.
“Duty at a training command is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have in the military.
“Working with students and helping them advance in their knowledge and ability is an extremely gratifying job.”
Out of approximately 8,000 instructors within NETC, DeMatteo was one of two finalists who competed for the 2017 officer IOY. He received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his achievements.
The IOY recognition ceremony concluded a week of activities in Pensacola honoring the nominated candidates.
“Seeing the professionalism and dedication of all these outstanding Instructor of the Year finalists only validates the phrase ‘Fleet Readiness Starts Here,’” said NETC Force Master Chief Karim Cole during the ceremony.
“I am confident that we have the right people in place to train, guide and get our Sailors ready to man the fleet.”
DeMatteo earned a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and is pursuing a master’s degree from Naval Postgraduate School.
“I personally aspire to command my own submarine in the future,” said DeMatteo.
“As a submarine commanding officer, you are personally responsible for the training and proficiency of your crew. My time as an instructor has helped me develop these key instructional skills necessary to teach those you lead.”
The NETC IOY program recognize Sailors throughout the NETC domain who exhibit sustained superior performance, leadership, mentorship, knowledge and teaching of military history and heritage, self-improvement, command and community involvement and exemplary military bearing.
NETC is the largest shore command in the Navy and is comprised of more than 12,000 military and staff personnel at more than 230 subordinate activities and detachments in the United States and at remote sites overseas. NETC provides training and education to more than 31,000 students on any given day.