In this file photo, Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Raymond M. Newton (in yellow), directs deck evolutions aboard USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) as the ship gets underway from Yokosuka, Japan, Oct. 24, 2011. (U.S. Navy photo)

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 30, 2012) - Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Raymond M. Newton, deck division workcenter supervisor aboard USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), was named a winner of the 2012 Surface Navy Association Admiral Zumwalt Award for Visionary Leadership earlier this month.

He was the only Sailor below the rank of Chief Petty Officer selected for a Surface navy Association leadership award this year. The award is presented to two active-duty Navy members who best exemplify the qualities of Admiral Zumwalt including dynamic leadership, operational excellence, unselfish dedication to duty, visionary zeal and exemplary care.

The winners are selected by a panel of active-duty and retired individuals chosen by the SNA Executive Committee. Newton qualified for the award by receiving a nomination from a subordinate which was submitted with a positive command endorsement.

Newton joined the Navy in 2007 hailing from Chicago, where he was born and raised. USS Curtis Wilbur is his first duty station. There he has served as workcenter supervisor and leading petty officer.

After an unplanned personnel loss during the ship's deployment, Newton assumed the role of acting leading Chief Petty Officer and the ship's senior boatswain's mate. He successfully executed 12 refueling at sea evolutions, seven small boat operations, and countless flight operations.

"Newton provides a tremendous amount of dedication to the ship," said Cmdr. Christopher Monroe, commanding officer of Curtis Wilbur. "We faced tough manning issues which he overcame and stepped up as the leader for deck division."

One of Newton's subordinates, Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Colteryahn, said, "Newton's hard work ethic, knowledge, and character drives the division to be better Sailors."

On January 12th, 2012, Jim Zumwalt, son of Admiral Zumwalt, presented the award to Newton at the Surface Navy Association's 24th National Symposium in Washington, DC. With his first visit to the capital, the Surface Navy Association provided him the opportunity to see Arlington National Cemetery, Capitol Hill, and several other sites and memorials. Newton was joined by his mother who attended the entire event with him.

"It was great seeing the capital and spending time with my mom," said Newton. "The Surface Navy Association offered us so much to see while we were visiting and welcomed us warmly at each reception."

Curtis Wilbur, commanded by Cmdr. Christopher Monroe, is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15.