February 4, 2023

Henderson Is O’Neill Officer of the Year Award Winner

LT CMDR Chad Henderson, Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Weapons (PMA-242) class desk engineer, receives the NAS Patuxent River 2022 Admiral Merlin O’Neill Officer of the Year award from retired US Army COL Neil Johnson, a representative from the Military Officers Association of America during a ceremony November 10 on base. (US Navy photo)

LT CMDR Chad Henderson received the Naval Air Station Patuxent River 2022 Admiral Merlin O’Neill Officer of the Year award during a ceremony last month on base.

The Military Officers Association of America local representative retired US Army COL Neil Johnson presented the award to LT CMDR Henderson who was recognized as a junior officer who has demonstrated superior performance and leadership, with an emphasis on volunteer activities and involvement in the community.

“Chad is an exemplary naval officer and leader in both our office and the community,” said CAPT Alex Dutko, the Direct and Time Strike Weapons (PMA-242) program manager who oversees Henderson. “This award reflects his sustained superior performance and clearly reflects those values that Admiral O’Neill espoused throughout his career.”

LT CMDR Henderson is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and earned his wings in 2012. He attended the Empire Test Pilots’ School in 2017 and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Naval Post Graduate School.

He has supported Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at Pax River, working as the F/A-18 A-F and T-45 project officers. He served as the officer-in-charge of multiple detachments, leading pilots, engineers and maintenance personnel to complete the KC-46 in-flight refueling capability for Navy aircraft. Currently, he serves as the class desk engineer for PMA-242 and leads a team of more than 100 engineers to support 18 weapons systems, including the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) integration on Navy and Air Force aircraft.

Outside of work, the lieutenant commander is active in the local community and volunteers for the Navy Patuxent River Sailing Club and serves as a youth group leader and Sunday school teacher at his church.

The Southern Maryland chapter of MOAA established the Admiral Merlin O’Neill award in 1981 to recognize exemplary junior officers assigned to duties at NAS Pax River. The award is named in honor of ADM Merlin O’Neill, commandant of the Coast Guard from 1950 to 1954, and a Southern Maryland resident in his later years.

This article was provided by NAVAIR News.

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