GREAT LAKES – After graduating as top sailor from Recruit Training Command, Division 068, recruit Madalyn Mattila was chosen to attend the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
The Sandpoint native won the Military Excellence Award at her graduation ceremony on January 21.
Mattila, from Sandpoint, Idaho, said she joined the Navy to accelerate career growth.
“I didn’t want a regular 9 to 5 job,” Mattila said. “I wanted something exciting that would keep me interested. I also wanted to gain life experience, confidence and skills to help me succeed wherever I decide to take my life, whether as a sailor or a civilian.
Mattila, 19, is a 2020 graduate of Sandpoint High School, where she participated in football and theater.
Mattila is awarded the price of technician in cryptology (interpretation).
The Navy Club of the United States Military Excellence Award is the most prestigious award given to the # 1 recruit in its graduate training group. The MEA is awarded to the recruit who best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, dedication to duty, military dress and teamwork. The award placed her at the top of today’s new sailors. Mattila receives a letter of praise from the flag.
Mattila said she was surprised and honored to receive the MEA.
“It was an amazing feeling to see that all the hard work I had put in paid off,” said Mattila. “Throughout training camp, I had learned to trust my training and myself, and to set and achieve goals. I made myself extremely proud because even when I wanted to take the easy way, I pushed myself to continue. Winning this award was really the icing on the cake and proves to me how far I have come in all that I have accomplished.
Mattila credited his recruit division commanders, Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Jimmie Carter III, Yeoman 1st Class Eric Primerosantiago, and Machinist Mate 2nd Class Liatesha Payne for their leadership and guidance.
Mattila inspired by the family throughout training camp.
“I have always been very close to them and they are the most important people in my life,” she said. “They know how difficult it was for me to adjust and leave home for the first time and their support really keeps me going. Whether through our few scheduled phone calls or letters, their words of love, motivation and pride make it all worth it. No matter what I’m going through, they always find a way to pick me up and help me push harder.
Mattila said the biggest challenge she faced in training camp was being away from her family.
“I was going through the separation anxiety and wasn’t dealing with it well,” she said. “I was ready to give up. My RDCs had a huge impact on my recovery. They helped me change my mind and realize that I was becoming homesick, rather than seeing what period it was an amazing opportunity and what I was able to achieve. They had a huge impact on my success in training camp, and the lessons I learned from them made me a better person. and stronger.
After graduating, Mattila attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Cryptology (interpretation) technicians conduct information operations using foreign language skills and advanced computer systems. They collect, analyze and exploit foreign language communication signals of interest to identify, locate and monitor global threats.
The training camp lasts about eight weeks and all enlisted in the US Navy begin their careers in command. The training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and damage control on board, as well as lessons on the Navy’s heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline.
Over 40,000 recruits train each year at the Navy’s only bootcamp.