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NEWS | July 21, 2020

Yuma Native Named SUBFOR, Submarine Squadron 4 2019 Junior Officer of the Year

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Cavagnaro

Lt. Anthony Matus, from Yuma, Arizona, was recognized as the Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 4, 2019 Junior Officer of the Year (JOOY) for contributions while serving aboard the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788) in Groton, Connecticut.

Matus, who is currently stationed at Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 15, located in San Diego, served as the chemistry and radiological assistant, assistant operations officer, and operational safety officer aboard Colorado from 2017 to 2020.

“It was a huge surprise and I’m extremely humbled by it,” said Matus. “The level of difficulty of our mission sets and training were at a very high level of difficulty and arguably some of the most difficult in the submarine force. It makes being selected for this recognition mean even more to me.”

The announcement was made via video teleconference to all Commander, Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) JOOY recipients, July 2.

“For me it’s a confirmation of a promise I made to then Director of Naval Reactors and former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson (Ret.) during an interview I had with him,” said Matus. “He took a gamble on me. It paid off and I’d like to think this is proof of that.”

Colorado was commissioned in March, 2018, more than a year after Matus joined the command.

“It was amazing to see Colorado go on its maiden deployment and how close knit the crew was with all the hard work we put in,” said Matus. “I learned so much from them and I wouldn’t be half the officer I am without the crew, the chiefs mess and wardroom. I attribute it all to being a part of COMSUBRON 4.”

After joining CCSG-15 in early 2020, Matus took on the role of providing opposition forces for deploying carrier strike groups and amphibious readiness groups during their pre-deployment certifications.

“We train to provide fleets with realistic scenarios they may encounter while on deployment to ensure they’re set up for success, accomplish their mission and come back safely,” said Matus.

Matus maintains an open mind with his new position at CCSG-15.

“It’s a completely different experience coming from the submarine community, but I hope to understand the overarching view of what this command has to offer,” said Matus. “Growing my professional expertise of surface and air forces will make me a more well-rounded officer that I can take back to the submarine force and provide perspective outside our specialty."