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Corry Station "Sailors' Sailor" Mike Hawley Retires After 54 Years

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Story by Glenn Sircy on 06/28/2019
By Glenn Sircy, Center for Information Wrafare Training

PENSACOLA, Fla. Retired Navy Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Mike Hawley, a Corry Station icon and fixture, officially retired from leading and mentoring Sailors in his federal service role, June 28.

Hawley served the Navy and Sailors for a total of 54 years16 of those years in a Navy chief, senior chief and master chief petty officer roleand ended his successful Navy career as a barracks manager onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Florida.

Over the years, thousands of previous and current Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station student Sailors and staff members have benefitted from Hawley's leadership and mentorship.

"Master Chief Hawley consistently utilizes his extensive leadership experience to shape and mold the 6,000 Sailors who train at Corry Station each year," shared Cmdr. Chad Smith, IWTC Corry Station's commanding officer. "His mentorship has proven instrumental in turning countless troubled Sailors around by instilling the grit and perseverance we need in the next generation. Our Sailors and the Navy are better because of him. I'm proud to call Mike Hawley a mentor and a friend!"

In his most recent position, he led Sailors in maintaining 220 double occupancy rooms, courtyards, perimeter areas, lounges and office spaces that now resemble upscale college campuses. Most importantly, he also served as a mentor and sometimes a father to the Sailors on a daily basis.

"Master Chief Hawley's mantra his whole career has been, take care of your Sailors', said retired Navy Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) Tom Priest. "He not only believed it, he lives it, day in and day out. Mike believed every Sailor deserved it and he demanded it from his peers, those work for him, and those he worked. His guidance and mentorship still resonates in the Navy today and will carry into the future. Every Sailor and officer he has touched holds him in the highest regard and all know they can reach out to him at any time. Mike's influence was so strong, that this retired senior chief and training supervisor can say I will not miss Mike as he is in my heart and I will carry on in his honortaking care of Sailors."

Hawley added he is no stranger to Corry Station. He first attended cryptologic technician (collection) "A" school in 1966, returned for another tour in 1988 and then retired onboard as the command master chief of Naval Technical Training Center Corry Station in 1995. Since retiring from active duty, he continued his legacy of leading and mentoring Sailors as a civilian and veteran.

"It's all about the Sailors and I always share with them that leadership is not about power, but respect," said Hawley. "There's certainly nothing Sailors can't do, and I'm committed to always help them strive to be and do their best, not only while here, but throughout their careers."

When asked what advice he gives Sailors on how to be successful, Hawley shared, "I look Sailors in the eyes and tell them it is not about you, but it is about your country, your family, about doing the right thing for your Shipmates every day. If you think about this every day, you will be successful."

Hawley's passion comes from doing the right things for Sailors every day. "Since I was initiated a chief petty officer in 1979, I've look in the mirror every day and tell myself to make sure you are squared away and do the best thing you can do for your Sailors today," shared Hawley.

"If there is something that needs to be done on base, and you do not know where to start, he is the person to go to," shared Fire Controlman 2nd Class Bryan Nunez with IWTC Corry Station. "His vast knowledge of Corry Station has led him to help every Sailor, Marine, Airman and Coast Guardsman that has been on base in one way or another. Mr. Hawley has been someone I have gone to for personal advice as well as advice in my naval career. A friend, a mentor, and someone that I strive to be like. Mr. Hawley is someone that will be missed on base but I am sure he will be around to continue helping Sailors!"

Hawley will be a missed fixture onboard Corry Station but his memory and legacy here will live well into the future.

When asked what he will miss most about retiring, Hawley shared, "The last day when I muster the Sailors and let them know this is the last day I'll do this and I won't formally be here for them anymore. That's going to be the killer for me and it won't be easyit's just not."

Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station is a part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT). With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command's top learning center for the past three years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

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