Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT) recognized Patrick Istilart as the command’s 2021 Civilian of the Year during an award ceremony.
Istilart, SUBLANT’s broadcast authority officer (BCA), received the award for the superior performance of his duties throughout 2021.
Vice Adm. William Houston, Commander, U.S. Submarine Forces (SUBFOR), outlined Istilart’s achievements during the award ceremony.
“Patrick’s work at SUBLANT has been critical to ensuring the continued success of the Submarine Force communications program,” said Houston. “His dedicated work on a critical satellite system has directly resulted in making a new capability available to support national missions vital to the defense of the United States. None of this would have been possible without Patrick and his team’s ability to be humble, dig deep to find the root causes of issues, and drive the resolution.”
As the broadcast authority officer, Istilart expertly managed the operations, training, and qualifications of 42 personnel on a daily basis. His transparent work alongside others in SUBLANT, and the key command, control, communications and computers organizations around the world, has shown the effectiveness of maintaining a focused approach to troubleshooting.
“The civilian staff at SUBLANT continues to remain a cohesive and highly functional team,” said Dr. Martin Irvine, SUBFOR’s executive director. “Patrick is simply one example of the outstanding civilians that don’t shy away from challenges, but take pride in fixing them. I look forward to our civilian’s continued ‘one team, one fight’ work ethic embodied in our workforce to support Admiral Gilday’s ‘Get Real and Get Better’ initiative, by building trust and challenging the previously accepted norm.”
Upon receiving the award, Istilart acknowledged the challenges he embraced while performing his job and took time to thank those in attendance, as well as his team.
“The toughest challenge I faced in 2021 was adjusting to my new position, but my team shared their knowledge with me and we quickly built trust in each other,” said Istilart. “Diving into being the BCA and working on the satellite system helped me acclimate to the new environment. I quickly took on the project and determined all the barriers through a disciplined and streamlined approach.”
Since Istilart’s work, the Submarine Force now has added a crucial capability in support of national security. This work would not have been possible without transparent and collaborative efforts from multiple commands.
“Establishing the communications system was a coordinated effort that we led with U.S. Air Forces’ 4th Space Operations Squadron, U.S. Naval Information Forces, the Defense Information Systems Agency, Program Executive Offices, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence, Commander, Tenth Fleet, and others,” said Istilart.
While Istilart is SUBLANT’s civilian of the year, he is only one of approximately 80 civilian employees who ensure SUBLANT’s goals and requirements are met on a daily basis.
The Submarine Force executes the Department of the Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, the Submarine Force, in particular, is expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and the nation could not otherwise achieve.
The Submarine Force and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.