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The life-saving incident occurred on Jan. 20, 2022, while Hilzinger was out for a run at a local park in Chula Vista, Calif.
Hilzinger was initially stopped and asked to aid in locating a missing person. Upon locating the individual in a locked vehicle, he helped remove the convulsing Veteran and immediately provided first aid, including checking the airway and providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts until first responders arrived at the scene. Hilzinger’s 45 minutes of effort providing medical assistance saved the life and prevented further medical injury to the Navy Veteran, father, and husband.
“When I was initially briefed on this incident, I was not shocked that Lt. Hilzinger would do something like this,” said Cmdr. Tim Raymie, commanding officer, IWTC San Diego, who presented the award on behalf of Capt. Ratkus. “He has always placed others before himself, and as this incident clearly shows, this extends to fellow citizens who do not wear the uniform. In life we say many things are ‘meant to be’ and it was meant to be that Jon was in the right location at the right time, to not only save the life of this Veteran, but also to save the family from losing a loving husband and father. Words can’t truly express how proud I am of Jon.”
Hilzinger has also been the IWTC San Diego’s Culture of Excellence (COE), Warrior Toughness (WT), and Expanded Operational Stress Control lead. He has implemented over 12 unique COE case studies and 38 distinct COE/WT initiatives for 3,300 staff and students, helping to establish and fortify signature behaviors across the entire command.
“Jon is a really close friend of mine and his life saving efforts does not surprise me,” said Lt. Elizabeth Powers, an instructor at IWTC San Diego. “His actions speak to his character and how he always thinks of others first. As a fellow junior officer and colleague of Jon, I couldn’t have thought of a better person at our command to lead the Navy’s programs that serve as role models of acceptable behavior. Through this incident, Jon’s example isn’t just delivered through discussions, but is amplified by his personal actions.”
IWTC San Diego, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains approximately 26,000 students every year, delivering 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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