22 Too Many Transparent Logo
Close this search box.

Matthew Austin

In Memory of PO2 Matthew John Austin


May 22, 1993 – June 30, 2019

Born on May 22, 1993 in Johnston County, NC to Michael and Angela Austin, Matthew has a younger brother, Zack Austin, and an 11 year old son, Landon Austin. He loved sports, fishing, hunting, and NC State. Matthew played football, baseball, and basketball. He was also in the Boy Scouts. His middle school football team went undefeated. Matthew was always a high achiever in anything he did. He got accepted into the Duke TIP program at an early age during his elementary years. He had the chance to skip high school and go into early college, however I felt he would miss out on so much by skipping high school. I encouraged him not to do early college. 

As a senior, he had Landon; he was Matthew’s entire world. His father and I encouraged him to either go to college (he was accepted in every college from coast to coast), or to join the military to support his family. He chose the USN as his career. We were extremely proud of him. 

He reported to basic at Great Lakes Chicago, IL on December 5, 2013. In March 2014 he was assigned to the USS PORTER (DDG-78), forwarded deployed to Rita, Spain, as an undesignated seaman working in the deck department. Upon receiving GM, Matthew oversaw all of the ship’s small arms as the armory work center supervisor. He was responsible for over 80,000 rounds of ammo and pyrotechnics. He conducted several ballistic missile defense missions supporting Europe command and Israel. He was the primary MK-32 surface vessel torpedo tube mount captain and became a line coach, where he qualified over 200 sailors in weapons manipulation and firing effectiveness. While aboard the USS PORTER, Matthew received his first and second Navy and Marine Corps achievement medals, qualified as an enlisted surface warfare specialist and received multiply qualifications. He was also in charge of the maintenance torpedo launching system. He manned a M240 and a 50 caliber machine gun. 

On September 28, the USS PORTER departed from Vlore, Albania. While on patrol conducting naval operations in the US 6th fleet in support of the US national security interest in Europe. On April 7, 2017 in the Mediterranean Sea, Syria carried out a strike. In response the USS PORTER was involved in the attack and fired Tomahawk missiles. The USS Ross assisted the USS PORTER in the attack. Syria’s aircraft and infrastructure were hit, including the runway and gas fuel pumps. The airfield was severely damaged, reducing Syria’s capability to deliver chemical weapons as planned. 

On August 15, 2017 Matthew reported to special boat team 20 (SBT-20) as a Naval Special Warfare Armorer Technician. He received his duty armorer ordinance quality assurance safety observer and his expeditionary warfare specialist qualifications within his first 6 months. He was also the work center supervisor for the weapons department and provided ordnance demolition driver training (Demo) and certified personnel as a NSW DEMO drivers. He demonstrated his exceptional craft for weapons by developing a repair method for the 50 caliber machine guns. Prior to innovation, these weapons were designated as “beyond repair” and were slated to be returned to naval special warfare command crane for repair. Matthew took initiative by identifying the problem, creating a process to repair the weapons by utilizing parts from older 50 caliber machine guns. He provided NSWC with a detailed presentation and instructions on how to implement his solution. NSWC crane confirmed his assessment and found his solution to be of significant value. They disseminated his presentation to every armory. The USN stated there is no way to calculate the savings Matthew attributed for initiative and determination used to identify and correct the weapons. His actions saved on repair turnaround time, minimized lost training time and ensured this weapon system has more time on target availability. He was directly responsible for correcting 38 out of 500 known discrepancies, which could have been a substantial amount. The estimate of savings just to ship the machine guns back was $43,150 and roughly 6 months of repair time, preventing training. 

While stationed at SBT-20, he received his first Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and was posthumously advanced to first class Petty officer in June 2019. He received several awards and ribbons including Navy “E” ribbon, good conduct medal, national defense service medal, global war on terrorism expeditionary medal, sea service development ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps overseas service ribbon, North Atlantic treaty organization medal, rifle marksman ribbon and the pistol marksman ribbon (EXPERT), and many more. 

Matthew was active aboard SBT-20 when he gained his angel wings on June 30, 2019, where he was well liked and dedicated to honor his country and the naval service by the work he performed throughout his naval career. His distinct personality and expertise made an immediate impact on those who met him. He quickly gained friendships of peers and subordinates alike, and had a reputation as one of the finest petty officers in the command. He had a smile that always lit up any room and a huge caring heart. He always showed kindness and respect to all. He loved his job and son very much. He had 2 tattoos, 1 of the GM symbol & the other was his sons name, Landon. He is missed and loved by so many!

States he called home: North Carolina, Virginia.


Final Rest: Knollwood Memorial Park

Austin Matthew NAVY