US Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) named its 2014 Sailor of the Year (SOY) during a ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum, Nov. 21.
Nominees from 11 different installations throughout the region came together in San Diego to compete for the honor of becoming NRSW Sailor of the Year.
The ceremony was the culmination of several week long events including visits, tours and interviews.
They began the week by visiting the home of Rear Adm. Patrick Lorge, commander, Navy Region Southwest for an ice breaker reception. The candidates also toured Los Angeles-class submarine USS Hampton (SSN 767), Explosive Ordnance Disposal team training sites and the USS Midway Museum.
The tours allowed the Sailors to learn more about the different aspects of the Navy and an opportunity to bond and learn from one another.
“It was truly exciting to hear about the positive leadership that occurs on a daily basis with these Sailors on our installations,” said NRSW’s Command Master Chief David Dearie. “We all agree that if we were up for Sailor of the Year now we could not compete with the competition that there is today. We were most impressed that these Sailors have the same things on their mind that we do as senior leaders.”
Prior to announcing the winner of the competition Lorge praised all of the SOY nominees for their hard work and dedication.
“I am confident that every one of you sitting in the front row is someday going to be a chief in our U.S. Navy,” said Lorge. “You are and have been identified as the cream of the crop of wherever you are stationed. Regardless of what happens today just remember that. Remember that you have an unbelievable future in this Navy. I am tasking you with one thing and that is to continue to be the leaders that you all are and understand that it is a special gift, but not one that everyone gets, so embrace it and use it. Be the best person you can be, lead your Sailors, and you will find success. Congratulations to every single one of you.”
The 2014 NRSW SOY was Master-at-Arms 1st Class (EXW/IDW) Jody M. Jones from Naval Base San Diego.
“I’m overwhelmed,” said Jones. “It feels amazing to be recognized for what I’ve been doing. I have so many people to thank that I couldn’t list them all. Everyone that I have ever been stationed with has helped me in some way, from my leadership to all my junior Sailors.”
Jones added that the she learned a lot during the week leading up to the ceremony. The events were a great opportunity to get to know the other Sailors and about what they do.
“I have learned so much,” she said. “I have more respect for the submarine community and the Navy band. It was great to meet the Sailors of the Year from each installation and their CMCs. There was a lot of mentoring and bonding. The CMCs taught us so much.”
Jones will go on to compete against Sailors from other regions for the honor of Commander, Naval Installations Command Sailor of the Year. The selectee from that competition will go on to compete for Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year.
Press Release; Image: US Navy