Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) recently announced the 2016 SURFPAC Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY) during a banquet at the Admiral Kidd Catering and Conference Center in San Diego.
During the banquet, Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Brent Schermerhorn was named as the Sea Sailor of the Year and Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Jason Robinson was declared the Shore Sailor of the Year. Schermerhorn serves aboard USS Preble (DDG 88) while Robinson is assigned to Assault Craft Unit Five.
“These amazing Sailors are the best at what they do, and were hand-selected by their commands,” said Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Force. “All the Sailor of the Year nominees represent the best of our nation both at home and abroad. Now they are in a position to be role models, to set an example, and to reach back and bring junior sailors up to the next level, and to make them Sailor of the Year material one day, too.”
The annual competition began with a field of more than 100 SOYs from sea and shore commands around the Pacific, with four selected from sea commands and four selected from shore commands to participate in the SOY week. During the week leading up to the banquet, all eight contestants and their spouses participated in a variety of local events and activities, interacting and learning from senior leadership and each other.
Their visits included trips to the USS Midway Museum and the San Diego Zoo.
The winners will now compete in Hawaii with other nominees to be named the U.S. Pacific Fleet Shore and Sea SOY. The top Sea Sailor will be eligible for meritorious promotion to chief petty officer and the Shore SOY will move on to compete in Washington, D.C., for possible designation as the 2016 Chief of Naval Operations Shore SOY.
The other finalists for the Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year were Personnel Specialist 1st Class Jeff B. Salguero, Naval Surface Force headquarters; Master-at-Arms 1st Class Anthony S. Puleo, III, Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Don William Aukshun, Mine Counter Measures Squadron Three; Electronics Technician 1st Class Fidencio Castellanos, Littoral Combat Ship Crew 111; Logistics Specialist 1st Class Kristie L. Pierre, USS Dewey (DDG 105); and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Jery A. Vasquez, USS Sentry (MCM 3).