NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Adm. Mark Ferguson announced the 2015 CNE-CNA Shore Sailor, Sea Sailor and Junior Sailor of the Year in a ceremony held at Naval Support Activity, Naples, Capodichino, Jan. 29.
Operations Specialist 1st Class Amparo Balderas, from Commander, Task Force 68 in Rota, Spain, was named Sea Sailor of the Year. Legalman 1st Class Stephani Pavoni, from CNE-CNA in Naples, Italy, was named Shore Sailor of the Year. Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Dawn Weston, from Commander, Task Force 69 in Naples was named Junior Sailor of the Year.
"Each of you embody the greatest values we hold dear in the service, and by your actions, the next generation of Sailors who are coming out of boot camp today will see you and say 'I want to be like that individual.'" - Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Adm. Mark Ferguson
Balderas will advance to compete next month at the Navy Sea Sailor of the Year competition at Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Pavoni will advance to compete later this spring at the Navy Shore Sailor of the Year competition at the Chief of Naval Operations.
Sailor of the Year candidates traveled to Naples from across the theater to compete. During the week, in addition to the competition, Sailor of the Year candidates visited cultural sites including Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, participated in a community relations project, attended physical training sessions with U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Fleet Master Chief Steven Giordano and were involved in several other area activities.
Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, former chief of naval operations, created the Sailor of the Year program in 1972 to recognize outstanding Sailors at sea. The following year, the Shore Sailor of the Year program was introduced.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples oversees joint and naval operations, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.