SAN DIEGO - Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet (C3F) named the selection of the 2015 Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year, during a ceremony held at the 3rd Fleet headquarters building in San Diego, Feb. 11. Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Belinda Hall, attached to Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 1, and Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW/IDW) Brandon York, attached to C3F Staff, were selected as C3F Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY).
Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, said the greatest impact in 3rd Fleet is the talent of the men and women in uniform, and the Sailors of the Year represent the exceptional Sailors of today.
“Our Sailors are better trained, better educated, and better equipped than at any other time I’ve witnessed in my 30-year career,” said Tyson. “These leaders are the best-of-the-best. I’m glad it was difficult to select the Sailors of the Year, because it speaks volumes to the caliber of Sailors from each command, and it gives me great confidence in the future of our Navy.”
Hall, from Spring Lake, North Carolina, said she is humbled and proud to be selected. “It feels great. It’s one of those experiences you never know which way it’s going to turn, whether you’re going to be selected. Even just having this experience of going through this process was awesome.” Hall credits her success in the Navy to the encouragement she’s received from her family.
“I want to thank my family for their continued support, and I want to thank my husband, who is currently stationed in Hawaii,” Hall said. His making the trip to be here with me was wonderful. I’m so blessed.”
Yadkinville, North Carolina, native York said he owes his selection to the efforts of those who have worked for him, with him, and above him throughout his career. “Without them, I wouldn’t be here, and my family, by far, has been my rock. Without my wife and my son, I also wouldn’t be here,” said York. “The Navy has been great to me,” York added.
I’m very fortunate to be where I am. I’ve done things I never expected in a million years that I would be able to do, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities the Navy has given me.” Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Loran “Mark” Bather said the Sailor of the Year selection process is rigorous and included an in-depth performance review and a grueling board interview.
“Each nominee’s character, technical expertise, and leadership exemplify the Navy Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment,” said Bather. “It was really a tough choice, because every single one of them is already a winner.”
The other nominees for Sea Sailor of the Year were Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Reina Velazquez, CCSG-3; Electronics Technician 1st Class (SW/AW/SCW) Rory Baird, CCSG-9; Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) William Jamieson; CCSG-11; Information Specialist 1st Class (AW) Melinda McDaniel, CCSG-15; and Operations Specialist (SW/AW) Shaquita Calloway, Expeditionary Strike Group 3. The other nominees for Shore Sailor of the Year were Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanic) 1st Class (SW/AW) Citrine White, Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Pacific and Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class (IDW/SW/AW) Ruebin Gabriel, Tactical Training Group, Pacific. Hall and York will advance to compete for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Sailor of the Year in March. The Pacific Fleet Sea SOY will be meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this summer, and the Pacific Fleet Shore SOY will compete at the CNO level. The winner of that competition will also be meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer as well.