SAN DIEGO -- Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) 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, Jan. 27.
Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Brent Schermerhorn, assigned to USS Preble (DDG 88), was named the Sea SOY, and Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Jason Robinson, assigned to Assault Craft Unit Five was named the Shore SOY.
Spouses, command leadership teams, distinguished military guests and community supporters attended the ceremony.
In addition to naming the overall winners, the Senior Sailors of the Year for all SURFPAC sea and shore commands were recognized during the Surface Navy Association event.
Schermerhorn, of Corning, N.Y., graduated from Campbell-Savona High School in 1997. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 2002. Upon completion of his training, he reported to the destroyer USS Elliot (DD 967). He is currently attending Coastline Community College, pursuing an Associate’s in Arts.
"I'm really grateful to have been selected,” Schermerhorn said. ”Being selected for this prestigious honor really makes me think about the people who have helped me, get to where I am today. I really look forward to helping others do the same."
Robinson, of Portola, Calif., graduated from Portola High School in 2007, and enlisted in the United States Navy in 2008. Upon completion of his training, Robinson reported to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23.
"This entire experience has been amazing,” said Robinson. “Every nominee here is extremely well deserving of this award and for me to have selected really means a lot to me."
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 to from shore commands to participate in the SOY week.
During the week, the eight finalists and their spouses participated in a variety of activities and events, interacting and learning from senior leadership and each other.
Their visits included trips to the USS Midway Museum and the San Diego Zoo.
"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 winners will now compete in Hawaii with other Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) nominees to be named the U.S. Pacific Fleet Shore and Sea SOY. The sea and shore-based commands of COMPACFLT represent more than 200,000 Sailors. The top COMPACFLT Sea Sailor will be eligible for meritorious promotion to chief petty officer and the Shore SOY will move on to competition in Washington, D.C., for possible designation as the 2016 Chief of Naval Operations Shore SOY.