SURFOR Names Top Staff Sailors of 2008
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Katherine Sanchez, Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO – Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) announced the staff’s 2008 Senior and Junior Sailors of the Year Feb. 2.

Yeoman 1st Class (SW) Cherryl Torres was named Sailor of the Year (SSOY) and Yeoman 2nd Class (SCW/AW) Jaime Gonzalez was named Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY). Torres and Gonzalez both work in SURFOR’s administration office, where they provide administrative support services to a headquarter staff of more than 300 military and civilian personnel.

“To reach the level of SURFOR Sailor of the Year means you've been recognized among your peers as a leader and top performer who sets and maintains the highest standards," said SURFOR Command Master Chief, Rulon Rose. “These Sailors represent the future leadership of our Navy. Based on their performance, focus and dedication to accomplishing the mission, this is a well deserved achievement for both of them.”

Torres, an 11-year Navy veteran who serves as the administration leading petty officer, said being named SURFOR SSOY is an experience she will always remember.

"It's such a great honor to be chosen from among the other SURFOR Sailors—all superior performers,” said Torres of her achievement. "I’m so grateful to my chain-of-command and the SURFOR Sailors who have supported me. This is something I will never forget."

For Gonzalez, who is the administration assistant leading petty officer, the chance to represent SURFOR as JSOY is an honor and privilege he is grateful for.

"To be singled out from among all the incredible SURFOR candidates is truly humbling," Gonzalez said. "I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to represent SURFOR as their Junior Sailor of the Year."

Senior Chief Yeoman (SW/AW) Eric Jones, who supervises both Sailors, is proud of his Sailors rising to the top among a group of highly qualified SURFOR Sailors.

"Both Sailors were selected from a group of extremely competitive Sailors assigned to the staff,” said Jones. “Their sustained superior performance, total professionalism and continued support to the staff put them above the rest. I am truly lucky to have these Sailors under my supervision; they simply make my job easy.”

Torres will go on to compete for Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Shore Sailor of the Year. The top shore Sailor will move on to competition that will eventually conclude in Washington to vie for the honor of 2008 CNO Shore Sailor of the Year.