SOY 2012 

SURFPAC's 2012 Sailor of the Year Finalists arrive in San Diego 
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Rosalie Garcia Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs  
SAN DIEGO - Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) welcomes eight Sailors for the annual Sea and Shore Sailor of the Year (SOY) Week, Feb. 24 to Mar. 1.

The Sailor of the Year program was established in 1972 by Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, John Whittet, to recognize an individual who best represents each command and ultimately the Navy. The events of the week honor each of the finalists for their contributions to their commands and local communities while evaluating their military bearing, professional performance and leadership skills as they compete for the Sailor of the Year title.

"Congratulations to all Sailor of the Year finalists. What a great honor it is to have you here, making it to this level of competition," said Capt. Roy Kitchener, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Chief of Staff. "You all exemplify the highest levels of dedication of service to our nation. Amidst the competition, this is a great time to learn from one another. Each of you brings a lot of knowledge, experience and skills, and the biggest take away this week will be the values you learn from each other."

Finalists and their family members will take part in numerous events throughout the week. The finalists will participate in board interviews, command events and community outreach activities, including meeting with Pearl Harbor survivors, a visit to USS Midway Museum, the San Diego Zoo and other local attractions. They will also attend professional development sessions at SURFPAC headquarters and a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) tour and demonstration on the waterfront.

The week will conclude with the announcement of the sea and shore Sailors of the Year at a banquet at Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, Calif., Mar. 1. The senior Sailors of the Year for each of the commands will also be recognized.

The top 2012 sea finalists are: Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Petty Officer (AW/SW) Shawn-Patrick Bland, USS Makin Island (LHD 8); Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/IUSS) Richard K. Cornish, USS McCampbell (DDG 85); Navy Counselor 1st Class Petty Officer (SW) Phillip J. Lopez, USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108); Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Petty Officer (SW) Devon A. Luter, USS Hopper (DDG 70); Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/FMF) Augustine O. Osazuwa, Mine Countermeasures Ship Crew Conflict.

The top 2012 shore finalists are: Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/FMF) Eric W. Hurley, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One; Construction Mechanic 1st Class Petty Officer (SCW/EXW) Daniel Perez, Beachmaster Unit 1; Information Systems Technician 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/AW) Lashandrea T. Young, Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific.

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/SurfaceWarriors; and on Twitter, @surfacewarriors.
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