SAN DIEGO – Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) announced the 2011 SURFPAC Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY) during a banquet at Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, Calif., Feb 17, sponsored by the Surface Navy Association.
"I am very proud of our eight finalists for this year's SURFPAC Sea and Shore Sailor of the Year competition," said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet. "Each of our Shore and Sea commands select their own Sailor of the Year, a huge accomplishment at the command level and one that highlights these Sailors as the very best. To then be selected as one of the finalists for the TYCOM (Type Commander) competition, displays a level of professionalism and dedication identifying these Sailors as being clearly at the top of their profession. It has been a great week spending time with our Navy's absolute best, and the family members who helped them achieve this level of success."
Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Petty Officer (SW) Rennsie R. Gregorio, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) was named the Sea SOY, and Navy Counselor 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/AW) Valerie L. McNairy, Pre- Commissioning Unit Anchorage (LPD 23), was named Shore SOY. Nearly 400 guests, including spouses, command leadership teams, distinguished military guests, and community supporters attended the ceremony.
“This past week has given us the opportunity to have our up-and-coming top leaders from the Surface Fleet in front of us, and get to share some information, exchange ideas and mentor them,” said SURFPAC Force Master Chief (SW) Brannon Knox. “Being able to share this week with these outstanding Sailors is the best part of the job and It has definitely been a great way to really see them mature, and to recognize their hard work and dedication.”
Gregorio, a native of the Philippines, entered the Navy July 1993. He graduated Basic Training Center San Diego in 1994 and attended Gas Turbine System “A” school. His sea commands include USS Oldendorf (DD-972), USS Kinkaid (DD 965), USS Fletcher (DD 992), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS O’Brian (DD 975). His shore tours include Navy Region Southwest Security Department and Gas Turbine Repair Shop on Southwest Region Maintenance Center. Gregorio is currently stationed aboard USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110).
"I had the opportunity to meet outstanding Sailors and experience something I will never forget,” said Gregorio. “My selection as the Sea Sailor of the Year is a direct result of the teamwork aboard William P. Lawrence and it is an honor to represent my command; it just feels amazing to be recognized.”
McNairy was born in Houston, Texas and graduated from Bellaire High School June 1997. She entered the Navy June 1997. Her sea duty assignments include Navy Cargo Handling And Port Group, USS Cowpens (CG 63), USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Her shore duty assignments include Navy Region Southwest Security Detachment San Diego and Training Support Center San Diego. McNairy is currently stationed at Pre-Commissioning Unit Anchorage (LPD 23). "This was very unexpected, but it is truly an honor to be selected as the Shore Sailor of the Year,” said McNairy. “It has been a great week leading up to this point, and I wish every Sailor had the chance to experience this.”
Eight finalists took part in board interviews, command events and a series of community outreach activities, which included meeting with Pearl Harbor survivors, a visit to USS Midway Museum, the San Diego Zoo and other local attractions. The finalists also attended professional development sessions at SURFPAC headquarters and a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) tour and demonstration on the waterfront.
The finalists’ spouses also participated in the events with their Sailors and attended a media training session as well.
The top 2011 sea finalists are: Navy Counselor 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/AW) Jason P. Duque, USS Makin Island (LHD 8); Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Petty Officer (SW) Rennsie R. Gregorio, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110); Electronics Technician 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/AW) James M. Kyne III, USS Dewey (DDG 105); Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/FMF) Mat W. Pagan, USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).
The top 2011 shore finalists are: Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/FMF) Eric W. Hurley, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One; Navy Counselor 1st Class Petty Officer (SW/AW) Valerie L. McNairy, PCU Anchorage (LPD 23); Logistics Specialist 1st Class Petty Officer (SW) Rita Siqueiros, Beachmaster Unit One; Ship’s Serviceman 1st Class Petty Officer (SW) Tracy R. Thresher, Afloat Training Group Pacific.
Gregorio and McNairy will now compete in Hawaii against Pacific Fleet nominees vying for the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) Shore and Sea Sailor of the Year titles. 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 2010 Chief of Naval Operations Shore SOY.
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