Operation Specialist 1st Class Edison Faggett Jr. stood on the mound in PETCO Park in San Diego.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for the Marshall native and the 2009 Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Sailor of the Year, who got to throw out the first pitch during the Padres game against the Colorado Rockies.
"You never think you'll get to do it until you get the phone call asking you to," he said in a telephone interview. "You get out there in front of the crowd and their cheering ... I was honored to represent the command."
He said a lot of things happened "that year. I work with great people who help me out, motivate me and I am honored and happy" to have received the award.
In addition to the Sailor of the Year designation, he has been awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals and various campaign and service medals.
OS1 Faggett works in the command that maintains and trains the entire surface fleet of 160 ships, according to CNSF Lt. Alec Zirkenbach.
"The command makes sure everything is running properly," he said. "The OS1 job is training, which is integral to the Naval surface force."
Faggett described his job as making sure the ships are up-to-date to do their missions and have all that is required to do their work.
OS1 Faggett enlisted in the Navy in 1998 after graduating from Marshall High School. He chose the Navy because it was something different from landlocked East Texas.
"It was a change of venue. It's been terrific. It's hard to believe it has been twelve years already," he said.
"I've been in a lot of commands and seen a lot of different cultures but the most memorable are the people. You make friends along the way, learn tidbits from them, build camaraderie and they become a part of your life," he said.
OS1 Faggett attended boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill.., and became an "A" school graduate when he completed OS "A" School in Damneck, Va., according to a Navy press release.
His first tour was onboard the USS Juneau from November 1998 to July 1999. USS Juneau and USS Dubuque were a part of a hull swap where he finished his tour onboard USS Dubuque in March 2002, according to the release.
Following his first fleet tour, OS1 Faggett reported for pre-commissioning duty for USS Preble. While onboard, he served as surface watch supervisor, identification operator and tactical information coordinator from March 2002 to August 2004. In August 2004, he completed a tour with pre-commissioning/USS New Orleans. During this tour, he served as work center supervisor, divisional leading petty officer, and acting divisional leading chief petty officer, according to the release.
Faggett is engaged to Ariel Knox and they have one son, Christopher H. Faggett.
Although he has no plans to retire soon, he said when he does he will be back in Marshall.
"I miss home ... but I am trying to represent Marshall well," he said.
Naval Surface Forces
SURFOR, comprised of surface ships and support and maintenance commands, provides operational commanders with well-trained, highly effective, and technologically superior surface ships and sailors.
At this moment, sailors are engaged around the world as part of a global force for good. On any given day, nearly half of our ships are underway worldwide carrying out our nation's maritime strategy. They are on station, conducting ballistic missile defense of our homeland and regional allies, keeping sea lanes open so that international shipping may sail free and safe and working to stem the tide of illegal drugs and contraband.
In support of allied nations, they are working with partner navies to increase maritime safety and security. Our ships are doing all of this while standing at the ready to offer relief and comfort to our fellow human beings in the event of a disaster.
Sustaining our high level of readiness requires a significant level of flexibility and adaptability. Although additional ships and technological advances help make our Navy strong, we must never forget that the true strength of our Surface Force rest in the diverse mix of our men and women. These outstanding young people are members of an elite group of sailors who proudly bear the title "Surface Warrior." Professionals in every sense of the word, the tools they use are multi-purpose amphibious ships, coastal patrol ships, mine sweepers and hunters, cruisers, destroyers and frigates.