SOUTH CHINA SEA - A Sailor assigned to the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) has been selected as Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific (COMNAVSURFPAC) Sailor of the Year.
Master-at-Arms 1st Class Nicholas Fessler, a native of Prescott Valley, Ariz., received the award at a banquet at the Admiral Kidd Catering and Conference Center in San Diego, Calif., Feb. 14.
Throughout the week, Fessler and three other finalists were evaluated on military bearing, professional performance and leadership skills. The week also allowed the finalists to be recognized for contributions to their commands by participating in various events in the San Diego area.
"It was an amazing week and an amazing group of Sailors. The personal and professional bonds I made with all the finalists will last a lifetime," said Fessler. "I was honored to represent the crew of Bonhomme Richard and my selection as CNSP SOY is a testament to all the hard work and dedication each and every Sailor on board demonstrated this last year."
Capt. Joey Tynch, Bonhomme Richard's commanding officer, announced Fessler's selection to the crew during a ship-wide announcement, Feb. 17.
"I'm ecstatic that MA1 Fessler was able to 'bring home the gold' to Bonhomme Richard," said Tynch. "This award is just another testament to the strong leadership he provides to his Sailors and his commitment to the success of our ship."
Fessler will move on to compete for Pacific Fleet Sailor of the Year in Hawaii at a date to be announced later.
Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the only forward-deployed amphibious ready group and is currently conducting operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.