SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet named the fiscal year 2017 sea and shore Sailors of the year during a ceremony held at the U.S. 3rd Fleet headquarters building in San Diego, Feb. 2.
Legalman 1st Class Eric R. Foster, Carrier Strike Group 11 (CCSG 11), was selected as the sea Sailor of the year and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Genesis F. Mariano, Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Pacific, was selected as shore Sailor of the year.
Vice Adm. John Alexander, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, noted all of the nominees come from diverse backgrounds. In every case, whether at sea or ashore, they were selected for their unwavering, superior performance and devotion to the Navy Core Values of honor, courage, and commitment.
"The quality of the people we bring into the Navy is incredible," said Alexander. "We can't do what we do without contributions from Sailors like these. We are very proud to have them in the Navy. I am grateful for their support and great work."
Foster, from Decatur, Georgia, said he is blessed and humbled by his selection and the award represents the hard work and dedication of many who helped him in accomplishing goals.
"Being selected as Sailor of the year is phenomenal because I was selected from a large group of qualified Sailors," said Foster. "I feel it is not me who won. It is a combination of God, my family, and my command. Without them, I wouldn't be here."
Foster said he appreciated the standard of excellence to which he is held his command and said he made it his mission to deliver excellence every day.
"I want to pay this forward," said Foster. "I want to continue to inspire my junior Sailors, I want to continue to contribute to my peers, and I want to continue to serve my leaders."
Jacksonville, Florida, native Mariano described being selected as Sailor of the year as a surreal experience for which he is immensely grateful.
"I am still at a loss for words," said Mariano. "I would like to thank my mentors and junior Sailors I have worked with. I would also like to thank everyone who took part in the Sailor of the year selection process. This is not for me, this is for my family, my Sailors, and Marines. The most rewarding part of this experience is being able to take this experience and share what I have learned with all my shipmates."
Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Command Master Chief Jack Callison said he felt motivated after his interactions with the Sailors and said he appreciates all they have done and all they will do in the future.
"I can't help but be inspired by this amazing group of Sailors," said Callison. "After having the opportunity to get to know them, I am confident the Navy will still be in great hands in the future."
The other nominees for sea Sailor of the year were: Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Gina L. Jenkins, CCSG 15, Legalman 1st Class John Parrot, CCSG 7, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Marvin B. Strickland, CCSG 1, Culinary Specialist 1st Class Franklin Charlz S. Tercenio, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Gilbert G. Umayan, CCSG 3, and Information Systems Technician 1st Class Toccara J. Harris, CCSG 9.
The other nominee for shore Sailor of the year was Operations Specialist 1st Class Johnnie Bernard, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet.
Foster and Mariano will advance to compete for the title of Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Sailor of the year in March. The Pacific Fleet Sea SOY will be meritoriously advanced to the rank of chief petty officer during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., this summer; the Pacific Fleet Shore SOY will advance to compete at the Chief of Naval Operations level. The winner of that competition will also be meritoriously advanced to the rank of chief petty officer.
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