NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) honored 12 Sailors as their respective department's Sailor of the Year (SOY), and selected one as Truman's SOY for 2006 during a ceremony held aboard the ship Jan. 20.
"SOY is for any Sailor onboard the Ship who demonstrates exceptional leadership and outstanding performance," explained Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Clarence Frye. "Being selected as a candidate for SOY means that your department recognizes your leadership and mentoring abilities, as well as helping the Sailors working for [or with] you."
Once a department selects someone they feel has the qualifications for SOY, they submit a package for that Sailor up the chain of command. The command master chief makes his recommendations, but it is ultimately up to the commanding officer to make the final decision on who the SOY will be for the command.
"After I received all the packages for the candidates, I sent a copy of all the packages to all the department heads, and they graded each individual package based on set criteria," Frye added.
Each candidate was then interviewed by Frye. "Each Sailor was asked the same set of questions, and received grades based on the responses they gave," Frye said.
Cryptologic Technician(Collection) First Class (SW/AW) Adrienne C. Taylor, intel department leading petty officer, expressed her gratitude for being nominated and how she felt to even be considered for SOY.
"It feels good knowing my department saw all the work that I was doing. I'm excited," said Taylor.
Wardroom three hosted all the candidates onboard Truman to give the command a chance to recognize and celebrate all of their accomplishments.
One Sailor, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) First Class (AW) Jacob D. Muehls, was unable to attend because he is currently on Individual Augmentation (IA) status in Afghanistan. However, Muehls was still able to participate in all aspects of the selection process.
"We sent a copy of the questions from the interview process to his first sergeant in Afghanistan, and they conducted the interview with him over there, and gave us their input," said Frye.
"I feel it is good recognition for the work that I put into the department, and for my junior guys; I feel like it is recognition for them too," said Hospital Corpsman First Class (SW/AW/FMF) Leander J. Beams, medical department's assistant leading petty officer and SOY candidate.
All 12 Sailors came and enjoyed a great night where they were honored for their hard work and dedication to their respective departments and the U.S. Navy.
But, in the end there could only be one SOY. Personnel Specialist First Class (SW/AW) Robbie D. Smith, personnel office's leading petty officer, was selected by the CO as Truman's SOY for 2006.
After the announcement of the winner, Smith was visibly overcome by emotion. "I'm happy [and] ecstatic," said Smith, I'm very honored. The competition was tough. I'm very honored."
When asked if he had stopped shaking yet, Smith could only laugh with a humbled look in his eyes and say, "No, not yet."
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.