Gold Eagle Sailor of the Year Inspires Junior Sailors

Story Number: NNS080709-30Release Date: 7/9/2008 10:05:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Philip Schrickel, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) Sailor of the Year works hard to inspire his fellow Sailors.

"I want my people to know that they can depend on me," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class (AW/SW) Christopher Dean, who leads Carl Vinson's command indoctrination team. "If you take care of your people, they will take care of you."

Dean strives to provide his peers and subordinates with an unparalleled model of integrity.

"Dean taught me a lot when I was an airman," said Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Stefan Scroggins, of the ship's aircraft intermediate maintenance department (AIMD). "I know I'm a better petty officer because of what he taught me."

As a team leader for the command's indoctrination program, Dean is one of the first people that new Sailors see when they report aboard Carl Vinson.

"Positively influencing Sailors from the get-go is imperative to their personal and professional development," said Dean. "It sets them up for success in their own careers and will benefit their junior Sailors when they are wearing a crow or anchors."

Dean also realizes that his role as a first class petty officer and the command's Sailor of the Year automatically puts him in the limelight.

"Whether you like it or not, when you put on that Sailor of the Year nametag, you become a leader, a mentor, and example for everyone," said Dean. "You have to hold yourself to a higher standard."

Dean attributed his success to lessons learned from junior Sailors, peers, and mentors throughout his career. He also emphasized that knowing the needs of Sailors is paramount to becoming an effective and positive leader.

"If you don't know your people, you won't be able to understand their needs and be there when they need you most," said Dean. "If you can do that much, people will follow you as a leader."

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