Sailors of the Year Promoted to Chief, Make History

Story Number: NNS100722-32Release Date: 7/22/2010 9:29:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (EXW) Jennifer A. Villalovos

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The 2009 Sailor of the Year winners, who for the first time in history are all women, were meritoriously advanced to Chief Petty Officer during a ceremony held at the Navy Memorial July 22.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead was the guest speaker at the pinning ceremony hosted by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West.

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ingrid Cortez, U.S. Fleet Forces Sea Sailor of the Year; Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Shalanda Brewer, Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year; Operations Specialist 1st Class Samira McBride, U.S. Pacific Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year and Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Cassandra Foote, Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year were each presented their chief petty officer appointment letter from the CNO prior to having their anchors pinned to their collars and combination covers placed on their heads.

"What I like most about this program is that these four Sailors know the Navy appreciates their dedication and performance, and expects even more of them in the future," said Roughead. "Their advancement today is an affirmation of the potential the Navy sees in them as future Chief Petty Officers and senior enlisted leaders at their next commands."

Before the anchors were pinned on the Sailors of the Year, West spoke about the great honor of earning the title of "Chief" and the privilege of leading Sailors while wearing the chief anchors on their collars.

"This is a great day for our Navy, and today we are making history with all for Sailors of the Year being women. These Sailors have proven themselves as professional Sailors, experts in their rates, role models to our junior Sailors and youth, and most importantly, true leaders," said West.

Families, friends and shipmates traveled from around the world to attend the ceremony to share the highlights of their accomplishments and achievement on making chief petty officer.

"A lot is expected of us, and it's a greater responsibility, but we are going to lead our Sailors and keep doing what we've been doing," said Cortez after the advancement ceremony. "This was such an awesome experience. I feel like I'm on top of the world, and it's just incredible."

The Sailors of the Year and their families toured the White House, visited historical sites around D.C., meet with residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, and attended special events held in their honor throughout the week before their advancement ceremony.

The Sailor of the Year program was established in 1972 by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet to recognize an individual Sailor who best represented the ever-growing group of dedicated professional Sailors at each command and ultimately the Navy. When the program began, only the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Sailors were recognized. Within ten years, the Sailor of the Year program was expanded to include the shore establishment and Navy Reserve Sailors.

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8/9/2010 10:17:00 AM
Wow the differences of service time are really apparent here. As someone who works in the Information Dominance world of the Navy I must say that my best analysts are female. They have to do more to get the same respect (which is crap), they also do the hardest jobs and do them very well. Not everyone needs to go to Iraq or to sea for that matter to be successful. I have been to both BTW. I say Congratualtions to these new selectees and we will be happy to welcome them on the 16th of September.

8/3/2010 4:08:00 PM
OMG can we say political correctness run amuck!?

8/2/2010 6:55:00 PM The final word.

7/30/2010 10:23:00 PM
I thank God for what I experienced during my nearly sixteen years as an air traffic controller in the USN. I thank God that I'm no longer part of that organization where political correctness has so abhorrently infested those that fancy themselves leaders. It also looks like most of them could use some remedial PT.

7/30/2010 12:24:00 AM
Cant anyone give a what they really feel comment. Stop writing the PC #### The CNO isnt going to track you down and flame spray you for stating your opinion. All you crusty old retired chief's have earned the right to be heard.

7/29/2010 8:50:00 PM
In a true meritocracy, as is the American military, recognition is obtainable for those whose talent and effort are deserving. As a father of a daughter in service, I am aware of how cutting edge our military has been in leading the way for positive change in our society. the key is to let everyone else know. Congratulations to all

7/29/2010 12:36:00 PM
Our military is comprised of all races, religious preferences and sexes. One does not need to be a statistical analyst to realize that if all demographics are eligible for SOY, it's simply a matter of time before one demographic does a sweep. There will come a time when all SOY selections are Wiccan, for example. My humble advice? Write better SOY packages for your saiors.

7/28/2010 12:40:00 PM
It was not the gender that put them above the others they competed with, it was there accomplishments. However, in today's Navy it has come the 'norm' to be more political. I find it hard to justify the evals I have written for my Junior Sailors simply because their work is exemplary but being on Sea Duty and having a high op-tempo not much off work stuff can be done, that means lower ranking for them. Let's get rid of the Politicians and show the Sailors their work is what puts them on top.

7/28/2010 11:32:00 AM
Political correctness run amok!

7/27/2010 12:35:00 PM
I have seen a lot of rhetoric in the comments to this story, but I think the important thing to take away here is: 4 extremely, bright, talented and dedicated Sailors were chosen to be the Sailor of the Year in their respective categories. That all of them are coincidentally female does not and should not have any bearing whatsoever on their selection for an honor that all of them most certainly deserve. Bravo Zulu Sailors on your selection!

7/27/2010 12:28:00 PM
Bill you can't win! Beatrice, is right, it's Brains over Brawn. These women had the brains to stay out of IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN. It's dangerous over there. You still make chief, and it's a lot safer and more comfortable. As DON COREALONE, "Only a fool risks his life for his country".

7/26/2010 8:32:00 PM
Let's do away with the CAP program, Recruiter of the Year and meritoriously promote personnel ONLY in combat shall we? Oh wait, there is such a program! Combat promotions for the E-1 to E-5 level. MA2 Sacha Martinez was promoted to MA1 under the new Combat Meritorious Advancement Program. PO1 Regina R. Clark, died in a convoy that was attacked by a vehicle-borne IED in Fallujah. PO2 Jaime S. Jaenke, died as a result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. No matter what sex US Sailors died!

7/26/2010 6:37:00 PM
Its me petty officer Betrice. You know me, its the guy you called a neanderthal because I disagree with your take on the Navy. What would you think if I could tell you how the horses will finish and that means 1,2, and 3 in the Kentucky Derby. You would say the guy is off a half of bubble, or maybe he has some inside information and might be validity to my claim. Horse people would say the chances of that happeniing would be to say all sailors of the year will be women this year. Odds Beatrice

7/26/2010 3:09:00 PM
All I want to say is congratulations to the newest members of the mess and always remember what your first and foremost job is...take care of the people you are placed in charge of. If not for them you would not be where you are today. ATC(AW) John H. Fritz USN(Ret)

7/26/2010 2:27:00 PM
How arrogant of thoses who think that only for PC reason these 4 females made it. I tell you that as an officer who sees the dedication, talent and leadership of female Sailors I work with I am not surprised. And for those who think that because they were pinned there indoctrination would not mean anything...I guess you have no faith in your chief's mess. LCV

7/26/2010 2:01:00 PM
YNC Cappas, Our nation is at war and meritorious advancement should be reserved for those exhibiting extraordinary leadership in direct combat with the enemy. This is no time to be handing out anchors to the "superior bureaucrat of the year". An entire SOTY group of all females smells of equal opportunity drivel and doesn't fool anyone.

7/26/2010 1:51:00 PM
I worked and trained with HMCS Shannon Dittlinger the 2005 Shore Sailor of the Year, and she is one of the finest Chiefs that I have worked with. I am sure after reading some very negative comments, that the four new CHIEFS that were pinned on 22 July will be outstanding additions to the CPO Mess!!! Navy Chief! Navy Pride!

7/26/2010 1:39:00 PM
Congratulations on the new E-7's. To those who would malign their selection I ask what places a particular skill set above all others? Do you know if any of them have served in an IA/GSA capacity? I see two HM's, is their service less than that of a SEAL simply because they are non-combatants? The Navy is a diverse group that functions due to diversity (not just the PC definition, but different rates also) and recognizes the whole Sailor, not just the job. BTW, I'm male, made Chief in 2001.

7/26/2010 12:48:00 PM
"There is NO more CPO Initiation, or charge books, or the harrassment fun." With all due respect to the retired Master Chief making this comment, the current CPO Induction season does have charge books. As for the "harrassment fun," I am proud to say the six years of inductions I have particpated in, and the approximately 150 CPOs I have helped train, turned out just fine. I'm thankful for your service and respect you as a brother CPO, but your rant does a disservice to us all.

7/26/2010 12:36:00 PM
I would tend to want to go with recognizing one of our own who has gone into harms way. These four SOL's cannot do what our SEALS selflessly do, and most SEALS can not do what these four do. They are all experts in their respective fields. However, I do see the spectre of the PC police all over this deal. You can't tell me there were no deserving male candidates. The Navy continues it's slide into a daycare organization. No anchors should have been pinned before their comrades in September.

7/26/2010 10:29:00 AM
And as I am typing my crude thoughts, the CNO announces the horrid news that we are missing people, and the men I was talking about. May my God bless and comfort their family members at a time that cannot be described by words. I love my Navy and presently, I am sickened by its present course. It will hit bottom if the folks upstairs do not realize we are not a social experiment. We are a Navy thats at War, and I sense we might have lost our best, in the true sense of the word. I am devastated.

7/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
This has nothing to do with indocrination and everything about who earned it. We have people in active combat with lead whizzing past their heads right now as I type. Everybody thats served a day in the Navy knows who these folks are, but they ask for nothing. When I see All Women, its an auto that this has been staged. I will congratulate them, but hopefully they do not think they are the best. I saw creases on their uniforms that would cut, but the dudes Im talking about are sucking dust.

7/26/2010 9:40:00 AM
You know, it's neanderthal comments like Bill Jamieson of Oregon that make women Sailors work twice as hard to earn their keep in the finest Navy of the world!!! I challenge you to tell me and other worthy Sailors why a 1st class SEAL is more deserving than a woman to be selected Sailor of the Year? Or is bulk and brawn more important than brains? Today's 21st century Navy has come a long way from the good ole boy network and my cover goes off to these newly selected CPOs! Welcome to the mess!

7/26/2010 6:56:00 AM
I am a retired Chief Petty Officer who wore the Chief's uniform for 16 plus years. It is not the CPO indoctrination/initiation process that makes a good Chief. The really good Chiefs are made as they progress from boot camp to the point of making Chief. The Chief who talked me into going through it was an outstanding Chief who never went through the process himself. These ladies have obviously proven themselves deserving of the title Chief Petty Officer.

7/26/2010 5:46:00 AM
"The military is not a place for social experimentation" General Colin Powell

7/25/2010 8:52:00 PM
blhfish Yes, these women are to be congratulated for their exemplary work. But puleez: what is the statistical likelihood that four female sailors would sweep the awards, without manipulation by the PC Police?, with 30 years of affirmative action, everyone knows that.

7/25/2010 8:33:00 AM
Those sailors earned their anchors anyway you look at it but don't worry, they will get their time before the Kangaroo court. Way to go!!

7/24/2010 10:12:00 AM
Congratulations to the new E-7's, but I do not believe they should be pinned before going through the process. Being advanced and pinning on anchors are two different things, it goes against our tradition and heritage to put on their anchors prior to other selectees. Yes, they should be recognized as being selected as the 4 best First Class Petty Officers, but don't pin them prior to their brothers and sisters, let them earn their way into the Chief's Mess.

7/23/2010 6:58:00 PM
Congratulations on a job well done to all the ladies. As a Christian, I went through my initiation and had no problems whatsoever, back when they did "real" initiations! ;-D He really missed out on a fun time. However, I think the induction time that went on by the time I neared retirement, I thought, was very good and meaningful.

7/23/2010 6:49:00 PM
Centered in the photo is CTTC Cassandra Foote, congratulating her is Senior Chief Dawn Wamsley. Applauding to Cassandra's left is CTTC Mike Miller. Having worked with Cassandra here at Center for Information Dominance, Corry Station Pensacola, I can say without reservation she is extremely deserving of this selection, and will be a terrific member of our Mess. Yes, she will be going through Induction, and knowing the hard charger she is I'm sure she wouldn't have it any other way!

7/23/2010 6:30:00 PM
I guess it is only proper to congratulate the women, but this has the look of political correctness attached to it. I may be wrong, but have to imagine there might be some 1st Class SEAL members that might be more deserving. Something is changing men and women and although some may think me biased to a degree, nothing could be further from the truth. I just look at Sailor of the Year in a completely different manner. The criteria must have been rigged, as I believe taking lead might count for?

7/23/2010 5:23:00 PM
Wow....incredible! Sailors of the year 2009 are all female. Who'da thunk it?

7/23/2010 4:51:00 PM
There is NO more CPO Initiation, or charge books, or the harrassment fun. Thety are "pinned" I do feel, regardless of the name, these selectees should be pinned AFTER they have interfaced with other CPO selectees, NOT seperaytely!

7/23/2010 2:02:00 PM
I congratulate the Navy's newest Chief Petty Officers; their hard work and dedication has earned them the rank and privilege to be called Chief Petty Officer. While old Navy traditions, such as the Chief Indoctrination, have their place, please remember it is the CNO that established the Sailor of the Year program authorizing these fine young sailors to be meritoriously advanced to Chief Petty Officers. This indeed is a proud day for these new CPOs, their families, and the entire Navy.

7/23/2010 11:24:00 AM
This is concerning photo 100722-N-9818V-418. Which one of those people is the person who was promoted? It is not readily evident in the photo. Best way I could tell is by looking at the high res photo and seeing that the female on the right is a Senior Chief, but not everyone can or will do that. Shouldn't the caption read along the lines of Senior Chief ____ congratulates CTTC Foote after being promoted to CPO since that is the action taking place?

7/23/2010 10:21:00 AM
In response to MC2: I have no doubt that they will be going through the Induction Season at their home commands upon returning.

7/23/2010 10:16:00 AM
Most in not all Sailors of the Year who are pinned before the season will still go through the season with the other newly-selected CPOs.

7/23/2010 8:23:00 AM
I tend to agree with a/the previous comment but at the same time understand this meritorious promotion. I was a recognized hard worker and made CPO while others were passed over. I went thru the Chief Indoctrination and am a Chief. I believe this article could have been better presented to talk about the meritorious advancement to E-7 rather than to CPO. I remember a fellow E-7 who for religious reasons refused to attend the CPO indoct., he is an E-7.

7/23/2010 3:11:00 AM
I understand the prestige of earning this award, but why do these Sailors not wait to go through Chief's Indoctrination with the other personnel who will make it this year. I think these four have missed out on a special growth and bonding experience. Although I am not a CPO, I do understand and appreciate the tradition and knowledge that is passed during the indoctrination process.

Comment submission for this story is now closed.
The 2009 Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Cassandra Foote is meritoriously promoted to chief petty officer at an advancement ceremony at the Navy Memorial.
100722-N-9818V-418 WASHINGTON (July 22, 2010) The 2009 Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Cassandra Foote is meritoriously promoted to chief petty officer at an advancement ceremony at the Navy Memorial. Foote is one of four Sailors selected for Sailor of the Year and this marks the first time in history all Sailors of the Year are women. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos/Released)
July 22, 2010
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