NORFOLK (NNS) -- Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) announced the 2016 USFF Fleet Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY) during a ceremony hosted by the Hampton Roads Navy League at the Half Moone Cruise Center in Norfolk, March 10.
Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Courtney Evers of Navy Information Operations Detachment Kaneohe Bay was named the 2016 Sea Sailor of the Year and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Aliscia Malone of U.S. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command won Shore Sailor of the Year.
"All the Sailor of the Year candidates represent the best the United States Navy has to offer. They all exemplify the attributes of integrity, initiative, accountability, and toughness. The selection process was not an easy one," said Davidson. "Petty Officers Evers and Malone deserve this honor and are role models for the rest of the fleet."
The two winners were called on stage with the admiral to be recognized as the crowd, including those whom they competed against, applauded.
Evers was honored by her selection, turning to her fellow nominees she shared these words "You guys are all amazing, we wouldn't be here if we weren't helping each other out and having each other's backs."
The candidates spent the week participating in several Navy heritage events as well as being interviewed by a panel of master chief petty officers as the final winners were determined.
Malone was proud to have been selected and recognized that she was up against the best in the fleet. She also thanked her biggest supporter, her husband. "No one person can be here alone. This is such an honor."
Evers will travel to Washington, D.C., and be meritoriously promoted to chief petty officer by the Chief of Naval Operations. Malone will advance to the final selection process for the Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year.
The Sailor of the Year Program was established in 1972 by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet. The intent of the competition is to recognize individual Sailors who best represented the ideals of the professional Sailor and the Navy. Initially only Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Sailors on sea duty were recognized. Within 10 years, however, the SOY program was expanded to include shore duty and Navy Reserve Sailors.
Finalists for Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year:
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF/SW/AW) Benjamin Foy
Marine Corps Forces Command (MARFORCOM), 2nd Battalion 6th Marines, 2D Marine Division
Electricians Mate 1st Class (EXW/SW) Kelelu Kromah
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Expeditionary Support Unit (ESU) 2
Sonar Technician (Submarine) 1st Class (SS) Thomas Hudgins
Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT), USS Florida (SSGN-728) (BLUE)
Intelligence Specialist 1st Class (IW/AW/EXW/SW) Kevin Pulley
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet, Maritime Coordination Committee for Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Strike Coordination Detachment, Naples, Italy
Finalists for Fleet Shore Sailor of the Year:
Aviation Aerographer's Mate 1st Class (IW/EXW) Brittany Burris
United States Fleet Forces, United States Fleet Forces Command
Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) Christopher Carter
Naval Air Force Atlantic (AIRLANT), Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 40
Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Circia Howe
Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT), Afloat Training Group
Yeoman 1st Class (SS) Fausto Viera
Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT), Submarine Squadron 16
Cryptologic Technician Technical 1st Class (IW/SW/AW) Jaxi Sehorn
Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), Farragut Technical Analysis Center
For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/.