Fleet Forces Sailor Of The Year
Chief (select) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Tinisha K. Franklin
In 2003, a young Tinisha Franklin left Brooklyn, New York, to serve her country and travel. Her travels would eventually lead her to the steps of the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., where she would be promoted to chief petty officer and Fleet Forces Sailor of the Year.
"The feeling is so overwhelming, words cannot describe it," said Franklin. "I never expected this. There were so many strong, hard charging first classes, and to stand out among them was humbling."
"Franklin is more than deserving of this award," said Chief Interior Communications Electrician F. Leone. "There were a lot of squared away first class petty officers up for this honor, but Franklin won because of her consistent attitude toward work and being a Sailor."
Franklin started her career at sea with the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and is now currently serving on the USS Harry S. Truman. She is the assistant Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist coordinator and the assistant command section leader. She also serves on the Command Career Development Team, the Command Training Team and the Air Department Training Team. All of this while also attending Saint Leo University Graduate program for Critical Incident Management and Legal Studies.
Franklin also participated in Thanksgiving food drives, clothing donation drives and assisted in the New Gospel Temple Church of God in Christ's leadership committee for servicing the community.
Franklin's package was reviewed by five master chiefs who then interviewed Franklin and the other nominees to determine who would go forward as the command's Sailor of the Year. Twelve qualified nominees were submitted for Truman SOY, but the award could only go to one Sailor.
"It was a complete shock," said Franklin. "My only goal was to give my best with any assignment and duty I was assigned. I never really focused on winning, just on being grateful to be part of the process."
The most rewarding part of that process has been the honor of being able to represent her Sailors and her command, and also make her family proud.
"I have the very best chain of command," said Franklin. "They were supportive the whole way, especially with the decision to send me back during deployment. They ensured I had the representation and support back home for each and every step of the process. I felt like a celebrity! They are so proud of me and I am very grateful of such an awesome chain of command."
Franklin said she would be nowhere without the support of her daughter, Maya.
"She sacrifices the most," said Franklin. "This honor is a testimony that her hard work in all things will not go unnoticed, and that dedication and drive will pave the way to success."
This process has given Franklin a larger perspective on the Navy and has taught her valuable lessons about the responsibility to pay good fortune forward and remain humble.
"Without the dedication of my junior Sailors during challenges we faced and milestones we achieved together, I wouldn't be here," said Franklin. "Also important is the support of my peers who gave advice, and the mentorship from leaders who continuously challenge me. Through this process I am able to see a part of the Navy that many don't and I value it every day. This process has made a tremendous impact on the Sailor I am and will continue to be."
What Contributed To Her Selection
*Launch and recovery equipment quality insurance inspector
*Led 45 Sailors in shipboard evolutions
*Ensured safe recovery of 4,642 aircraft
*Assistant command EAWS coordinator, producing 200 EAWS quals
*Member of Command Career Development Team, Command Training Team and Air Department Training Team
*Consistently volunteers and participates in off duty education
Franklin's advice to others is to never do anything for recognition.
"Work hard, do your best, do the right thing when no one is watching, and always be willing to learn from your most junior Sailors," said Franklin. "Dedicate yourself and strive for excellence, there will be good days and bad days, but the key is to make the best of the situation."
Take it from this young girl from Brooklyn who has spent a large portion of her career at sea, traveling is great, as long as you stay focused on what keeps you grounded.