WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Robert Burke recognized Electrician's Mate 1st Class Avanese P. Taylor as the 2017 Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E) Sailor of the Year (SOY) during a ceremony held at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Feb. 22.
Taylor, representing Navy Education and Training Command, was recognized for her contributions as departmental leading petty officer and course supervisor at Surface Warfare Officers School Engineering Learning Site in Norfolk, Va. Taylor's responsibilities include the curriculum development, implementation and instructional delivery of five engineering courses, and the training of 1,200 students annually. Taylor will now compete with Sailors from across the fleet, for selection as the Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year. The recipient will be meritoriously advanced to the rank of chief petty officer.
"I'm the product of good family upbringing, and good family upbringing in the Navy as well," said Taylor. "For me, it's about being motivated, and trying to be an inspiration to others."
Burke served as the keynote speaker during the ceremony, and recognized each candidate for their selection as finalists for SOY within their respective domain.
"I know we ask a lot of all of our Sailors, but these Sailors in particular, their hard work, and their dedication to duties didn't go unnoticed," said Burke. "This is why they were recommended and chosen for this award; that's why they are here today."
Taylor was one of four MPT&E SOY candidates who traveled to Naval Air Station Pensacola to compete for the award. The other SOY finalists were Personnel Specialist 1st Class Fataiya Blaine of CNP staff, Navy Counselor 1st Class Michael Kinder of Navy Recruiting Command and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Edward Boeve Jr. of Navy Personnel Command.
The four candidates competed in a week-long event that included a board interview and several tours to Navy commands and historic sites in the Pensacola region. The tours included a trip to Battleship Memorial Park to visit USS Alabama (BB-60) and USS Drum (SS-228), Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit, Naval Air Technical Training Center and the Pensacola Lighthouse.
The visits were designed to build camaraderie between the candidates and provide a greater understanding of naval history and how each command is vital to the operational success of today's Navy.
"This week represents an opportunity for us to recognize the best and most accomplished of our first class petty officers, of which there are over 8,000 in the manpower, personnel, training and education domain," said MPT&E Fleet Master Chief Russell Smith. "It gives them a chance to learn from each other and from us [MPT&E master chief petty officers]. The week provides tours and opportunities for professional development, camaraderie and teambuilding."
Other SOY finalists explained how the week provided them with experiences that will help with personal and professional growth throughout their Navy careers.
"It was very significant for me," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Fataiya Blaine. "I got to hang out with a lot of my seniors and my peers throughout the week and learn a great deal about the history behind naval aviation and everything that goes into putting all this together. It's a very humbling and honoring experience."
Each candidate was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal as a result of their selection as SOY finalists, within their commands.
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