WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The 2018 Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year was announced during a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial, April 11.
Personnel Specialist 1st Class Angelita Baggoo, assigned to Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center in Norfolk, Virginia was selected from among five finalists for the distinction after a week-long selection process including a formal board review at the Pentagon, team-building events, and a multitude of tours throughout the capital region.
Baggoo, a San Diego native, was nominated alongside Personnel Specialist 1st Class Mary Dube, assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron FIVE FIVE (VR-55); Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Christopher Harris, assigned to NR SurgeMain, Augusta, Georgia; Master-at-Arms 1st Class Justin Monson, assigned to Reserve Component Command Northwest; and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Reginald Oden, assigned to the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division.
“This week we learned so much about leadership, mentorship, being great peers, and looking at the big picture,” Baggoo said at the ceremony, remarking the week was much more than just the announcement.
“I never came here thinking of it as a competition,” she said. “When we (the finalists) met the first night, I knew we were all here for the same cause. We want to develop and push great Sailors so that one day we can walk away knowing the Navy of the future is in safe hands.”
Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Luke McCollum commended each of the finalists for their outstanding efforts on behalf of the Reserve force and assured them that every Sailor who makes it to this level is already a winner.
At the ceremony held inside the Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater, McCollum introduced the finalists to an auditorium filled with senior leaders, family and friends.
“Today we see five Sailors before us, but if you just take a minute and think about the screening boards, the packages and all the highly competitive Sailors that didn’t make it to this event — these final five represent the hundreds if not thousands of Sailors along the way,” he said. “It is just so awesome to see the level of professionalism and expertise that is here.”
The job of selecting one from the five fell to a board of master chiefs chaired by Navy Reserve Force Master Chief Chris Kotz who says each finalist represents the future of the Navy.
“My job as chairman is to form a board of master chief petty officers who have quality and sufficient breadth and depth and knowledge of our Navy and our Navy Reserve to make a selection worthy of chief petty officer,” Kotz said. “I have two purposes for formulating the board. One, first and foremost, is to create a chief petty officer and the second, is to help shape our Navy for the future.”
Each finalist received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal during the ceremony. Baggoo will return to the Navy Memorial next month to be formally advanced to chief petty officer during the Chief of Naval Operations Sailor of the Year week ceremony.
Late Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Jack Whittet initiated the Sailor of the Year program in 1972 to recognize outstanding Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Sailors. The program was later expanded to honor the top Shore and Reserve Force Sailors of the Year.
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