ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Commanding Officer of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman announced the 2019 Sailors of the Year Nov. 21 while underway.
Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh told the crew over the 1MC that Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Alexander S. Ruschetti was chosen as the Sailor of the Year, Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 2nd Class Christina A. Gonzalez was chosen as the Petty Officer of the Year, Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Junito Rodriguez was chosen as the Junior Sailor of the Year, and Logistics Specialist Seaman Caycee D. Pannal was chosen as the Blue Jacket of the Year.
“The competition was tough, but I couldn’t be more proud of these outstanding Truman Sailors,” said Hakimzadeh. “Today we get to celebrate the best of the best. Each of these Sailors has earned their titles and characterize the Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment.”
The selection boards were held by a committee of command senior enlisted Sailors and evaluated each candidate on criteria including military bearing, leadership knowledge and experience, rating expertise, uniform appearance, and their command involvement in peer associations.
“We have some really good Sailors, and the ones that were selected just did a little bit more to go above and beyond in some particular way that made them stand out from the rest,” said Command Master Chief Claude Henderson, the command master chief of Truman. “I couldn’t be happier with the personnel that were selected.”
Ruschetti is originally from Phoenix and joined the Navy in August 2011. He currently serves as the ship’s dental department leading petty officer. He also serves as a member of the medical training team and the ship’s CPR program. He is a board member for the ship’s enlisted aviation warfare specialist program.
Gonzalez is originally from Patterson, New Jersey, and joined the Navy in April 2008. She currently serves as an aviation intermediate maintenance department quality assurance representative. She also serves on the command resiliency team. She is an assistant command fitness leader, a Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series instructor and an MWR cycling instructor. She is also a certified CPR instructor.
Rodriguez is originally from New York City and joined the Navy in February 2016. He currently serves as an admin department gains clerk. He is the president of the ship’s Gay, Lesbian and Supporting Sailors association. He has sung the national anthem at multiple ship’s events and sings in the choir during religious services aboard Truman.
Pannal is originally from Guyton, Georgia, and joined the Navy in September 2018. She currently serves as a supply department aviation support division repairable asset management clerk. She is also a member of the ship’s replenishment at sea detail.
The Sailors will go on to compete against other aircraft carriers for the Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic 2019 SOY. CNAL will narrow all of the candidates down to a final 10 before calling them in for an in-person board.
“I think he can do very well if he can get in front of the board,” said Henderson about Ruschetti.
The chief of naval operations established the SOY program in 1972 to recognize the outstanding Sailors of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. The program is designed to recognize the best all-around Sailors from the ranks of E-4 through E-6.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.