FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (NNS) -- U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F) announced the 2019 Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY) for C10F Jan. 10.
At an award ceremony held in the FCC/C10F Fleet Operations Center at Fort George G. Meade, Md., Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Brian Rathell, assigned to Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii, was named the C10F Sea SOY and Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 1st Class Brian Woodberry, assigned to FCC/C10F, was named the C10F Shore SOY.
Also announced during the ceremony were the C10F Junior Sailors of the Year (JSOY). Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Karsten Aurella, assigned to NIOC Bahrain, was named the C10F Sea JSOY and Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 2nd Class Veronica Steinhaus, assigned to Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, was named the C10F Shore JSOY.
11 Senior SOY nominees from commands across C10F traveled to Fort George G. Meade, Md. where they participated in a final selection board for a chance to represent C10F as Sailor of the year.
“These Sailors are among our very best,” said Vice Adm. Timothy “T.J.” White, Commander, FCC/C10F, during the award ceremony. “They represent a high degree of performance, insight, leadership and a commitment to knowing their profession, the Navy and its mission. I just want to say ‘thank you’ to them. All of you are winners today. For the Navy, to win in great power competition, we need to have winners. You are our future. You will lead our future and you will be training and mentoring our future leaders. So thank you for what you have done and what all of you collectively, individually and together will do for our mission, for our Navy and for our nation.”
According to Command Master Chief Dee Allen, the command master chief of FCC/C10F and SOY board member, SOY boards are always difficult when you have a community full of outstanding Sailors.
“This is an opportunity to select the best of the best,” said Allen. “Even with three board members with me, it’s a hard job. We have some extremely great talent across the domain.”
Rathell, a native of Stevensville, Md., attributes his selection as SOY to his fellow Sailors, mentors and his family.
“It is an overwhelming feeling,” said Rathell. “I don't think you can ever feel truly deserving of such a title, but I accept it with the understanding that I did not get here on my own. All thanks are owed to my Sailors out at FES (Fleet Electronic Support) Hawaii, my Chain of Command and my mentors. I also would not be here without the incredible support I get from my beautiful wife and our four amazing children.”
Woodberry, from Littleton, N.H., also gives credit to his selection to his peers and family. He also views this as a reflection of the support he has received from his command.
“Although I know I am a hard worker, they have helped me achieve more than I thought I could,” said Woodberry. “The Sailor of the Year not only represent themselves but their leadership, peers and junior Sailors. And at this level, you represent your entire command.”
While at FCC, the Sailor of the Year candidates toured cultural and historic sites in the area as well as attending a social, where the candidates had the opportunity to meet and talk with senior leadership and the Sailor of the year board members.
“This has taught me that achieving Sailor of the Year is not as out of reach as many of us believe,” said Rathell. “If you asked me before this process started, I would have told you that there are many First Class Petty Officers more deserving of such recognition. I still believe that to be true, which is why my ultimate lesson from this is that the future of Navy deck plate leadership is in excellent hands.”
The Sailor of the Year program was established in 1972 by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. 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.
Since its establishment, FCC/C10F has grown into an operational force composed of more than 14,000 Active and Reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 28 active commands, 40 Cyber Mission Force units and 26 reserve commands around the globe. FCC serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Space Command and U.S. Cyber Command, and the Navy's Service Cryptologic Component commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. C10F, the operational arm of FCC, executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders. In this role, C10F provides support of Navy and joint missions in cyber/networks, cryptologic/signals intelligence and space.
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