USFF Announces 2012 SOY

USFF Announces 2012 SOY

The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Command announced the 2012 USFF Fleet Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY) during a ceremony hosted by the Hampton Roads Navy League at the Sheraton Waterside in Norfolk, March 27.

Adm. Bill Gortney announced Electronics Technician 1st Class Cheyenne N. Shasky, stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), as the 2012 Sea Sailor of the Year, and Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 1st Class Shanon N. McQueen, stationed at Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Maryland, as the Shore Sailor of the Year.

“Today is a great day,” said Gortney. “Sherry (Mrs. Gortney) and I say every night that we had a ‘stay-in day’ or we had a ‘get-out day.’ Some days are harder than others, but what really makes my ‘stay-in day’ is when we get to do one of two things; promote somebody and when we get to recognize excellence. And today we get to do that. Today is a ‘stay-in day.'”

He congratulated all 12 candidates for their outstanding performance and the support of their family and friends.

“I’d like to walk some people in the audience through the magnitude of what these Sailors – these great examples of what’s right about the youth of America today – had to do to get here,” said Gortney. “For the Shore Sailor of the year within Fleet Forces Command, we have more than 19,000 Sailors and 70 commands, and these five Sailors are the professionals that have gone through the rigorous selection process to stand before you today.”

“For the Sea Sailor of the Year, these are seven out of the 52,370 Sailors of Fleet Forces Command who represent 210 sea commands,” Gortney said. “They are here not for what they did this year, but what they have done for our Navy their entire careers.”

The announcement came at the conclusion of two full days of activities designed to highlight the individual accomplishments of the 12 finalists. Social functions sponsored by local Hampton Roads military and civilian supporters led up to the final step of the SOY competition, an intense review board for each candidate to determine who would be chosen to represent USFF as the Fleet Sea and Shore SOYs.

“This has been an incredibly awesome experience. I couldn’t imagine in my wildest dreams that I would be here,” said McQueen, a native of Crete, Ill. “My fellow finalists were a group of the most stellar Sailors I’ve ever been in company with. I had the opportunity to learn a lot from them, and we had a wonderful time together. It’s just been a blessing to be here.”

Shasky credits a large portion of her success to those around her.

“Without my leadership, without my family, without my peers and most especially without my Sailors, I would not be here,” said Shasky, a native of Portland, Ore. “This is absolutely 100 percent theirs. Some of my junior Sailors were here today because I told them, this, regardless of the outcome, was as much theirs as it was mine.”

The USFF SOY program recognizes the best and brightest Sailors throughout USFF. Gortney awarded each of the finalists the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
Shasky will be meritoriously promoted to the rank of chief petty officer by the Chief of Naval Operations this May. McQueen will go on to the next round of competition at the Chief of Naval Operations Shore SOY competition this May in Washington.

Naval Today Staff, March 29, 2013; Image: US Navy