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    Ford Recognizes Outstanding Leadership in Sailors of the Year

    USS Gerald R. Ford Sailor of the Year Dinner

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Murray | ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 28, 2019) USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Sailor of the Year awardees...... read more read more

    ATLANTIC OCEAN — USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) announced its Sailor of Year, Petty Officer of the Year, Junior Petty Officer of the Year and Blue Jacket of the Year for fiscal year 2019.

    Culinary Specialist 1st Class Sylvester Jones, Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Roderick Jackson, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Lorantae Williams and Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Leoncio Landeras were announced during an all hands call in Ford’s hangar bay Oct, 23.

    “Each department conducted a board targeting their best Sailor,” said Command Master Chief De’Andre Beaufort. “Afterwards a package is sent to us and we chose a Sailor that best represents Ford. A Sailor that is not only after their own success, but everyone else’s around them.”

    Each Sailor was required to go through a process in which they were asked several questions ranging from basic military knowledge to current events from around the world. Each board was made up of higher ranking enlisted Sailors, chosen from around the command.

    “I came in undesignated,” said Landeras from Hanford, California, Ford’s blue jacket of the year. “There is a lot of hardship trying to strike into a rate. I made up my mind to overcome a negative outlook early on, I think that helped me strike AO [Aviation Ordnanceman] and even get recognized for blue jacket of the year.”

    After being selected as a Sailor of the Quarter for one of the four quarters inside the fiscal year, these four Sailors were then put up against all the departments Sailors selected for Sailor of the year, petty officer of the year, junior petty officer of the year and blue jacket of the year.

    “It was crazy to be honest with you,” said Williams from St. Louis, Ford’s junior petty officer of the year. “The whole process was amazing and nerve racking, from studying for the boards and actually standing in front of my superiors, to being chosen. I won’t forget this.”

    After finishing their final boards, all four Sailors waited months to find out the results. The time and place: an all hands call at the conclusion of Ford’s final fast cruise prior to getting underway for sea trials.

    “I was shocked,” said Jackson from Atlanta, Ford’s petty officer of the year. “I do know that I’ve been working hard and doing my best to be there for my peers. So being chosen solidified that if you work with people it will benefit you more in the end.”

    All four Sailors stated that hard work and continuous dedication to your job day-in and day-out directly impacted them being selected. They also agreed showing great leadership amongst your peers and subordinates is what makes a stand out Sailor.

    “Being able to get out there, on the deck plates, is how you should be as a leader,” said Jones from Mulberry, Florida, Ford’s Sailor of the year. “Leading side-by-side lets your Sailors know you’re there and that you’ve been where they are. Anything that you tell your Sailors to do you should be able to get out there and do as well.”

    All four Sailors were invited to a dinner in the commanding officer’s in port cabin. They were asked to bring along one guest or mentor to the dinner with them. As for Jones, he will be submitting his package for Sea Sailor of the Year and go compete against all other first class petty officer awardees, from around the fleet, for Sea Sailor of the Year.

    “Something I expect to see in the future is that these Sailors are continually present on the deck plates,” said Beaufort. “Leading and helping junior Sailors trying to get to their level.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.01.2019
    Date Posted: 11.05.2019 09:24
    Story ID: 350491
    Location: US

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