A hospital corpsman first class representing the USS Carl Vinson has been named Sea Sailor of the Year of the Pacific Fleet’s Naval Air Force, the Navy announced Tuesday.
The sailor, Issa Saba Khalil, will now compete for the overall Pacific Fleet title of Sea Sailor of the Year.
Logistics Specialist 1st Class Stacey Myers, representing Aviation Support Detachment in Misawa, Japan, earned Shore SOY of the Naval Air Force.
“It’s difficult to describe how humbling this experience is,” Khalil said. “All my brothers and sisters that were with me throughout the week are just amazing sailors. They could’ve picked any one of those sailors and the result would’ve been the same because they’re all great.”
Meyers thanked her family and fellow shipmates for their help along the way.
“To all my mentors, to all my Sailors at ASD, and to my family, I thank you guys so much for your support,” Meyers said. “And to my son, Nicholas – this is all for you.”
Khalil and Meyers were selected from a group of nine candidates representing more than 40,000 Sailors serving in the sea and shore components within Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
While announcing this year’s winners, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker acknowledged the dedication and accomplishments of each finalist.
After arriving in San Diego Feb. 20, participants completed physical requirements and took part in an extensive interview process. Later, the finalists and their spouses joined service counterparts from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Commander, Naval Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet at various social events and luncheons, including a visit with the local Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and an event aboard the USS Midway Museum.
Force Master Chief Commander Anthony J. Johnson spent the week with the candidates.
“It is important that these sailors get ready for the next step in their careers,” Johnson said. “But what is most important is the journey. I want all the finalists to know that from this day forward, you all represent Naval Air Force, Pacific, in the most profound way.”
Other Sea SOY finalists from Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet were Navy Counselor 1st Class Chanitra Mitchell, USS Ronald Reagan; Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Philip Huntington, Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron; Aviation Electricians Mate 1st Class Jessica Lynn Shifflett, USS John C. Stennis; and Naval Aircrewman (Tactical Helicopter) 1st Class Justin Phillips, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35.
Other Shore SOY finalists from Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet were Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Sean Adams, HSM-41; Navy Counselor 1st Class Diedre A. McFarlane, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129; and Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Jason Allen, Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School Pacific.