The 2011 Sailors of the Year (SOY) are in Washington D.C. this week. The SOYs officially became chief petty officers during a ceremony at the Navy Memorial May 17. They spent the week taking in the sights around D.C., but they had a couple of minutes to sit down and talk about Navy opportunities and what the Navy has taught them. Here’s what they had to say:
Chief Master-at-Arms (SCW/FMF) Douglas R. Newman
Chief of Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year
“The Navy Reserve and the Navy have taught me leadership skills. I’m very lucky because I’m able to be a Master-at-Arms in one community and a civilian police officer in the other. So, what I learn in one field, I carry over to the next field. But at the end of the day it’s about leadership, and that’s what the Navy has given me. It’s given me the skills to be a leader … whether it’s a civilian police officer that I work with, or a Sailor that I drill with, I have to [think] about their morale and welfare to get the mission done.”
Master-At-Arms 1st Class (SCW/FMF) Douglas Newman enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1992. He attended recruit training at MCRD, San Diego where he graduated as the Platoon Honorman, meritoriously advancing to Lance Corporal. After his enlistment in the Marines, MA1 Newman returned to his hometown of Tucson, Ariz., to pursue a career in law enforcement. In 2001, after his enlistment in the National Guard, MA1 Newman enlisted in the Navy Reserve. He was assigned to NMCB 17 where he served as the Battalion Master-At-Arms, Security Company Commander, and Lead Seabee Military Instructor.
In 2005 he volunteered to deploy to Fallujah, Iraq with the 30th Naval Construction Regiment, attached to the 2ndMarine Expeditionary Force. MA1 Newman has received numerous awards, to include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (5), Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal with Marine Corps device, Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal, and Seabee Combat Warfare and Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist qualifications.
MA1 Newman has been a civilian police officer for 14 years. He lives in Gig Harbor, WA with his wife and two children.
Chief Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (AW) Maria E. Johnson
Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year
“The opportunities are there regardless of who you are or where you come from. They don’t discriminate. It’s there for you to take if you want it. You just have to be dedicated and work for it; be a professional. They’ve also provided structure for me, so that was a big thing for me.”
Petty Officer Johnson was born in Dallas, Texas. She enlisted in the Navy on November 21, 2000 and completed recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois. In September 2001 she deployed onboard USS PELELIU in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where she was advanced to Petty Officer Third Class.
In March 2005 she reported to Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) School in San Diego, CA. She earned her Navy Enlisted Classification Code 9502 and 9505 as well as her Master Training Specialist Qualification. In July 2008, she reported to VFA-106, where she was advanced to Petty Officer First Class and assigned as the Paraloft Leading Petty Officer.
Her military decorations include Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (2), Good Conduct Medal (3), Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and various unit commendations. She is currently assigned to VFA-131, reporting in January 2012.
Chief Steelworker (SCW) Louis F. Salazar
U.S. Pacific Fleet Sailor of the Year
“The Navy has taught me … maturity, to be a man, to lead. A lot of the trainings that we go through, [like] leadership classes, have also taught me how to be successful as well. Continuing education and tuition assistance that’s out there [helped me] to take additional college courses in business and organizational management to be a successful leader.”
Petty Officer Louis F. Salazar JR was born in San Jose California on September 9, 1981. He enlisted in the Navy in August of 1999.
Following the completion of his first deployment in 2001, he then went on to attend Steelworker “A” School at Naval Construction Training Center, Gulfport, Miss. Upon graduation in April 2002, he reported to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FIVE, Port Hueneme, Calif. He made four successful deployments to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Naval Base Guam; Lambayeque, Peru and Andros Island, Bahamas.
In April 2007, he reported to the 31st Seabee Readiness Group, Port Hueneme, Calif., as an instructor for the Military Training Division. In May 2010, he reported to NMCB Forty, Port Hueneme, Calif. As Detail Operations Chief for Khelegay, Afghanistan, he led 16 Seabees in the planning and execution of $2.2M of contingency construction. He led 58 Seabees in two highly successful 48-hour embarkation exercises and a Field Training Exercise. He is currently deployed to Camp Covington, Naval Base Guam.
He resides in Oxnard, California, with with his wife and two children.
Chief Ship’s Serviceman (SW/AW) Angela A. Zamora
U.S. Fleet Forces Command Sailor of the Year
“The Navy has a lot of opportunities. The opportunities, like education, are there for you. They don’t discriminate [against] your race, your color; there is not discrimination whatsoever in the Navy. So, opportunities are there for everybody, [but] you need to go there and get it. It’s up to you. It’s up to the person to go and get that.”
Petty Officer Zamora is a native of Ecuador and a graduate of William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, N.J. She entered the U.S. Navy on June 24, 2000 and attended Recruit Training in Great Lakes, Ill. Upon completion of recruit training, she attended Ship’s Serviceman “A” School in Meridian, Miss., and was subsequently assigned to USS Emory S. Land (AS 39).
In December 2001 she was promoted to Petty Officer Third Class and was put in charge of S-3 Division. In December 2003, she transferred to USS ROOSEVELT (DDG 80). During her tenure onboard, she served as Division Assistant Leading Petty Officer. Her ambition and hard work led to her qualifying as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist.
In May 2005, she transferred to Navy Recruiting District New York, and was advanced to Second Class Petty Officer and qualified as a Recruiter-in-Charge. While assigned, her recruiting station attained a 110 percent new contract objective, resulting in her selection as the Junior Sailor of the Year and ultimately leading to her being meritoriously advanced to First Class Petty Officer.
Her decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), Good Conduct Award (3) and numerous unit commendations, campaign medals and service ribbons.
When asked, “What is the best advice you’ve gotten in the Navy?” our Sailors of the Year had this to say:
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