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News Around the Fleet

News | April 22, 2024

C3F Announces SOY Selectees

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Lily Gebauer

Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Vice Adm. Michael Boyle announced the 2023 3rd Fleet Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY) during a ceremony held April 18. Operations Specialist 1st Class DeEll Henderson, was selected as the Shore Sailor of the Year, and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Richel Mila was selected as the Sea Sailor of the Year.
The ceremony capped off a week of meticulous interviews and schedule of events that focused on heritage, team-building, professionalism and deck-plate leadership.
“The values we teach Sailors are honor, courage, and commitment,” said Boyle. “I know that these Sailors remember these values and live by them. Having Sailors like this in the fleet really makes a difference, as they make us remember what these values are all about. They are the best the Navy, and this community, has to offer.”
During the annual 3rd Fleet SOY week, nominees had the opportunity to tour and experience different local attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, a military and auto museum, centers of military technological innovation and the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program training facility.
“I had a great time getting to know these Sailors this past week,” said 3rd Fleet Command Master Chief Trenton Schmidt. “It’s highly likely that these Sailors will be wearing khakis very soon, and I am confident that the Chiefs Mess will be left in good hands.”
During the ceremony, both the Sea and Shore SOYs attributed their success to the support of their leadership, mentors and junior Sailors.
“I am grateful and even humbled to be selected,” said Mila. “I did not expect this. This is a testament, not just to what I did, but also to what my incredible chain of command and colleagues did. This award is just as much for everyone I work with as it is for me.”
Both the Sea and Shore SOY winners will move on to compete for U.S. Pacific Fleet SOY at Joint Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii later this year.
The additional sea and shore finalists included Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Luis Chaco, of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 15, Information Systems Technician 1st Class Shane Keller, of Commander, CSG 1, and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Arleen Kneller, of CSG 9. Boyle presented Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals during the ceremony to each of the sea and shore runners up.
The U.S. Navy Sailor of the Year program was established in 1972 by Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, to recognize the best performing enlisted Sailors.
As an integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet operates naval forces in the Indo-Pacific in addition to providing realistic and relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s timeless roles of sea control and power projection. U.S. 3rd Fleet works in close coordination with other numbered Fleets to provide commanders with capable, ready forces to deploy forward and win in day-to-day competition, in crisis, and in conflict.