Shore Sailor of the Year supported by Commander, Fleet Readiness Center leadership at chief promotion ceremony, Naval Heritage Museum on May 16. From left to right:  Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers, Rear Adm. Mike Zarkowski; Command Master Chief COMFRC Mark Augustine; Shore Sailor of the Year, LSC Sindy Johnson; Command Master Chief, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, Joel Rodriguez; and Commanding Officer, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, Capt. Tony Jaramillo (US Navy photo)

DoN Shore Sailor of the Year promoted to chief petty officer

Chief petty officer Sindy Johnson, a logistics specialist at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW), is proof that the American dream can come true and exceed expectations.  

“Living in Nicaragua, I remember sitting at a table and thinking that I wanted to be part of that [U.S.] Navy, part of that country,” she said. In 2001, she got her wish, moving to the U.S. at the age of 15. When she turned 18, she joined the Navy, fulfilling the second part of her dream.

In a May 16 ceremony at the Naval Heritage Museum, Johnson was promoted to chief petty officer by Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran.  The honor was in recognition for being selected as the 2018 Department of the Navy Shore Sailor of the Year in April. Moran presented a certificate of nomination to Johnson as her four children pinned the chief insignia on her collar.  

“I serve this country and do my job and help Sailors because it’s an honor to put this uniform on every day,” she said. “It’s an honor to say I’m in the United States Navy.”

Johnson was one of four Sailors promoted at the event. Moran told the newly pinned chief petty officers they are now part of an elite cadre. 

“Be confident without arrogance; humble without being shy; tough when you have to be; and empathetic when you need to be,” Moran said in his comments during the ceremony. “If you do that, you are essentially following the Chief Petty Officer Creed.”

Moran also commended the family members of all four Sailors being promoted and their senior enlisted leadership, noting that it is difficult to be effective in one’s job without a strong support system. 

He also credited Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith, and Chaplain Madison Carter for their support and inspiration. “It’s people like them who motivate me to continue to serve,” he said. 

Johnson was first selected as FRCSW SOY, and went on to compete against Sailors worldwide to win the honor.  

FRCSW Commanding Officer Tony Jaramillo attended the ceremony along with Rear Adm. Mike Zarkowski, Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers; FRCSW Command Master Chief (CMC) Joel Rodriguez; and COMFRC CMC Mark Augustine. Command leadership, said Jaramillo, has taken a special interest in Johnson’s progression in each stage of the selection process. 

“We are so proud of LSC Johnson and the entire FRC family. Great leaders coupled with a strong Chief’s Mess drives a positive culture that yields results,” said Jaramillo. “It’s a great day to be in the Navy.”

Johnson has already taken a leadership role in FRCSW—she is serving as acting chief petty officer for the FRCSW administration department and is in charge of the fleet’s training schedule. 

The Department of the Navy Sailor of the Year, an annual award presented by the Chief of Naval Operations, was established to recognize one Sailor from each designation who represents the best of the Navy. Recipients must demonstrate both professional and personal dedication through their performance, leadership, initiative, adaptability, military bearing and volunteerism.

The three other Sailors were recognized and promoted during the event: Chief Petty Officer Angelita Baggoo (Reserve SOY); Chief Petty Officer Luke Johnson (Atlantic) and Chief Petty Officer Nicholas Natelli (Pacific).    

Moran concluded the award ceremony by asking the Sailors in attendance to continue to uphold professional high standards and personal excellence.  “Keep the faith in each other, the Navy and our country,” he said, “which is still the best in this world.”

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