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Washington, D.C. (NNS) — The Navy’s 2018 Sailors of the Year (SOY) were meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer during a May 16 ceremony at the Navy Memorial.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran served as guest speaker during the pinning ceremony hosted by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell L. Smith.

The four Sailors of the Year honored at the ceremony are: Logistics Specialist 1st Class Sindy Johnson, from U.S Navy Shore; Builder 1st Class Luke Johnson, from U.S. Fleet Forces Sea; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Nicholas Natelli, from U.S. Pacific Fleet; and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Angelita Baggoo, from U.S. Navy Reserve.

Before introducing Moran, Smith congratulated the SOYs for their hard work and dedication that paved the way to their success and spoke about the effect of the chief petty officer.

“Everyone who has ever written a letter for you, made a phone call for you, sat down and gave you advice, took time out of their day – making their day longer – to help you get to this point in your career is the reason you’re standing here.”

Smith continued by saying that the Sailors had a special obligation for the rest of their career, and the remainder of the time they wear there anchors, to earn them.

“To be named Sailor of the Year [for U.S. Navy Reserve] is a bit of a surreal experience,” said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Angelita Baggoo, from Brooklyn, New York. “But it is just very humbling… I’m just honored.”

Throughout their weeklong visit to Washington, the Sailors of the Year and their families toured historic sites and enjoyed special events held in their honor.

The Sailor of the Year program was established in 1972 by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and MCPON John Whittet to recognize an individual Sailor who best represented the ever-growing group of dedicated professional Sailors at each command and ultimately the Navy.

When the program began, only the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Sailors were recognized. Within 10 years, the Sailor of the Year program was expanded to include the shore establishment and Navy Reserve Sailors.

Sponsored by the CNO, the program provides recognition to the Navy’s outstanding Sailors through numerous presentations, awards and meritorious advancement to the next pay grade.