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NEWS | May 17, 2024

U.S. 7th Fleet SOY Week 2024 Concludes, Winners Announced

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Belen Saldana, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Fred Kacher, announced the 2024 7th Fleet Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY) during a ceremony held on board Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), Japan, May 17.

The SOY candidates spent the week learning about naval history and heritage. In addition, they toured both the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) forward-deployed to CFAY, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Izumo (DDH-183), homeported in Yokosuka.

This year, there were two Sea SOY candidates and three Shore SOY candidates.

For Sea: Yeoman 1st Class Alex Beebe, from Ada, Oklahoma, assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group 7; Yeoman 1st Class Christine Quinn, from Coral Springs, Florida, assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet.

For Shore: Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Diamond Cameron, from Sterling Heights, Michigan, assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group 7, Detachment Sasebo; Yeoman 1st Class Jamal Thompson, from Brooklyn, New York, assigned to Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific; Information Systems Technician 1st Class Michael Dizon, assigned to Commander Task Force 72.

Candidates also participated in various events centered on professional development to help expand their leadership skills with 7th Fleet leadership, their respective command master chiefs, JMSDF leadership and personnel, Sailors form the Republic of Singapore Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Navy.

Cameron was announced as the 2024 7th Fleet Shore SOY winner and Quinn was announced as the 2024 7th Fleet Sea SOY winner during the ceremony.

“It was a great opportunity to experience this week alongside our foreign counterparts.” said Cameron. “We got to tour a Japanese and U.S. ship and even go explore in town with them. I just want to thank everyone who had a part in organizing this week and our partners and allies who were there by our sides.

Vice Adm. Kacher voiced his appreciation for the hard work of our Sailors and the support of our allies and partners.

“Each and every one of these Sailors are remarkable representatives of their commands and we are deeply proud of you all.” said Kacher. “We are all part of one team and I loved how this week has turned from just a simple ceremony to a lifelong experience and no doubt had formed some lifelong friendships.”

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

Each year, every U.S. Navy sea and shore commands around the world choose their top-performing Sailors of the Year based on leadership, professionalism, dedication, and superior performance. The 7th Fleet nominees compete against recipients from other commands, and later higher echelons until U.S. Pacific Fleet's finalists are chosen.          

“My advice for any future candidates would be to try your hardest. Make sure you do your best and lead your Sailors to the best of your ability.” said Quinn. “Also, make sure you’re having those important discussions with your own leadership and never ever stop learning”

“Each and every one of these Sailors are remarkable representatives of their commands and we are deeply proud of you all.” said Kacher. “We are all part of one team and I loved how this week has turned from just a simple ceremony to a lifelong experience and no doubt had formed some lifelong friendships.”

“The sea connects us all.” said Kacher. “The challenges and opportunities of the sea are greater than any one nation.”

U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific.


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