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NEWS | April 5, 2023

NAVSEA Announces Sailor of the Year Winners

By Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communications

WASHINGTON -- Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced its active duty and reserve 2022 Sailor of the Year winners during an award ceremony April 5 at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Navy Diver 1st Class Mathew Villafuerte, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport Division, won in the active-duty category and Master-at-Arms 1st Class Jose Rivera, Navy Security Force Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center, won in the reserve category.

In the two days leading up to the ceremony, the 10 finalists representing NAVSEA’s field activities, shipyards, and reserve units met with NAVSEA and Navy senior leaders and visited locations around the Washington, D.C. area, including the National Archives and the United States Navy Memorial.

In addition to Villafuerte and Rivera, the finalists included:

  • Engineman 1st Class Stevonne Brown, SurgeMain Raleigh Surge
  • Navy Diver 1st Class Cody Bumpass, Navy Experimental Diving Unit
  • Machinery Repairman 1st Class Garrett Goodman, Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center
  • Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Vernon Goodwin, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility
  • Fire Controlman Aegis 1st Class Kevin Grenald, AEGIS Technical Representative
  • Navy Diver 1st Class Jerad Horstman, Navy Experimental Diving Unit
  • Machinery Repairman 1st Class William Mckeethan, Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, Chattanooga
  • Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class Felicity Trejo, SurgeMain El Paso

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) established the Sailor of the Year (SOY) Program to recognize one Sailor who represents the best of the Navy by demonstrating both professional and personal dedication. In 1982, the program began to include the Navy Enlisted Reservist of the Year. In 2020, the CNO expanded the program to recognize 18 Sailors who will be meritoriously advanced to the rank of chief petty officer.

Villafuerte will go forward to compete for the CNO Navy Shore SOY while Rivera will go forward to compete for Chief of Naval Reserve SOY.