WASHINGTON – Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced its active duty and reserve 2021 Sailors of the Year during an award ceremony in at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.
Fire Controlman Petty Officer 1st Class Adriane Watson, assigned to Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair Newport News (SUPSHIPNN) in Newport News, Virginia, won in the active-duty category and Explosive Ordinance Disposal Petty Officer 1st Class William J. Eisenhart, Navy Reserve, assigned to the Expeditionary Exploitation Unit One, Indian Head, Maryland won in the reserve category.
“I continue to be amazed by the level of talent, of the commitment and the perseverance that we have not only just across NAVSEA but really across the Navy,” said NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. William Galinis, during his remarks. “You all should be very proud of what you’ve accomplished to get here to this point,” he said, “Every one of you, and I mean every one of you are winners here today.”
“I’m here to tell you that the future rests in very good hands and I can emphatically say that these sailors are far better than I ever was when I was a first class petty officer,” said NAVSEA’s Command Master Chief Petty Officer Justin Gray.
In the two days leading up 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 Navy Memorial.
In addition to Watson and Eisenhart, the finalists included:
- Machinist’s Mate Petty Officer 1st Class Cole Elliot, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia
- Navy Diver 1st Class Petty Officer Nicolas Lee, Navy Experimental Dive Unit, Panama City, Florida
- Machinist’s Mate Petty Officer 1st Class Alexei Litovtchenko, Naval Station Everett, Everett, Washington
- Boatswain's Mate Petty Officer 1st Class Cleston Williams, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, California
- Master-At-Arms Petty Officer First Class Edward Cutie, Jr., AUTEC Andros Island, Bahamas (ASD)
- Gunner's Mate 1st Class Petty Officer, Aliana Daniella Nolan, SurgeMain Augusta, Georgia
- Machinery Repairman Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron C. Pauli, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Kitsap County, Washington
- Electrician's Mate Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher S. Sevi, SurgeMain Portland, Oregon
Watson enlisted in the Navy in 2013 and reported to her first command, USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), in December of 2014. In December 2019, she reported to SUPSHIPNN. While there, she took on the roles of Command Career Counselor, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Command Sponsorship Coordinator, and Assistant DAPA. Watson has received three warfare pins, the Navy Achievement Medal for her exceptional contributions, and has earned her Associates Degree.
Eisenhart enlisted in the Navy after 9/11 in 2001. His previous assignments include Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit 7, San Diego, California, Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, San Diego, California, and Expeditionary Medical Facility, Bethesda, Maryland. He also spent time in the Army National Guard between leaving the Active Duty U.S. Navy and joining the U.S. Navy Reserve. He is currently assigned as the Leading Petty Officer for the Expeditionary Exploitation Unit One, Indian Head, Maryland. Eisenhart’s personal decorations and awards include: Meritorious Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Services Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), Army Achievement Medal (two medals), Navy Good Conduct Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (two awards), Joint Services Unit Commendation.
Watson will go on to compete for Sailor of the Year at the office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) level, while Eisenhart will go on to compete for Sailor of the Year in the Navy Reserve.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet established the Sailor of the Year award program in 1972 to recognize individual Sailors who best represented the growing group of dedicated professional Sailors at each command and ultimately, the Navy.
Initially, the Sailor of the Year program only recognized Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Sailors but within 10 years, it was expanded to incorporate shore commands and Navy Reserve Sailors.