West Lafayette Native receives “Junior Sailor of the Year” honors at Japan-based command
FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan -- A West Lafayette, Indiana native and Commander, Submarine Group 7’s (CSG 7) Junior Sailor of the Year is currently serving in Yokosuka, Japan.
Information Systems Technician Sarah Neal joined the Navy in 2012. Information systems technicians engage in a broad range of responsibilities, including network administration, database management and computer hardware and software implementation.
“I joined the Navy at 21 while attending Purdue University. I grew up six miles from Purdue, was not quite sure what major to pursue after two years in college, and was looking for new opportunities to travel the world,” said Neal.
Neal serves in CSG 7’s automated data processing division and as president of the command’s Second Class Petty Officer Association.
“My job is so rewarding because there is always a sense of accomplishment,” said Neal. “I’m filled with pride every time a Sailor I have invested myself in finds success or a program is improved for the better of the command.”
Neal’s passion for helping others is what drives her to be successful both in and out of uniform.
“My biggest passion in life is helping others,” said Neal. “Helping them to realize their worth, their potential, things the world tends to tear away. Seeing individuals that I build relationships with thrive and succeed encourages me to continue on from day to day.”
“Another driving force in my life is my son, Achilles. The challenges he has faced, the moves across the world and away from his family, and the resiliency he upholds at such a young age is inspiring and allows me to keep driving towards success,” said Neal.
Chief Information Systems Technician (Submarine) Johnmark Centeno, Neal’s leading chief petty officer, says Neal’s work ethic and charisma gives the command a boost in morale.
“Neal is nothing short of amazing,” said Centeno. “She increases morale in the building just by showing up to work. She always goes above and beyond what the command expects from her.”
With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the Indo Pacific region, the U.S. has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. CSG 7 is responsible for coordinating a diverse fleet of submarines, surface ships and aircraft deployed to the Western Pacific and the Middle East; two forward-deployed submarine tenders and four attack submarines homeported in Guam; Submarine Squadron 21 in Bahrain; five surveillance towed array sensor system vessels and three oceanographic survey vessels when tasked for Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare operations. Under CSG 7 are two task forces: CTF-74 and CTF-54, which provide theater anti-submarine warfare support from the Red Sea to the International Date Line.
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