Okinawa Sailor of the Year Advanced to CPO in Rare Ceremony

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Dickinson
Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Dickinson

Okinawa Sailor of the Year Advanced to CPO in Rare Ceremony

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David R. Krigbaum
U.S. Navy

OKINAWA, Japan (May 28, 2020) U.S. Pacific Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Jason Webley was meritoriously advanced to the rate of chief petty officer in a pinning ceremony held at Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa White Beach Naval Facility May 27, 2020.

Webley, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native assigned to Pacific Missile Range Facility Far East Det. Okinawa, was selected as the 2019 U.S Pacific Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year while stationed aboard aircraft carrier USS Ronal Reagan (CVN-76) forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. He joined the Navy in 2007.

This is the first time Sailor of the Year program-related pinning ceremonies have been held outside of Washington, D.C. The ceremony is normally held at the Navy Memorial but because of travel restrictions in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 local ceremonies are being held across the Navy. The ceremony followed social distancing guide lines and was attended by CFAO-area chief petty officers. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith gave his remarks from Washington, D.C. via video and Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Seven, was the guest speaker.

“There is no transition more important to our Navy as an institution than becoming a Navy chief petty officer,” Kacher said in his remarks as he congratulated Webley on his achievement. “Because when it comes down to it, it is the Chief Petty Officer who shows the rest of us what right looks like.”

Webley was pinned by his wife and children and his cover was donned by CFAO Command Master Chief Michael Fluent.

Webley credits his faith and team onboard Reagan for his selection as SOY and advancement. “It is a direct reflection of my leadership, my peers and the hard work of my junior Sailors that worked alongside me onboard USS Ronald Reagan put forth, so this is for everyone.”

The Sailor of the Year program was established in 1972 by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy 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.

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