U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt meritoriously advanced the 2012 Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year and 2012 Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year to chief petty officers at a ceremony held Friday at Coast Guard Headquarters.
Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Snider, the 2012 Enlisted Person of the Year, also received the Coast Guard Commendation Award and Enlisted Person of the Year ribbon during the ceremony. Snider serves as an active duty boatswain's mate stationed at Coast Guard Station Umpqua River in Winchester Bay, Ore. He is a recognized leader and mentor in the small boat community and is the lead surfman at his unit. Snider consistently provided neighboring units with logistical and maintenance support, which significantly enhanced unit cooperation and operational readiness. A firm believer in setting the example regarding health and wellness, he also accomplished multiple fitness initiatives, such as building a new unit cardio exercise room and leading his shipmates in more than 20 fitness events, including a Special Olympics Torch Run.
“I believe it’s good to help people out,” said Snider. “I try to teach my kids that, too.”
Petty Officer 1st Class Stepheni Norton, the 2012 Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year, also earned the Coast Guard Commendation Award and Enlisted Person of the Year ribbon. She serves as a reserve yeoman at Port Security Unit 311, currently forward-deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Norton is a proven leader in various fields, including regulatory compliance and project management. She used her professional expertise to increase unit productivity and mission effectiveness, quickly processing 130 personnel orders and leading an unplanned redeployment accountability of more than 150 personnel for Exercise Patriot Hook. Norton also streamlined the PSU 311 mobilization processes, reducing manpower by 66 percent and saving the Coast Guard additional travel expenses.
“As reservists, we don’t say ‘this is a civilian skill, this is a Coast Guard skill,’” said Norton. “We mix our skills together, which benefits everybody.”
The EPOY/REPOY programs recognize exceptional enlisted Coast Guard men and women. Considered to be the “best and brightest” from the entire Coast Guard, these individuals are selected by a panel of senior enlisted members who evaluate each nominee against a set of established criteria that includes performance, work ethics, military bearing, standards of conduct and a strong community service commitment.
The EPOY/REPOY programs are designed to recognize enlisted persons in the workforce in pay grades E-2 through E-6. Nominees must reflect the spirit of pride, professionalism, dedication and must embody the Coast Guard core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. Community service provided by the nominees enhances the lives of others inside and outside of the Coast Guard.
The 2012 Civilian Employee of the Year Jeannie Sansone and 2012 Non-Appropriated Fund Civilian Employee of the Year Cara Nix were also recognized at the event. Sansone serves as a facilities engineering program specialist at Training Center Cape May in Cape May, N.J. Nix serves as a sales clerk leader at the Coast Guard Base Honolulu Exchange in Honolulu, Hawaii.