Naval Air Station Whiting Field recently announced its 2012 Sailor of the Year, Junior Sailor of the Year, and Blue Jacket of the Year. The candidate pool for each award was comprised of leadership-nominated representatives of the air station’s Air Traffic Control, Crash, and Security divisions.

Master-at-Arms 1st Class Adam Turner earned Sailor of the Year honors for his outstanding efforts throughout the year. His performance in professional and collateral capacities was singular among his peers.

Turner serves the Security Department as Command Investigator and Primary Evidence Custodian, a role in which he is responsible for leading law enforcement efforts on base. As one of the department’s foremost authorities on Naval law enforcement, Turner has served as a conduit between the base command and Naval Criminal Investigative Service. A key member of the air station’s physical security team, Turner acts as a central overseer of the base’s Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection program.

“Petty Officer Turner continually shows his versatility and flexibility… he is the ‘go to guy’ not only for the department, but also the installation… he is the finest example of a First Class Petty Officer,” Security Department Head Lt. David Vandyke declared.

Turner is a noted mentor of junior personnel within his department. He has trained almost one hundred active duty members, Reservists, contract security personnel, and government service guards during his time with the air station. His desire to see junior personnel trained and treated properly extends to working weekends and taking an active approach to leadership.

As the departmental career counselor, Turner has illuminated professional paths for his peers; as the divisional fitness leader, he is a recognized authority in physical conditioning.

Security Department Leading Chief Petty Officer Master Chief Master-at-Arms Peter Cady described Turner’s training commitment as “leadership and mentorship skills beyond reproach, because he truly cares about the Sailor.”

A nine-year veteran of Naval law enforcement and force protection, Turner has supplemented his field experience with a vast range of academic study in related disciplines. He has completed Navy correspondence courses in Homeland Security, anti-terrorism, defense threat reduction, emergency management, and suicide bombing response and prevention. In private study, Turner has completed college courses examining criminal street gang behavior and aircraft electrical systems theory.

Turner’s community engagement on and off base is extensive. His contribution of more than 430 hours as Command Honor Boatswain and Color Guard Coordinator has reinforced the bearing and professionalism of the air station’s honor details at high-profile events.

Within the Santa Rosa County community, Turner has been active with Habitat for Humanity, marched in the Milton Christmas Parade, and is a two-time recipient of the Knights of Columbus “Patriotic Service Award.”

“When I first found out, I was honestly surprised because we have so many deserving Sailors on base. Considering the candidates, it was both a surprise and a great honor.

“It feels great to be recognized through something like this because it’s rewarding for my family as well. It lets me show my family - especially my kids - that the time we can’t spend together, the hours that daddy gives to the Navy, is a sacrifice recognized and appreciated.

That makes it meaningful to them as well,” Turner reflected.

Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Erica Roten was selected Junior Sailor of the Year for 2012. Her achievements on and off duty were cited as outstanding examples of junior enlisted performance above grade.

Roten stands among the emerging leaders in the air station’s Security Department. She serves as Watch Commander, a capacity in which Roten oversees the placement, training, and performance of the base’s Naval law enforcement personnel. She holds a Navy warfare qualification as an Expeditionary Warfare Specialist, and her catalogue of Navy coursework reflects sterling dedication to her force protection mission; Homeland Security studies, Active Shooter Response training, and Multi-Jurisdictional Counter-Drug Task Force certification feature among Roten’s studies.

Her initiative, adaptability, and leadership qualities earned praise from Vandyke.

“[Roten] manages her time for the department’s junior and senior Sailors alike by mentorship. She continually encourages her shipmates to pursue off-duty education, Navy COOL, and US MAPS,” Vandyke noted.

Off duty, Roten demonstrates a broad commitment to her fellow Sailors through an ambitious portfolio of collateral duties. She serves the command as Sexual Assault Prevention and Response representative, Security Department Navy COOL representative, and department Assistant Career Counselor. In her capacity as SAPR alone, Roten has provided over 330 hours of time to aiding and advising her peers.
Within the area community, Roten exhibits the same degree of dedication. She has volunteered over 48 hours of time to the American Red Cross. Furthermore the air station’s foremost Junior Sailor of 2012 has made impact contributions to local soup kitchens, nursing homes, and juvenile mentorship programs.

Aviation Boatswains Mate 3rd Class Andan Rempel was selected as NAS Whiting Field’s Bluejacket of the Year. Rempel has been recognized as an indispensible contributor to safe operations and personnel training at the air station and its outlying fields.
Rempel’s supervisors cited his commitment to excellence as a key contribution to over 300,000 safely-executed flight operations. Moreover, his performance in several instances of actual emergency reinforced command confidence in this Junior Sailor’s competence and depth of character.

“[He] has proven to be a top-quality leader. He shows genuine concern for his Sailors’ professional growth… his take-charge attitude and initiative to job accomplishment consistently produces positive results,” Crash Division Leading Chief Petty Officer Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate John Coger stated.

A true leader-by-example, Rempel exhibits dedication to reaching his personal potential while assisting peers to attain theirs.

His professional accomplishments include qualification in Air Warfare and collateral duties as Hazmat Petty Officer and [Navy instructional]
Publications Petty Officer. He actively pursues continuing education and has completed college courses in economics, geography, American history, psychology, and Human Relations.

A practitioner of the old Navy aphorism “one hand for the self, one for the ship,” Rempel exhibits a magnanimous dedication to the advancement of his fellow Sailors. In 2012, this budding leader’s mentoring has been a key factor in the Aircraft Fire Fighting qualification of three Sailors at NOLF Pace.

“He readily accepts increased responsibilities without hesitation and constantly produces outstanding results,” Coger noted.
Off duty, Rempel is active within the base and Milton communities.

His charitable engagement reflects the same energy and depth of involvement that defines his professional character. Rempel’s contributions include 30 volunteer hours as a fitness instructor for children, home construction with Habitat for Humanity, and work with East
Milton Elementary.

“A command-wide Sailor, Junior Sailor, or Blue Jacket of the year award is a landmark moment in any Navy career. At the same time, this recognition should inspire the awardees to new heights of personal and professional achievement.

“Furthermore, it provides these exceptional individuals with the privilege and responsibility of acting as role models and mentors to their peers,” NAS Whiting Field Command Master Chief Rafael Rosado explained. "The competition for these awards was fierce, and all nominees do justice to our command's mission and the Navy's core values. Bravo Zulu to all.”