Naval Air Station Whiting Field selects 2020 Sailors of the Year

Special to the Press Gazette/USA TODAY NETWORK

MILTON — Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field recently announced the Sailor of the Year (SOY), Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY), and Blue Jacket of the Year (BJOY) for 2020.

Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Clark, Petty Officer 2nd Class Felicia St. Luce, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Tommy Jackson were selected Sailor, Junior Sailor, and Blue Jacket of the Year, respectively.

The SOY must embody “a history of sustained superior performance, command impact, mission contribution, proven leadership, dedication to self-improvement, outstanding professionalism, and  superior personal appearance,” according to Navy instruction.

The factors reviewed include: SOY candidates consistently demonstrate exceptional performance and personal standards. They exhibit passion for improving the lives of those around them, both within the workplace and the community. They prove to be not only excellent learners, but profound leaders as well.

Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Clark

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Joshua Clark was recently named Sailor of the Year, Naval Air Station Whiting Field. He is Fire and Emergency Services Departmental Leading Petty Officer.

SOY Clark, who hails from Chester, Virginia, serves as the Fire and Emergency Services Departmental Leading Petty Officer and is directly responsible for firefighting teams, stations, and equipment.

It is his duty to ensure his peers and subordinates have the necessary training to complete their jobs. He also oversees counseling as a liaison for his chain of command. He analyzes issues his Sailors may have and recommends necessary improvements.

The importance of the title "fire officer" does not fall lightly on Clark. He said that his duties as a fire officer are that he must be “a professional who has the uncompromising responsibility to train (his) reliefs and ensure they possess the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent loss of life and to save property.”

Among his many achievements are Commander Navy Region Southeast Military Fire Officer of the Year Award for fiscal year 2020, and being selected “Aviation Boatswain’s Mate” or AB of the Year, for his command. Clark’s achievements are no doubt profound, but he attributes his successes to his Sailors at Fire and Emergency Services. 

“Without their commitment to their jobs, their achievements, and the pursuit of their qualifications, I never would have even been considered for this award, much less have won," he said. "This award is just as much theirs as it is mine, and I am honored I was chosen to represent the largest contingency of 'ABH' shore firefighters in the U.S. Navy.”

Petty Officer 2nd Class Felicia St. Luce

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Felicia St. Luce was recently named Junior Sailor of the Year, NAS Whiting Field. She is the Leading Petty Officer for Airfield Management at Whiting Field.

JSOY St. Luce, from Baytown, Texas, earned the respected position as the Airfield Management (AFM) Leading Petty Officer of NAS Whiting Field. Her leadership extends further as the Operations Department Career Counselor, a Victim and Witness Assistance representative. She holds membership on the Christmas Party Committee, Heritage Committee, and the Junior Enlisted Association.

As the AFM lead petty officer, she supervises 11 Sailors in the department. She said that she proudly serves airfield management to ensure training, medical, and scheduling is up to date to guarantee the operational success of her Sailors. Her department also relies on her to assist in the mentorship of Sailors to aid in their career progression.

St. Luce demonstrates the same drive and pursues excellence as she applies herself to all areas of her life. She is a proud wife to Teanesha, and mother to Denise and Dontay Jr., ages 7 and 10.

During her time at Whiting Field, she earned her associate’s degree in Applied Science in just one year, earned a Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) for Safety Technician and has completed more than 30 semester hours toward a bachelor’s degree in fire investigation with Columbia Southern University. 

“Success to me means reaping the benefits of the work you put in and never letting up, never giving up," St. Luce said. "There is a hunger in me to be successful and give whatever task at hand my all. So naturally, I want everyone in my circle to be successful as well.”

She accredits her career success to her Sailors and her Assistant Leading Petty Officer, (ALPO). 

“Without them, I wouldn’t be as successful,” she said.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Tommy Jackson

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Tommy Jackson was recently named Junior Sailor of the Year, Naval Air Station Whiting Field. He is the Fire and Emergency Services fire captain for Navy Outlying Landing Field Spencer, Whiting Field.

BJOY Jackson’s hometown is Los Angeles, California. He is a fire captain in Fire and Emergency Services at NAS Whiting Field and has been attached to Navy Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Spencer since 2018.

NOLF Spencer is located in Milton and serves as one of the helicopter training sites for aviation students with Training Air Wing Five.

As fire captain, Jackson leads a crew of three firefighters. His leadership position requires resilience, quick thinking and reaction to OLF events, emergencies, and threats to life.

Jackson’s leadership was previously recognized when he earned Blue Jacket of the Quarter for 3rd quarter 2020. To him, BJOY not only represents his career successes, but reflects the diligence and hard work he applies to his job.

When asked what prepared him to be a candidate for this award, Jackson said, “My wife and family, my fire crew at OLF Spencer, and my Lead Petty Officer, ABH1 Montoya, had heavy hands in my success. They pushed (me) to do my best at all times and never gave up on me.”

It is evident in Jackson’s success and reflection that his career efforts have aided in the safety and educational development of his command.