By Michael Davis Jr., Navy Installations Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON -- The 2016 Navy Installations Command Sailor of the Year was announced at a ceremony held at the command's headquarters on the historic Washington Navy Yard, Jan. 12.
"The winner of the 2016 CNIC Sailor of the Year (SOY) is ... Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Thorpe," announced Vice Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), at the event.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Thorpe, a Los Angeles native, represents Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia and was selected among two other finalists who went before a SOY board conducted by a panel of senior enlisted leaders. Each Sailor's service record was carefully scrutinized, and the Sailors were evaluated on educational accomplishments, physical fitness standards, academic test scores, and participation in civic and community activities.
The other two finalists, also honored at the ceremony, were Master-at-Arms 1st Class Laymoun L. Ferguson, representing Navy Region Northwest, and Yeoman 1st Class Alonte D. Horn, from Navy Region Japan.
"I'd like to say thank you to my brothers," said Thorpe, speaking about Ferguson and Horn. "They put up some great competition for me and they made it fun; that was the most important thing for me ... we were there for each other through thick and thin."
Thorpe, after receiving with a Lone Sailor statue, hugged the other two finalists and whispered a few words of encouragement to them.
"Our petty officers are the backbone of the Navy," said Smith, who shared his recollections about how two petty officers taught him about leadership, standards, integrity, and many other Navy values as he was starting his career 32 years ago. "What I learned as a division officer ... these three guys possessed that in spades."
CNIC Force Master Chief Andrew Thompson added, "Admiral, they don't make Sailors how they used to ... they make them better. Our Navy is in good hands."
When Thompson asked Thorpe and the two other finalists what makes them so good at being a petty officer, Thorpe said, "My drive is my Sailors who work for me every day. That's what makes me get up; that's what makes me put my boots on ... I tell them 'You're the reason why I get up in the morning.'"
Thorpe has served in the Navy for more than 14 years. Following apprenticeship training in Pensacola, Florida, he was assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), homeported in Newport News, Virginia. His career assignments have taken him all over the world, serving in California, Texas, Spain, and he deployed with Navy Provisional Detainee Battalion- Ramadi-4 to Camp Taji near Bagdad, Iraq, for nine months.
Thorpe's personal awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards), Good Conduct Medal (4 awards), and numerous unit, campaign, and service awards.
Thorpe will now head to the Navy Shore Activities SOY competition next month, where he'll compete against 30 other shore activity Sailor nominees.