(Via Ho’okele News)
CTRC (IDW/SW/AW) Frank Migliaccio
HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC), Hawaii, had much to celebrate when their command master chief, CMDCM Toby Ruiz, recently brought a team of chief petty officers to the airport baggage claim at Honolulu International Airport.
The team watched with anticipation as one of their Sailors came down the escalator and through the security doors. Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Patricia Madigan’s face lit up with surprise as she saw the sea of blue Navy working uniforms and chiefs in khakis waiting for her.
Madigan is the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Navy Shore Sailor of the Year for 2014 and was returning from her recent selection in Washington, D.C.
As one of four Navy-wide Sailors of the Year, she is now a “chief select” and will be meritoriously promoted to chief petty officer in May.
She started her journey in January as the NIOC Hawaii Shore Sailor of the Year and then moved on to be selected as the SOY for U.S. 10th Fleet, then U.S. Fleet Forces Command before finally competing against several other outstanding Sailors to achieve the highest honor as one of the top four first class petty officers.
One of the chiefs couldn’t let the moment go unnoticed by the other passengers at the luggage carousel. “Attention in the terminal! Out of 350,000 United States Sailors currently serving on active duty, this one here just won Navy Sailor of the Year,” he shouted to cheers and applause by everyone.
“It’s kind of a big deal,” he added a little more quietly as everyone laughed and several civilians lined up to personally congratulate her.
Ruiz summed up how the chiefs felt. “I’m ecstatic. We have one of the Navy’s four Sailors of the Year at our command. So welcoming her home is a great start off to what, you know, her next four months are going to be and her future as a chief petty officer is going to be.”
When asked how important it was to meet her at the airport, he said, “Very important because again, she is going to see from the very beginning that, as a future chief petty officer, we do this for all of our chiefs. She will soon be welcomed into our [chiefs] mess and she will understand what we all do here.”
Madigan said she was equally excited. “I’m stoked! I’m really glad to see that there are so many chiefs here in support. It’s kind of overwhelming. And I have so many flower lei around my neck right now, I think it has to be a record.”
“I’m ready to learn. I’m ready to be part of this process,” she said.