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Naval Service Training Command Sailors of the Year Announced

Story by Scott A. Thornbloom, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Dec. 1, 2011) – Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) announced its 2011 Sailors of the Year in an awards ceremony at the Recruit Training Command (RTC) Chapel here Dec. 1.

Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Adan Castillo, 31, a Recruit Division Commander (RDC) at RTC, from Houston, was NSTC’s selection for 2011 Senior Sailor of the Year (SOY).

“I’m an aviation guy,” Castillo said. “I’m used to aircraft being down and not being able to fly without me. There’s a sense of accomplishment seeing that aircraft take off from the flight deck because you did something. But it’s a thousand times better to see a Sailor take off as well knowing they couldn’t have done it without you.”

Castillo has been developing and crafting his flight deck philosophy for three years guiding seven divisions and more than 600 recruits at the Navy's only bootcamp.

“There’s a very large sense of accomplishment that you acquire training a division and seeing them reach graduation,” Castillo said. “Seeing the kid who couldn’t run when they first arrived, passing the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA), seeing them graduate and having their parents come down to the drill floor to thank you is a feeling unlike any other.”

Rear Adm. David F. Steindl, NSTC commander, presented and congratulated Castillo on being named Senior SOY in front of fellow RDCs, staff members and RTC’s chain of command. Castillo was joined by fellow awardees Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class (AW/SW) Melania Mezei, the Junior SOY and Musician 3rd Class David Yeager, the Bluejacket of the Year. Mezei, 30, from Gheorgheni, Romania, is also an RDC at RTC. Yeager, 28, from Pittsburgh, plays tuba with Navy Band Great Lakes at Naval Station Great Lakes.

Steindl, who oversees all enlisted and officer training in the Navy with the exception of the Naval Academy, called the awardees top quality Sailors. He believed it was probably extremely difficult to choose SOYs each year because all the Sailors under the NSTC domain at RTC, Officer’s Training Command (OTC) at Naval Station Newport, R.I., and Navy Band Great Lakes were unsurpassed as Sailors in the Navy.

“The sailors nominated for these awards truly are the best of the best,” Steindl said. “Keep charging ahead, and I’m sure we will see you as chiefs, senior chiefs and master chiefs running the Navy someday.”

Steindl also thanked the nominees’ families, calling them the most important aspect in a Sailor’s Navy career.

“All of us can’t serve without the support of our families,” he said.

Castillo, who is married with two girls and one boy on the way, said he was surprised, grateful and shocked at the announcement. He credits the mentoring he has received from the senior enlisted at RTC and the push he has received from his peers as helping him being named this year’s Senior SOY.

“I couldn’t have been nominated for SOY without everyone at RTC, from the down below to up to the top,” said Castillo, who will next compete for the Commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) Sailor of the Year at NAS Pensacola, Fla. “The people I work alongside pushed me to be better.”It’s a game that I play in my head. I have to get up ahead of you. If you’re doing one thing I have to do two.”

“It’s a pretty big group of people that I associate with and we push each other,” Castillo said. “I couldn’t have done it without everyone at RTC; from the master chiefs, senior chiefs and chiefs to my peers, ship’s officers and even the recruits. The recruits also push you and test your leadership skills every day. Every time the recruits make you crazy they also make you stronger and give you another tool for your toolbox.”

PHOTOS

Naval Service Training Command Sailors of the Year Announced

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Dec. 1, 2011) – Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) recently announced the 2011 Senior and Junior Sailors of the Year (SOY) and Blue Jacket of the Year (BJOY) in a ceremony in the Recruit Training Command (RTC) Chapel here Dec. 1. This year’s awardees are (from left): Senior SOY, Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Adan Castillo, 31, from Houston; Junior SOY, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Melania Mezei, 30, originally from Gheorgheni, Romania; and BJOY, Musician 3rd Class David Yeager, 28, from Pittsburgh. Castillo and Mezei are Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs) at the Navy’s only boot camp, RTC, and Yeager is a tuba instrumentalist for Navy Band Great Lakes. (Official U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)

Rear Adm. David F. Steindl (right), commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), recently announced the 2011 Senior and Junior Sailors of the Year (SOY) and Blue Jacket of the Year (BJOY) in a ceremony in the Recruit Training Command (RTC) chapel here Dec. 1.

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Dec. 1, 2011) – Rear Adm. David F. Steindl (right), commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), recently announced the 2011 Senior and Junior Sailors of the Year (SOY) and Blue Jacket of the Year (BJOY) in a ceremony in the Recruit Training Command (RTC) Chapel here Dec. 1. This year’s awardees are (from left): Senior SOY, Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Adan Castillo, 31, from Houston; Junior SOY, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Melania Mezei, 30, originally from Gheorgheni, Romania; and BJOY, Musician 3rd Class David Yeager, 28, from Pittsburgh. Castillo and Mezei are Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs) at the Navy’s only boot camp, RTC, and Yeager is a tuba instrumentalist for Navy Band Great Lakes. (Official U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)

Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Adan Castillo, 31, from Houston, instructs Seaman Recruit Shaina Gideon, 22, from Kirby, Ark., on the proper way to wear her garrison cap here Dec. 14.

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Dec. 14, 2011) -- Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Adan Castillo, 31, from Houston, instructs Seaman Recruit Shaina Gideon, 22, from Kirby, Ark., on the proper way to wear her garrison cap at Recruit Training Command (RTC) here Dec. 14. Castillo was recently selected as the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) 2011 Senior Sailor of the Year (SSOY) Dec. 1. He is currently a Recruit Division Commander (RDC) for Division 907 at the Navy’s only boot camp. (Official U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)

Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Adan Castillo, 31, from Houston, instructs Seaman Recruit Dominic Vela, 18, from Compton, Calif., on the proper way to wear his belt in uniform here Dec. 14. GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Dec. 14, 2011) – Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Adan Castillo, 31, from Houston, instructs Seaman Recruit Dominic Vela, 18, from Compton, Calif., on the proper way to wear his belt in uniform here Dec. 14. Castillo was recently selected as the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) 2011 Senior Sailor of the Year (SSOY) here Dec. 1. He is currently a Recruit Division Commander (RDC) at the Navy’s only boot camp, Recruit Training Command (RTC). (Official U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)
Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Melania Mezei, 30, originally from Gheorgheni, Romania, inspects Seaman Recruit Joseph Nelson.

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 19, 2010) -- Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Melania Mezei, 30, originally from Gheorgheni, Romania, inspects Seaman Recruit Joseph Nelson as Seaman Recruit Richard Nelson waits his turn during a division inspection at Recruit Training Command (RTC) Oct. 19, 2010. Mezei was recently selected as the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) 2011 Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY) here Dec. 1. Mezei first came to the United States in 1998 knowing very little English. Today, she is a Recruit Division Commander (RDC) at the Navy’s only boot camp. (Official U.S. Navy photo by Sue Krawczyk/Released)

Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Melania Mezei, 30, originally from Gheorgheni, Romania, inspects recruits from Division 351.

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 19, 2010) -- Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Melania Mezei, 30, originally from Gheorgheni, Romania, inspects recruits from Division 351 at Recruit Training Command (RTC) Oct. 19, 2010. Mezei was recently selected as the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) 2011 Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY) here Dec. 1. She first came to the United States in 1998 knowing very little English. Today, she is a Recruit Division Commander (RDC) at the Navy’s only boot camp. (Official U.S. Navy photo by Sue Krawczyk/Released)

Musician 3rd Class David Yeager, 27, from Pittsburgh, and a member of Navy Band Great Lakes’ brass quintet, the “Brass Ambassadors”, shows more than 500 students, teachers and parents at Forrestal Elementary how he plays the tuba here April 14.

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (April 14, 2011) – Musician 3rd Class David Yeager, 27, from Pittsburgh, and a member of Navy Band Great Lakes’ brass quintet, the “Brass Ambassadors”, shows more than 500 students, teachers and parents at Forrestal Elementary how he plays the tuba here April 14. Yeager was recently selected as the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) 2011 Blue Jacket of the Year (BJOY) here Dec. 1. (U. S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)

Musician 3rd Class David Yeager, 27, from Pittsburgh, and a member of Navy Band Great Lakes, gets ready to march at the 2011 Chicago Memorial Day Parade here April 14.

CHICAGO (April 14, 2011) – Musician 3rd Class David Yeager, 27, from Pittsburgh, and a member of Navy Band Great Lakes, gets ready to march at the 2011 Chicago Memorial Day Parade here April 14. Yeager was recently selected as the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) 2011 Blue Jacket of the Year (BJOY) at an awards ceremony in the Recruit Training Command (RTC) Chapel Dec. 1. (U. S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)

 

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Last Modified 5/15/2012

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