CNATTU Norfolk Sailor ‘humbled, honored’ by SOY award

11 June 2021

From Jerron K. Barnett

The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training announced its 2020 Sailor of the Year recently, and for Petty Officer 1st Class Hiesha Pinkston, the announcement left her “speechless.”
The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training announced its 2020 Sailor of the Year recently, and for Petty Officer 1st Class Hiesha Pinkston, the announcement left her “speechless.” 

“I honestly was beside myself and speechless,” Pinkston said, who serves as aviation ordnanceman instructor at CNATT Unit Norfolk in Virginia.  “I had a true out of body experience.  Once it all registered, I felt humbled, honored and grateful.”

 Pinkston, a Philadelphia native, competed against the best and brightest Sailors in the CNATT domain for the award.  Other finalists for the award were Petty Officer 1st Class Mathew Webber from CNATTU Lemoore, and Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Gross from CNATTU Whidbey Island.

 Pinkston’s job is to train Sailors to properly maintain and repair armament equipment for F/A-18 Hornet, EA-18 Growler, and helicopter aircraft.  She took the opportunity to be a good mentor and leader for young Sailors in her classroom, and her leadership noticed the positive impact she had on her students.

 “Her zeal for the development and mentorship of her Sailors cannot be overstated,” Cmdr. Marcus Creighton, CNATTU Norfolk commanding officer, said.  “Her Sailors seem to be the perennial frontrunners for quarterly awards, and the first to MTS designations.  I genuinely think she consistently places the success of her Sailors above her own.”

 Creighton added that Pinkston makes the effort to involve herself in every aspect of the command she can.

 “She is invested in our success,” Creighton said. “She offers to help everyone, student or staff, junior, senior or peer.”

 A humbled Pinkston expressed gratitude for her leadership’s support. 

“I’m thankful for my leadership believing in me…I felt like we all won,” Pinkston said.
 
While Pinkston didn’t win at the Naval Education and Training Command level, she continues to make progress on her career goals of furthering her education and reaching the rank of chief petty officer.
 
CNATT leadership thanks all learning sites who submitted candidates for the award, and to the board members who helped during the selection process.
 
 
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