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Compton Native A Finalist For Navy's Sailor Of The Year

Petty Officer 1st Class Lequisha Shines, a native Moreno Valley, California, was recently recognized as the Naval Shore Activities Sailor of the Year.

This award allows Navy commands to highlight their top sailors and reward them for their hard work and dedication. These sailors then go on to compete against other command finalists to be recognized as the Sea/Shore Sailor of the Year for the entire U.S. Navy. The final winners earn promotion to the rank of chief petty officer. “I joined the Navy to become a better person, I wanted to have a different outcome of the norm that I was surrounded by,” Shines said. “I didn't come from a family that was financially stable, so the Navy was the only way for me to pursue a career and a higher education for free. I wanted to travel. The Navy was the logical choice to fulfill all of that for me at the age of 17.” Shines is serving as a Navy Yeoman assigned to Naval Special Warfare Command Special Reconnaissance Team One who is responsible for ensuring sailors are aware of admin changes occurring, customer service, upkeep of their records, and pay issues. “What I enjoy most out of serving at Special Reconnaissance Team One is the support I am able to give to those warfighters and operators that are downrange,” Shines said. “I know that my support and my knowledge is beneficial and a key asset in helping with the mission at hand. The camaraderie and the support of one another helps keep me going daily.” Shines is a 2001 Valley View High School graduate. “Growing up in Compton and Moreno Valley, small cities in Southern California, I have taken with me the fact that humility goes a long way,” Shines said. “Loyalty and being able to trust the people around me carried me this far because I come from a family that always has been close. You have to be humble and also let the people around you know that you respect and trust them. They will always go to bat for you in any situation afterwards.” According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea. The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on war-fighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force. “I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “We will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.” Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in a command, community and career, Shines is most proud of earning her Bachelor’s degree. “My biggest accomplishment since joining the Navy, besides having my son, is the face that I completed my Bachelor’s degree,” Shines said. “Continuing higher academics is a major part of why I joined the Navy, so to complete that was a very proud moment for me.” As a member of the U.S. Navy, Shines, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow. “Serving in the Navy means to me success and independence,” Shines said. “I am able to pass down opportunities to my child and junior Sailors that look up to me. Success comes in different forms and to me I am able to explore all of those avenues afforded to me by joining the Navy. Most people can't access the great programs and people that we are able to and for that I will always be grateful.”

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