By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach
A Miami, Florida, native recently received the Sailor of the Year (SOY) award serving with U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) in Norfolk, Virginia.
The SOY award recognizes the superior performance of enlisted personnel, pay grades E-1 to E-6, and emphasizes outstanding achievement and professionalism, exemplary personal conduct, command impact, mission contribution, dedication to self-improvement and superb initiative.
Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Jeanpierre, a 2006 graduate of Hialeah High School, joined the Navy 15 years ago.
“I joined the Navy to travel the world and to have my school loans paid off,” said Jeanpierre.
Today, Jeanpierre serves as a Navy master-at-arms responsible for security and force protection.
“My favorite part about being a master-at-arms is getting to meet people from all walks of life,” said Jeanpierre.
Skills and values learned in the Navy are similar to those found in Miami.
“One lesson I learned from my hometown is work ethic,” said Jeanpierre. “Coming up from a low income family, my mom and dad instilled in us that if you work hard, you’ll achieve anything you put your mind to.”USFFC is responsible for manning, training, equipping and employing more than 125 ships, 1,000 aircraft, and 103,000 active duty service and government employees, and providing combat-ready forces forward to numbered fleets and combatant commanders around the globe in support of U.S. national interests.
Serving in the Navy means Jeanpierre is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy contributes to national defense by being a show of force,” said Jeanpierre. “We are present all around the world, which helps our allies feel safe and keeps our adversaries in check.”
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy—forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power—deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”
Jeanpierre has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“My proudest accomplishment is being selected as U.S. Fleet Forces Command Sailor of The Year for Fiscal Year 2022,” said Jeanpierre.
As Jeanpierre and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
Serving in the Navy means everything to me,” added Jeanpierre. “It gives me a chance to better myself, while protecting the ones I love.”