CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Two Sailors from Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, II Marine Expedition Force, were recently recognized as head and shoulders above their shipmates, taking home the junior and senior Sailor of the Year awards.
Petty Officer 2nd Class April M. Brooks was names senior Sailor of the Year, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremiah D. McArthur received junior Sailor of the Year honors. In addition, McArthur was also presented with the Marine Forces Atlantic Sailor of the Year award.
McArthur, who is from Little Rock, Ark., was presented with his award after being selected during two Sailor of the Year boards.
In addition to impressing the board members, McArthur feels other factors helped contribute to his selection.
"My job performance and community involvement helped me out," said McArthur, who has been with CBIRF since May 1998. "I have helped out with some parades, judged a science fair, that kind of thing."
According to McArthur, his command at CBIRF was ecstatic about the awards.
"They were very pleased. I think these awards reflect well on me as well as my command. Anything that bolsters the reputation of the command is good with me."
The preventive medicine technician had some good words about the senior awardee as well.
"Petty Officer Brooks is an exemplary Sailor," said McArthur. 'Her work ethic is very strong, and I think that reputation is why she was nominated in the first place."
Brooks, from Waukesha, Wisc., is currently deployed to Mojave Skulls, Nev. for a training exercise. This type of deployment is an example of why the CBIRF command thinks these Sailors are deserving of their awards.
"The operational tempo these Sailors maintain is one of the reasons why they stand out in the MEF," said Gadsden, Ala.'s Senior Chief Petty Officer Ron Martin., the senior medical chief for CBIRF. "I'm happy because I've got more Sailors just like them."
According to II MEF's command master chief, Dunkirk, Ind.'s Master Chief Petty Officer Joseph Manifold, these awardees were not the only winners for the Sailor of the Year board.
"As the command master chief, I am extremely proud of all the Sailors nominated for Sailor of the Year from each unit attached to II MEF. It was an extremely hard decision for the board members. During this board, there were no Sailors who lost; all these Sailors are winners and the best the Navy has to offer.
"The two Sailors selected, Petty Officer Brooks and Petty Officer McArthur, have worked extremely hard this last year at CBIRF and should be proud of their accomplishments," he added. "I would be proud to serve with either one of them again, as they are the future leader of the Navy and Marine Corps team."