By MC1 Kevin O'Brien, Navy Reserve Chief of Information
Reserve Sailor of the Year, Equipment Operator 1st Class Steven Butterhof, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 27, delivers his acceptance speach during the Reserve Sailor of the Year selection ceremony at the United States Navy Memorial. Butterhof will return in May along with the Shore Sailor of the Year and the two Fleet Sea Sailors of the Year for meritorious advancement to chief petty officer. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kevin O'Brien/160407-N-UH963-336)
The 2015 Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year (RSOY) was announced during a ceremony at the United States Navy Memorial in Washington D.C.,April 8.
Equipment Operator 1st Class (SCW/EXW) Steven Butterhof, assigned to Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 27, was announced as the RSOY during the ceremony by Chief of Navy Reserve, Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun.
Butterhof was selected out of five finalists including Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Neel Chandra, assigned to Naval Reserve Cart Team III, Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Rudolph Salman, assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 62, Naval Aircrewman Helicopter 1st Class Andy Anderson, assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 and Master-at-Arms 1st Class Louis Skeberis, assigned to Naval Sea Systems Command.
Braun gave high praise for the five finalists during the ceremony.
"These five Sailors represent the best of the best," said Braun. "They represent all the hardworking men and women out there who support the Navy Reserve in addition to their civilian jobs. We are tremendously proud of the work they do for the U.S. Navy and our nation."
Navy Reserve Force Master Chief C.J. Mitchell celebrated this year's Reserve Sailor of the Year selections.
"I'm particularly proud of this group because they really embrace and reflect the diversity of the Navy Reserve and the variety of different missions that we support around the Navy," said Mitchell. "I'm also excited about the Reserve Sailor of the Year being a professional that has chosen to mobilize and recently return from a mobilization to Djibouti. Petty Officer Butterhof is a fine representative of Reserve Sailors around the world."
Mitchell also expressed his appreciation for the selectees' contributions outside the military.
"This year's group of Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year finalists was also exemplary in their professional civilian jobs, as well as being advocates and volunteers in their communities. Again, five finalists representing nine thousand first classes - this truly was the cream of the crop and the most challenging and tightest competition I've ever been involved with," said Mitchell.
"Wow, this is a tremendous distinction," said Butterhof. "It's been a privilege to spend this week with these outstanding Sailors sitting before you. I'm so humbled with this honor."
Each Sailor received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal during the ceremony. In May, Butterhof will return to Washington for the Chief of Naval Operations Sailor of the Year week hosted by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy where Bartholomew will be meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer.
The ceremony was the ending to a week of events in the capitol region including tours of the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, Capitol Building, United States Navy Memorial and Navy History Museum as well as numerous visits and meetings with Navy leadership.
Former Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) retired Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and former MCPON Jack Whittet initiated the Sailor of the Year program in 1972 to recognize outstanding Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Sailors. The program was later expanded to honor the top Shore and Reserve Force Sailors of the Year.