As in years past, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) had the honor of fitting all of the 2019 Navy Sailors of the Year with their first khaki uniform. With their selection as Sailor of the Year they are advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, and with that is the distinction of donning the historical khaki uniform.
“NEXCOM has always taken part in recognizing, honoring and fitting these outstanding Sailors with their first set of khakis,” said Command Master Chief Dayna Winn, NEXCOM’s Command Master Chief. “While this year’s event may look different, our gratitude, pride and admiration of the honorees remains the same. We are proud to be able to be a part of this celebration to honor the best Sailors in the Navy.”
Because of social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sailors were fitted for their new uniforms at their current duty stations. NEX tailors in Lemoore, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Oceana, Va.; assisted in measuring, fitting and tailoring the Sailors so that their first uniform as a Chief Petty Officer was ship shape. Both NEX tailors and the Sailors wore face coverings and gloves during the fitting appointment.
Retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, Chief Executive Officer, NEXCOM, honored Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Carolina Berrio, U.S. Fleet Forces Sea Sailor of the Year, at a small ceremony at NEX Oceana. In addition to outfitting the Sailors of the Year in their first set of khakis, NEXCOM also presented the Sailors with vendor provided items including a NEX gift card and a personalized Wheaties cereal box.
“Putting on khakis for the first time was an absolute surreal feeling,” said Berrio. “This ceremony at NEX Oceana means a lot and makes the day feel extra special, and on top of it to share to it with my mentors who have helped along the way.”
“NEXCOM has been celebrating and honoring our Sailors of the Year since 1993,” said Winn. “This year’s Sailors are truly deserving of the title of Sailor of the Year and the promotion to Chief Petty Officer. The NEXCOM team was thrilled to once again to be part in this milestone moment in their Navy careers.”