2007 Sailor of the Year
Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Angela Crawford
A native of Hopkinsville, Ky.; enlisted in the Navy in 1990 and served on the submarine tender Emory S. Land during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
NORFOLK, Va. - Before being named Navy Times Sailor of the Year, Ship's Serviceman 1st Class (SW) Angela Crawford already had a little experience with that kind of honor.
As a crewmember on the cruiser Monterey, she has already been enjoying the perks of being the ship's 2006 sailor of the year, among them a parking space on the pier and a four-day pass she hasn't used yet.
Crawford is the leading petty officer for the supply department aboard the Monterey, which has a crew of about 350. The ship returned to Norfolk on April 4 from a deployment as a NATO flagship. Her supervisor, Ensign Juan Espiritusanto, was not the least bit surprised at the news of her back-to-back honors.
"She's my rock. What can I say?" he said. "She's very squared away."
Crawford grew up in Pembroke, Ky., and joined the Navy in 1990. "I just wanted to see something different outside Kentucky," she said. "All we have in Kentucky are lakes."
Her first ship was the now-decommissioned repair ship Vulcan. She later served on the submarine tender Emory S. Land during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
"I was pretty excited to be part of something historical going on," she said. "My mom wasn't too thrilled about it."
She served on two aircraft carriers - the Nimitz and the Theodore Roosevelt - before transferring from the TR to the Monterey four years ago. She says she likes serving on a "small boy" - as the Navy's smaller ships are affectionately known - because the crew is close-knit.
"You get to know everybody by name. People look out for each other," she said.
Her division runs the ship store, the barber shop, the laundry and the vending machines.
She's also the command's Sexual Assault Victim Intervention representative, a member of the damage control training team and the enlisted surface warfare specialist coordinator, and she mentors seven of her younger shipmates. Three of her sailors earned meritorious command advancement promotions last year.
"With all my collateral duties, there's very little downtime," she said. "I sleep when I can."
In his Sailor of the Year recommendation for Crawford, the Monterey's commander, Capt. Robert Oldani, said she has "the top-notch leadership and technical abilities of a seasoned chief petty officer."
As the sailor who runs the ship store, hers is a world where the little things count; she ensures that sailors don't go without the supplies that can make a difference when it comes to morale. In her workspace, there's a list of things the ship can never be without, including razors, cigarettes, shampoo and socks.
"They need to be able to wash their clothes, brush their teeth and smoke," she said. "It's for morale."
Lt. Cmdr. Russ Sanchez is the ship's combat systems officer and occasionally serves as acting commander. He said Crawford's latest honor makes her a role model to other Navy women.
"She's very humble," he said. "She's a hard worker. She doesn't ask for a lot of the limelight."
Crawford is up for promotion to chief petty officer and she hopes for shore duty as a substance abuse rehabilitation counselor on base in Norfolk.