Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) recently named its selections for Sailors of the Year. IT1 Tyler Simonsen is the station's Senior Sailor of the Year, ABH2 Ernst Novembre is the Junior Sailor of the Year, CS3 Brandon Reid is the Sailor of the Year and ACAA Christopher Baclig is the Blue Jacket of the Quarter.
Simonsen, a native of Santa Cruz, California, joined the Navy more than 10 years ago. After working in several different ratings including aviation electronics technician and naval aircrew avionics, Simonsen settled on information systems technician.
"I've always been fascinated with computers and how they will improve the future," he said.
Simonsen is currently working in network security, focusing on stopping hackers. He has nearly completed his associate's degree in general studies and plans on getting a bachelor's degree in network security.
Despite numerous deployments overseas, Simonsen has only been stationed at commands in the Jacksonville area including a tour with Patrol Squadron 5 where he was selected as the 2011 Sailor of the Year.
He is currently the treasurer for the NAS Jax First Class Petty Officers Association and volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and AWANA church program.
Simonsen is enthusiastic about his next 10 years in the Navy.
"I'm hoping for khakis in my future, whether it comes with being an officer, chief or warrant," he said.
Novembre spent the first 28 years of his life in Haiti, but then joined his family in Miami. After a recruiter told him how he could accelerate his life, he raised his right hand and became an aviation boatswain's mate specializing in handling.
"Even though the recruiter explained the job, I still had no idea what it was about, but I was excited about the opportunity," Novembre said.
Novembre also served onboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in Norfolk, Virgina. During his tour, Novembre deployed twice visiting numerous countries.
Novembre's previously worked as a representative in the air terminal assisting travelers by booking and coordinating flights. He is currently working as a cargo handler ensuring cargo is loaded and unloaded on the aircraft correctly for the weekly rotator flights to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and assisting homecoming flights for tenant commands.
Novembre will soon complete his bachelor's degree in accounting and plans to take his public accountant exam for certification. One of his primary goals is to become a naval officer.
Reid joined the Navy to "see the world" which was a dream of his parents. While he comes from a long line of cooks, Reid says he knew nothing about cooking when he became a culinary specialist six and half years ago.
His first duty station was Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which he calls his "second home."
"I have eight months left at NAS Jax and I'm trying really hard to get back to Hawaii," Reid said.
Reid has several future goals he plans to achieve.
"I would love to become a chief warrant officer," he said. "I'm lucky that I work with a great warrant officer at the Flight Line CafÃ© right now. "If I can model myself after him, I will be very successful."
He is also looking at other future options by taking classes to become a real estate agent. In his free time, Reid volunteers at his church, spends time at the gym and likes to paint and draw.
Like many other Sailors, Baclig also joined the Navy "to see the world." Unfortunately almost three years into his naval service, his only duty station has been in his hometown at in Jacksonville.
Baclig currently works as an air traffic controller. He chose air traffic control because he wanted to do something in aviation.
"It's what I love doing," he said, even though the job requires a great deal of learning. "It does require hitting the books quite often."
When Baclig is not working, he likes playing video games and sports, especially football and basketball. "I am very competitive," he said.
He plans to make the Navy a career and said his future goals are to continue to work hard at his job and be the best he can and hopefully see the world.