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News | Jan. 27, 2015

Harvin claims USNORTHCOM Sailor of the Year title

By By SMSgt. Jennifer Thibault NORAD-USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

Representatives from the Colorado Springs Council of the Navy League recognized North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command’s Sailor of the Year during a ceremony here Jan. 27.

A native New Yorker, Petty Officer First Class Charles Harvin spent the latter part of his adolescence in Auburn, Alabama where he joined the Navy in 1998. Harvin earned the award based on his performance from Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014. 

The Sailor of the Year program was established in 1972 by the Chief of Naval Operations to recognize the superior performance of petty officers with emphasis on outstanding achievements, exemplary personal conduct, military bearing and demonstrated initiative and performance.

“He’s a total team player,” said Senior. Chief Petty Officer Chad Cothron, NORAD/USNORTHCOM’s Navy element senior enlisted leader.  “He does his job very well, always goes above and beyond and is a standout in the command and community.  He will positively impact the Navy for many years to come.”

Harvin was selected out of 19 outstanding petty officers fist class and is the first to represent the combatant command at the next level. 

 “I honestly didn’t expect it,” said Harvin upon learning of his selection.  “I was a little taken aback.  I am honored to be selected especially considering the competition around here.  This is a great accomplishment but I never expected this to happen.  It’s a huge honor.”

Harvin’s selection puts him in the running for the Navy-wide program that culminates with the selection of the best of the best Petty Officer First Class Sailors with four each from the ashore and afloat commands who then vie for the Top Sea and Shore Sailor of the Year awards.  The finalists are then primed for an expedited promotion to Navy Chief. 

Harvin tackles a variety of administrative and personnel tasks daily for more than 70 Navy and Marine Corps reservists. 

“There is always something, whether it’s a pay issue, policy issue or [figuring out] how can we do something. I spend the majority of my day sending and responding to emails, making phone calls and following up to take care of our Reserve forces assigned here,” said Harvin.  “Basically, I’m the face that provides on-site human resource support to make sure they’re paid and taken care of during their assignment to the command.”

Generally Harvin’s efforts support more than 50 Navy and 15 Marine Corps Reserve personnel.  This doesn’t include additional Navy and Marine Corps personnel detailed to the command but not directly assigned here. 

Harvin has conducted such support here for the last three years.  As a Full Time Support sailor, he understands the challenges these Reserve members can face.  Navy Full Time Support sailors are members of the Navy Reserve who perform full-time active duty, receiving the same pay, allowances and benefits as active duty members.  FTS sailors train and administer the Navy Reserve program.

“I have been in a full time support status since I joined the Navy nearly 17 years ago,” he said. 

Looking back on this past year, Harvin said it is his volunteer work that stands out to him.

“I volunteered with Care and Share, Adopt a Highway and other programs,” Harvin said.  “Being part of these kinds of things gives me a sense of pride.”

These actions stand out to senior leaders as well.

“He is our adopt-a-highway coordinator and is involved in several other community service programs here,” said Cothron.  “He has a highly competitive package for shore sailor of the year.”

Harvin must now compete against the other combatant commands nominees.  Selection at the next level is expected in February.  Regardless, Harvin said he will continue to work hard in pursuit of his career goals in the wake of this “huge honor.”

The local council of the Navy League’s recognition of Harvin is part of their ongoing efforts to “serve, support and stand with” the sea services.