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My daughter has been SOQ a couple of times, and earned Sailor of the Year in 2004. My son-in-law went from SOQ, SOY, then Sailor of the Atlantic Fleet, which was fairly complicated, involving many interviews, board approval, and travel. But Sailor of the Quarter is where it all starts...recognition for a job well-done! Being a little assertive when asked (as Hoppi says...honestly telling them what you would change if you were CO for a day), but still being respectful, helps.
My son recently received BJOQ aboard his ship and then received the BJOY aboard his ship.........What an honor!
Here is a description that I copied from another site from a nominating force in the Navy.
What is Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ)?
Well that is an extremely honorable award to get. What it means is your son was selected out of all the other Sailors on the ship or station as being the "best of the best". They divide the SOQ into two groups, they are Junior Sailor of the Quarter (JSOQ) for the E4's and below, and Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ) for E5's and E6's.
Usually most command give a 3 or 4 day liberty, along with special treatment like Head of the Line privledge for chow (food), along with the award. Lastly, their picture is placed on the Quarter deck (the main entrance of the ship or station) and it remains there for the quarter (90 days).
Every division are suppose to nomates a JSOQ and SOQ candiate. Some divisions don't because maybe their division has a bunch of slackers in it and they don't think any of them are worthy of the award. We are talking you have to be the best of the best. You have to have your sh*t together to get JSOQ or SOQ.
When I nomimated my JSOQ's and SOQ's for my division, it was like a pride thing to me. I knew my guys were the best, and I had to beat the other divisions (a pride thing to me) just so I could have my division Sailors picture on the quarter deck for 90 day (showing that my division was better than the rest).
The chain of event is this:
1. The Division Chief or LPO recognize the true "Front Runners" in their division.
2. We spend like 6 hours writing a JSOQ and/or SOQ nomination letter to the SOQ board.
3. The board review all write up's. The command wide LPO's review the JSOQ's, and the Division Chief's review the SOQ's. Most people think the write up will sell the Sailor, it doesn't. The write up is just like a resume, it just gets you in the door.
4. Then the board sets a date when to start the interview of the candidates. This is where the Sailor must shine. The JSOQ or SOQ reports in their class "A" uniform (Whites or Blues). He must be able to sell theirselves and answer questions not normally thought of. This is were the Sailors sink or swims. I've was at a board where I knew the Sailor would win because of the write up. However, he went to the board and said the wrong thing when asked "What do you think about gays in the military". He said something that I won't repeat here, but all of us board members were in shock. Making sure we heard what he said correctly, we ask him to explain his response in more detail, we were even more shocked. So it all comes down to them. If they can't talk the talk, or they look like crap, then they will never make it.
5. The board members then select who was the best fit for the Navy image.
6. Lastly, alot of Sailors think to be nominated for Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY) or Sailor of the Year (SOY) you must win the Sailor of the Quarter (either JSOQ or SOQ). Most of the time this is true, but it doesn't have to be. I had a really good Sailor who I put up for Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ). Since I was a the division chief (I was a E6, but I had position authority), I sat on the board. She lost the SOQ just by a hair. So when they were asking for SOY nominations, I put her in, even though I already had 1st and 3rd quarter SOQ winners. Why? Because she ended up earning her Masters and won a life saving medal after her board for SOQ. So she stood out more. She was much better at the end of they year than my orginal SOQ winners.... Again, it's a pride thing, and you have to have your division win... Well she won. Her picture with my division number was on the quarter deck for the entire year. Woo-hoo....
Sorry to be so wordy.... I just wanted you to know that you should be extremely proud of him... It's really hard to get and he should be recognised for his efforts....
Hopefully your sailor will share his experience about the process as well as pictures of his award presentation from his command.
Debbie, I just saw your post about the sailor of the quarter and year.....Don't ask me how I got there but boy am I glad I did. My son has received the sailor of the month 3 times and sailor of the quarter 1 time. He was just recently reccommened for sailor of the year. I didn't find out until way after the fact. He told me it was no big deal and did'nt say anything to me because he is not into the "awards" thing so much. I didn't understand any of it except it sounded wonderful. He sent me a copy of the recommendation letter for sailor of the year and was I impressed. First off I couldn't believe it was my son they were talking about. I was so proud!!!!!!! Still not understanding what it was all about.
Your post opened my eyes and gave me a better feeling about what is going on.....Thank you so much!! I even forwarded it to his dad to read.
Oh by the way he didn't get the sailor of the year. He said he was okay with it because the guy who got it was a friend and also an airman and was the one who first trained him.
How do we train these kids to tell us more? It's like pulling teeth to get info!!!
i just got a lettter from Tims commander he just recieved the Blue jacket award.im so proud of him he also got the nam award.now hes up for the year award...hes very hard working and deciated to his job....mom of a very proud Sailor Tim................
An enlisted person can get personal awards higher than a NA, its rare, but it happens. Also depends upon where you are stationed, such as at a Joint Command. Then its called a Joint Service Achievement Medal (JA), which takes precedence over the NA. (NAM is an old term, by the way, but it was used for so long that everyone still is use to using it), but for a junior Sailor to get a NA is quite a wonderful achievement.
BTW, YNs should try to get stationed at a Joint Command (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine personnel all at the same command, such as at the Pentagon), sometime during their career. Its a great opportunity! I loved it and got to serve under General Colin Powell when he was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Very cool!
Tim should make sure that his NA is entered into his service record and that it is entered into the Navy Awards website (NDAWS). Normally his servicing Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) should enter the award into his service record (page 4). And when his evaluation is due, they should mention the BJOQ (and year if he makes that) and receiving the NA. Possibly his admin office (or he may work in the command admin office and knows who works his command awards) should have access to NDAWS to enter his award.
Personal awards received are worth points to advancement tests, so its important that your Sailor's service record accurately reflects them. Tim should also make sure he keeps copies of all awards and, of course, display the original on his "I Love Me" wall!
My daughter was recently nominated to BJOG or Jr Sailor of the Quarter (Dec 15th, 08), can someone tell me how long it takes to go before the board or when they are notified they won? She is part of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, so does it all take the same time as on a ship? She is so modest, and I rarely get to hear from her Im dying to know what happens. Sorry Debbie and Judy not trying to rain on your parades, but I too recently ask this question. I must have posted in wrong area and didnt get much information back. Thanks so much everyone for having such wonderful Sailors!