Cole Tankersley, of Hillsboro, was named the Shore Sailor of the Year for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

COURTESY PHOTO - Hillsboro resident Cole K. Tankersley, left, was named the Shore Sailor of the Year for the Pacific Fleet last month. A construction mechanic with the Navy, he and fellow sailor of the year Latoya Farrish, right, received awards in Hawaii last month for their outstanding service to the Navy.A Washington County man has been named an outstanding member of the U.S. Navy.

Last month, construction mechanic first class Cole Tankersley, of Hillsboro, was named the Shore Sailor of the Year for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Tankersley received the award at a ceremony in Honolulu, Hawaii, on March 23, along with sea sailor of the year Latoya Farrish, of South Carolina.

"These sailors here this week represent the best that the Navy has to offer," U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief James Honea said in a news release. "I feel honored and privileged to serve with sailors of this quality."

Tankersley was named sailor of the year by Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

According to the Navy, the two winners were selected from more than a dozen finalists. Sailors were evaluated by boards of senior enlisted personnel at each level of command.

"It's a roller coaster," Tankersley said. "All of the emotional ups and downs, all the while being under such tremendous pressure, has resulted in one of the greatest learning experiences of my career."

Before the March 23 award ceremony, the finalists toured Pearl Harbor, including the memorials for the Battleship Missouri and the U.S.S. Arizona, where they laid a wreath to honor the sailors killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Navy has named a Sailor of the Year since 1972 to recognize service members who "best represent the group of dedicated professional sailors at each command and, ultimately, in the Navy," according to the news release.

Tankersley represents Marine Corp Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. He will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Chief of Naval Operations' Shore Sailor of the Year competition later this year.

"This is the result of the support from my family, my command, and the sailors who work under me," Tankersley said. "It validates the years of hard work, support and sacrifice made by myself and everyone who has helped get me here today."

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