NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana --
NEW ORLEANS – Marine Forces Reserve
announced the recipients of the 2015 MARFORRES Sailor of the Year award for the
active and Reserve components.
Petty Officer 1st Class (Fleet
Marine Force) Argenis Mendoza, a hospital corpsman with Surgical Company B, 4th
Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve, and
HM1(FMF) Manuel Reyes of Headquarters Squadron, Marine Aircraft Group 49, 4th
Marine Aircraft Wing, MARFORRES, were selected as MARFORRES’ top Sailors in the
Reserve and active components, respectively.
Every year, Navy commands across
the globe select a Sailor whom they feel best embodies and exceeds the Navy’s
standards of leadership and technical proficiency. Sailors nominated by their
major subordinate commands compete in a board selection process that includes
“We look for the best of the
qualified Sailors, sustained superior performance, mission accomplishment,” said
MARFORRES Command Master Chief Petty Officer Christopher Kotz. “The Sailors we
select for Sailor of the Year embody the attributes we want all our Sailors to
Mendoza, the Reserve component
winner, has served as the leading petty officer for his unit, providing
day-to-day capabilities despite officially drilling only once a month. Reyes,
the active component winner, has been successfully filling a higher-ranking
billet, exceeding the expectations set by his unit commander and his major
subordinate command senior enlisted leader, ensuring his Sailors maintained
readiness standards while maximizing their unit’s mission accomplishment.
“I feel very honored to be given
this award, and to represent MARFORRES as the active-duty Sailor of the Year,
even though it is a humbling experience,” Reyes said.
Reyes and Mendoza were selected as
award recipients after being nominated by their major subordinate commands.
“It’s a great feeling to be recognized,”
Mendoza said. “You don’t realize how important it is to be recognized until it
Mendoza, a native of Herndon, Virginia,
enlisted in the Navy July 11, 2001, and served on active duty from 2001 to
2006. Mendoza joined the Naval Reserve component in 2006.
“I really just wanted to serve my
country,” Mendoza said. “I chose to become a corpsman because I heard that the
medical field had great applications in the civilian sector as well.”
During his stint as an active-duty
Sailor, Mendoza was stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda,
Maryland, and deployed to the Horn of Africa in 2005. After he joined the
Reserve, he deployed to Fallujah, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, from August 2007 to March
2008. Now, as a civilian, Mendoza works as an operating room business manager at
a major hospital in northern Virginia.
“Working in the medical field,
especially as a corpsman, is very challenging and fulfilling work,” Mendoza
said. “In the military, I learned about the importance of integrity and quality
in your work. You either do the right thing, or don’t do it at all.”
For Reyes, an active-duty medical
group chief and native of Payette, Idaho, enlisting was a chance at a better
life and career. He enlisted in the Navy Aug. 4, 2004, and has been stationed
in Pennsylvania, California, and Washington, and was deployed to Afghanistan in
April 2010. Reyes is now stationed at Joint Base McGuire/Dix Lakehurst, New Jersey.
“I love the medical field, and I
worked as a certified nurse’s assistant prior to enlisting,” Reyes said “Being
a corpsman furthered my ability to help people, and to make an impact on people’s
Reyes said the biggest benefit from
his service in the Navy is learning to function as an independent operator, due
to his experience being stationed at a Marine Corps Reserve unit, in addition
to his deployment as an individual augmentee to Afghanistan.
According to Kotz, rewarding exceptional
Sailors gives their peers a chance to learn from their accomplishments.
“These Sailors display sound
leadership skills, good judgement and excellent uniform appearance; they are
qualified in Fleet Marine Force warfare, and who take the time to mentor their
junior Sailors both inside and outside of the work day,” Kotz said. “I would
say the biggest attributes that Mendoza and Reyes embody is that they are
humble in these responsibilities. They don’t do this for their career; they do
this for their Sailors.”
Mendoza and Reyes will be presented
with their awards later this year. For more information about the Sailor of the
Year award program, please reference Marine Forces Reserve Force Order 1700.4B.