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Chicago Native Named Pacific Submarine Force Sailor of the Year

By Chief Petty Officer Amanda Gray, Commander Submarine Forces Pacific | | April 15, 2020

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (April 15, 2020) – A Naval Submarine Support Center (NSSC) Pearl Harbor, Sailor was announced as the 2019 Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) Shore Sailor of the Year via Naval message, April 1.

Master-at-Arms 1st Class Will Finley, from Chicago, Illinois, was selected for his exemplary performance and sustained superior performance throughout 2019.

Having served in the Navy for 18 years, Finley’s previous commands include Naval Air Station Lemoore, Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Joint Forces Command Naples, Navy Region Southwest, Naval Air Forces, Atsugi, and he completed tours in Afghanistan and South Korea. He reported to NSSC Pearl Harbor in January 2018.

“I joined the Navy to help convince my brother to join,” said Finley. “Every command that I have been assigned to, I have worked hard and taken care of people. The submarine force works extremely hard, and they value and recognize hard work. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my chain of command. It was amazing seeing how many people believed in me, and seeing how much they value my contributions to the submarine force.”

Finley said he had many people to thank for helping him get to this point in his career, including his mentors and leadership at NSSC Pearl Harbor, and his family for their unwavering support.

"NSSC Pearl Harbor and the entire waterfront is fortunate to have a great team of dedicated, skilled professionals who are committed to supporting the Navy's submarine force," said Cmdr. John Killila, commanding officer of NSSC Pearl Harbor. "Although I am proud of the contributions of our entire command, I am especially pleased to honor Master-at-Arms 1st Class Finley as our Sailor of the Year. Every day I am humbled to work with dedicated professionals like him. Their accomplishments throughout 2019 exemplify the highest standards of service to our nation."

As the Shore Sailor of the Year for COMSUBPAC, he will move on to the next round of competition, which is the 2019 Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Sailor of the Year competition.

“I am grateful and honored to be named the COMSUBPAC Sailor of the Year, and I look forward to representing the command and the Pacific submarine force at the next phase of the competition,” said Finley.

Sailor of the Year is a time-honored tradition introduced in 1972 by Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet. This annual competition is held to recognize the superior performance of the top Sailors in the Navy, who exemplify professionalism and the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment.