Caroline native and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st class William Brown won sailor of the Year for Alaska on Feb. 20. A 2002 graduate of Caroline High School, he commends his home county for making him who he is.
According to Brown, some 50 members of the Navy are permanently stationed on the ground in alaska. Five submitted packages of their accomplishments.
“Brown stood out for his off-duty education and especially for his persistent and extensive involvement and leadership in community youth activities,” stated Senior Master Sgt. John Jennings, Alaskan Command Joint Communications Operations superintendent.
Brown was awarded for his ability to juggle many hats as a navy administrator, coach, volunteer and student.
He coaches baseball at a local high school in Anchorage as head coach for junior varsity and assistant for varsity. Last summer he coached their American Legion baseball team, traveling with them around Alaska.
“I volunteered at the Boys and Girls club for three months, mentoring teams and guiding them in their paths of whether they want to go to school, the military, etc.,” Brown said, adding that he also put in “some Habitat for Humanity time. It is nice to be outside, building for the less fortunate.”
He is working toward a degree in Business Administration, and all of this on top of his full-time navy job.
He chose the navy as a less expensive alternative to school and because the traveling made it attractive.
“As you start to travel, you want to go more and more places,” Brown said. “It is cool to be able to get out and see the world.”
Before being stationed in Alaska, he was in Japan, Cuba, Hawaii and California. In all of his postings, he coached baseball, softball and soccer.
Even after all the globe trotting, he still has a soft spot for Caroline. His mother, sister and other family members still live in Ladysmith.
“I have had some good experiences in Caroline. It molded me. The best part was high school,” Brown said. “Playing sports and getting through classes basically put me where I am now.”
He graduated 17th in his class and was a member of the National Honor Society. He played on the 2001 AA State Runner-Up Basketball team for Caroline High.
Brown has been in service for 13 years, and plans on carrying out 20 years. Throughout his career, he has had a number of off-shore stints: fighting fires, refueling helicopters and reviewing and navigating ships.
“If I am doing 30 days in a row at sea, after those 30 days, if I can pull into somewhere like Korea or Dubai for just three days and get two days off, those 30 days were worth it,” Brown said.
Brown says he is not burnt out yet and does not plan to be. He is always looking to accomplish more, possibly moving up to navy Chief Officer.
By Bridget Douglas CP Reporter