A Center for Information Dominance Pensacola Sailor was selected as the 2009 Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year last week.
CID instructor Cryptologic Technician Technical 1st Class (SW/AW) Cassandra Foote was recognized by CNO Adm. Gary Roughead in a Navy message.
"The competition was extremely keen and characterized the high caliber of Sailors serving ashore throughout the world," Roughead wrote. "Finalists represented their commands impressively and can be proud of their significant achievement."
Foote bested other candidates, including finalists Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jessica H. Byard, from Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Steven T. Roberson, from Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Oluyinka O. Adefisan, from the office of the vice chief of naval operations.
"All the candidates I've met have been the best of the best," Foote said. "They are all really amazing Sailors."
CID leadership lauded Foote's selection.
"This is an incredible accomplishment," said CID Commanding Officer Capt. Gary Edwards, "and I am proud to have her on our team."
According to CID Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Christopher J. Thompson, Foote's recognition is one of the highlights of his career.
"Out of the 29 years I have served in the Navy, I've seen a lot of great things, but to see one of my Sailors at my command get selected as CNO Shore Sailor of the Year was the best day of my naval career," he said.
Foote was born and raised in Vergennes, a small, close-knit community where everyone knows one another.
"We are proud of her for sure," Vergennes City Manager Mel Hawley said.
Retired Vergennes Union High School English Teacher Ann Sullivan fondly remembered Foote, whom she referred to as "Cassy" both around the community and as a student.
"I am just so thrilled," Sullivan said. "You just can't imagine."
Sullivan said she remembered seeing Foote nearly every day, because she and her husband would often eat breakfast at the diner that Foote's mother managed.
"Cassy was a good student because she worked really hard," Sullivan said. "She had a great work ethic that she learned from her mother"
Foote reported to Electronic Warfare "A" School at then-Naval Technical Training Center (NTTC) Corry Station Corry Station (now CID Corry Station) in September 2001, following boot camp.
After "A" school, her first assignment was aboard USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81). In 2003, she reported to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
In August 2006 she reported to CID Detachment Corry Station as a shipboard ops instructor and battalion leading petty officer.
Foote, who qualified as a master training specialist in 2007, now instructs in the same building where she attended "A" School five years earlier.
"There's a lot of history in those walls," Foote said. "It's where cryptology was born and that's where it's always been."
During her time at CID, she also served for eight months in Qatar as an individual augmentee (IA) with various Army units.
Like so many times before in the Navy, Foote wondered what she had gotten herself into, but listened closely to her supervisors and did her best.
"I was a little nervous at first," Foote said. "It was definitely an eye-opener regarding how the different services work and how they work together. I really learned a lot about joint operations. It was really a satisfying duty."
Foote will travel to Washington, D.C., in July to be recognized for her selection as the CNO Shore Sailor of the Year. Recognition will include meritorious advancement to chief petty officer and awarding of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
"It's an honor to be chosen as Sailor of the Year," Foote said. "I'm representing my guys, my shop and my command. I wish they could be there with me [to represent CID]. One-hundred percent without a doubt I could never have made it without them."
Foote was honored by the people she has known her entire life, her friends, family and residents of Vergennes.
She was selected by the town to represent them as the grand marshall for the city's annual Memorial Day Parade.
Foote seems a bit overcome by all the fuss her friends, family and shipmates are making about her selection as the 2009 CNO Shore SOY.
"I don't cure cancer, I don't do anything amazing," Foote said. "I just come to work and do my job. What can I say? I love the Navy."