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Pacific edition, Thursday, August 30, 2007

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Five Japan-based sailors were selected recently for the 2007 Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award.

Petty Officer 1st Class Kim Johnson, a hull technician stationed aboard the USS Blue Ridge; Petty Officer 1st Class Damiaen Williams, an instructor at Afloat Training Group Western Pacific; Senior Chief Petty Officer Willie Robinson from the Yokosuka-based cruiser USS Shiloh; and Lt. j.g. Kevin Bacon and Lt. Cmdr. Juan Gutierrez from the Sasebo-based amphibious assault ship USS Essex were among the award recipients.

“Recipients were selected by their peers for exhibiting the highest levels of excellence in leadership,” according to a naval message from Naval Surface Forces commander Vice Adm. Terrance Etnyre. The packages were compiled and submitted by those who work with the nominees.

Bacon said he was surprised to find out he had won the award.

“I am just doing my job,” Bacon said. “I am ... very honored, especially since the nomination came from my peers and the people that I am charged to lead.”

While leadership styles vary, Williams suggests watching other leaders and then “develop your own style based on what you see.”

Williams said knowing what needs to be done is one thing, but bringing that knowledge to the fleet is what is important.

Recipients of the award receive a large bronze statue of an eagle in flight and a certificate from the Navy and Marine Association, a nonprofit organization.

Sailors stationed on ships and at afloat training groups were eligible to be nominated for the award. Marines were eligible for nomination at the operating forces regiment-group or headquarters-unit level.

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