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Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Kline is Commander Navy Region Europe’s sailor of the year.
Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Kline is Commander Navy Region Europe’s sailor of the year. (U.S. Navy)

NAPLES, Italy — His peers call him the bully. His boss calls him the total package. And as of Friday, Navy Region Europe started calling him sailor of the year.

But Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Kline said he’d just like to refer to himself as humbled and honored.

The 12-year Navy veteran received an announcement Friday from Rear Adm. Noel Preston, commander Navy Region Europe, that he’d been selected from four candidates to be the region’s sailor of the year.

“I was surprised, shocked and happy,” Kline said.

Next month, he’ll compete against 16 other regional winners for the Navy Installations Command’s accolade.

“He’s a sailor’s sailor. The total package,” said Lt. Mark Kern, the security officer at Naval Support Activity La Maddalena, Sardinia, where Kline works as a master-at-arms and the security department’s operations leading petty officer. Kline not only is top in his job, but also makes sure his shipmates are proficient in reaching goals, Kern said.

Kline said he’s a U.S. sailor 24-7, whether on the job or off.

“I always carry myself, whether on or off duty, with pride, and I make sure I look my best,” said Kline, whose imposing stature of 6 feet 3 inches, 245-pounds earned him his peer-given nickname. “I give 110 percent of myself at work and off the job.”

Kline’s family is his hobby, he said. Work takes up a major chunk of his time, but when he’s able he dedicates as much time as possible to wife Jeanette, 8-year-old son Cameron and 6 year-old daughter Cortney.

The other candidates for CNRE sailor of the year were Petty Officer 1st Class Angel Prado, from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily; Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Graham, from Naval Station Rota, Spain; and Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Brancato, from Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland.


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