Sailor of the Year Makes Chief


It’s been a good couple of months for HM1 (SW) Maria Decena-Taylor. In July she became the 2012 Sailor of the Year for Navy Times, and on Tuesday she found out that she made chief.

She’s the leading petty officer for the Directorate of Nursing Services at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va. and of her many responsibilities she’s in charge of getting young corpsmen at the hospital in track early in their career.

HM1 (SW) Maria Decena-Taylor picked up chief this week.

She has 19 years in, and this round was her last chance to pick up rank. If things didn’t work

out, she would have been forced out when she hit 20 years, much earlier than she would have preferred.  In an interview earlier this summer, she said she hope to eventually make senior chief or master chief.

Making E-7 has been a dream that became apparent in recruit training 19 years ago. In an interview earlier this summer, a sailor from her company recalled that during one of their boot camp classroom sessions whenever the various rank insignia were being discussed, no matter what image was shown to the class,  Decena-Taylor always saw a chief’s gold chevrons whether it was actually for an E-1 or O-7. Nearly two decades later, she’ll have her own set. Her father, a retired HMC himself, will pin on her rank at a ceremony next month. And it will officially make both dad and daughter the most senior sailors in a family full of corpsmen; both her husband and her sister are HM1s.


About Author


  1. Re. the Navy slogan, “A global force for good.” Ugh! Why not, “U.S. Navy — like ACORN, but with boats!”

    We are a fighting force. Forget that and we lose the next war.

Leave A Reply