2008 navy Times
Honorable Mentions

PS1 Amy Mello

Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command

When Personnel Specialist 1st Class Amy Mello sees a need—at home, in her community or in the fleet—she meets it.

Her husband, Curtis, notes the "amazing" job his wife does raising their two sons, one of whom has autism. She volunteers in her son's special education class and helps his teacher with projects. And to support other children with special needs, she created the nonprofit Puzzled Parents, helping families navigate resources.

In her role as leading petty officer for the manpower department, the full-time support sailor helps match the right people with the right job.

Mello's department head, Lt. Cmdr. Christine Pickett, praised the petty officer's organization and planning skills, noting her " 'never say die' spirit that inspires others to reach her level of humility, poise and compassion."

AO1 Melissa Hubenak

Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base New Orleans

When asked to describe Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Melissa Hubenak, senior enlisted members in her command use the words "leader," "mentor" and "best of the best."

As leading petty officer for the base's weapons division, the full-time support sailor motivates many sailors new to the fleet. Senior Chief Air Traffic Controller Joseph Stone, the operations department's leading chief petty officer, praised her work in molding a group of raw recruits into a cohesive, efficient unit. He also noted that under her direction, the weapons division received a passing grade on its explosive safety inspection for the first time in six years.

Hubenak also is helping her community recover from 2005's Hurricane Katrina. She led a group of 30 sailors who demolished a storm-damaged home and helped rebuild facilities for Rescue Ranch, which cares for abused horses.