Photo Information

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Sara Freeman, with 8th Engineer Support battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group and a native of Ballston, New York, poses for a photo on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, June 17, 2024. The Sailor of the Year program recognizes the best Sailors throughout the fleet and awards the selectees with meritorious advancement to Chief Petty Officer. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Meshaq Hylton)

Photo by Cpl. Meshaq Hylton

2nd MLG Sailor earns U.S. Fleet Forces Sea Sailor of the Year, Meritoriously Advances to Chief Petty Officer

26 Jun 2024 | Capt. Nicole McDougall 2nd Marine Logistics Group

U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Sara A. Freeman, a hospital corpsman with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG), was selected as the U.S. Fleet Forces 2023 Sea Sailor of the Year.

Selected from a competitive pool of 125,000 Sailors, Freeman competed and won rigorous boards at 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, and Marine Forces Command before her ultimate selection as Sea Sailor of the Year.

During 2023, Freeman served as the Leading Petty Officer for 8th ESB’s Battalion Aid Station where she played a pivotal role in ensuring medical readiness that enabled Marines and Sailors to deploy worldwide. She was responsible for the daily operations of the Health Service Support section, ensuring good order and discipline, personnel administration, and training. She was often called upon to provide counsel to leadership on medical readiness issues, and Navy Medicine policies.
Freeman’s leadership praised her exceptional accomplishments, leadership prowess, and adept management of multiple programs beyond her regular duties.

"Petty Officer Freeman is a motivating leader that embodies professionalism and expertise well above her paygrade," said Brigadier General Michael E. McWilliams, Commanding General, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. "She is an exceptional program manager and resonates as a top-tier leader amongst peers and junior Sailors."

Outside of her normal responsibilities, Freeman held several critical collateral duties at her battalion, including Suicide Prevention Officer, Combat and Operational Stress Control Representative, and Equal Opportunity Representative. As 2nd MLG Enlisted Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist (EFMFWS) Coordinator, she also led and evaluated Sailors of 2nd MLG in their pursuit of the EFMFWS designation, which signifies each Sailor has achieved a level of excellence and proficiency while serving in the Fleet Marine Force.

Freeman says that behind her effort lies a deep gratitude for the U.S. Navy, the current Sailors in her unit, and mentors along the way that transformed her life. She now strives to live up to the expectations from past and present mentors by teaching and guiding her Sailors to see past their preconceived limits. She recently enacted the “Shipmate of the Month’” program at her unit, which recognizes Sailors that go above and beyond in their duties.

"During this entire process, it was a reminder of mentors who have since passed," she said. "They changed the trajectory of my life as a whole, not just my career."

When asked what she would tell a Sailor who wanted to become the Sea Sailor of the Year, she said that finding an authentic leadership method is the most important factor in her success.

"Don’t be like me; be like you," she advised. "Hard work, dedication, and learning what leadership style works for you is the key to being successful."

With this accolade, Petty Officer First Class Freeman was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and will be meritoriously advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer upon completion of Chief Petty Officer Season.