Miami native, Killian grad named ship’s Junior Sailor of the Year

Miami native, Killian grad named ship's Junior Sailor of the Year
Petty Officer Third Nicholas Henao

Petty Officer Third Nicholas Henao, a native of Miami, recently was named USS John Paul Jones Junior Sailor of the Year.

Junior Sailor of the Year is awarded to a Sailor who exemplifies outstanding leadership and superior performance by going above and beyond their assigned job.

Henao joined the Navy three years ago for the benefits the military provides.

“I joined the Navy because I saw it as an opportunity to travel for free and get a free education,” Henao said.

Today, Henao serves as a boatswain’s mate aboard USS John Paul Jones, a guided missle destroyer.

“What I like best about being a boatswain’s mate is how we always seem to accomplish the impossible,” Henao said.

Growing up in Miami, Henao attended Miami Killian Senior High School and graduated in 2018. Today, he relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Miami to succeed in the military.

“Back in Miami, I did Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC),” Henao said. “That gave me a head start on the military.”

Henao uses the same skills learned in JROTC while serving aboard USS John Paul Jones.

USS John Paul Jones is a multi-mission guided missile destroyer designed to operate independently, or as a unit of a carrier or expeditionary strike group or a missile defense action group in multi-threat environments that include air, surface, and subsurface threats.

USS John Paul Jones will respond to low intensity conflict, coastal and littoral offshore warfare as well as open ocean conflict providing or augmenting power projection, forward presence requirements, and escort operations at sea.

Serving in the Navy means Henao is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy contributes to national defense by keeping our international waters safe,” Henao said.

There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers.

“My proudest moment in the Navy is when I raised over $10,000 as Junior Enlisted Association president,” Henao said.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Henao, as well as other Sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of Sailors who will follow.

“Serving in the Navy means the world to me,” Henao added. “My life revolves around helping others.”

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