Washington, DC - The Navy selected four outstanding servicewomen as the Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award winners as announced in NAVADMIN today.

After a thorough review of more than 150 nominees, the awards board announced the 2014 recipients of the Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Petty Officer Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award recipients:

Lt. Cmdr. Pamela Klepac-Tulensru, medical officer in charge of the Expeditionary Medical Facility, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in the senior officer category;

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Vanderla Akaka, training standards officer and training liaison officer, Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in the junior officer category;

Command Master Chief Cynthia Patterson, senior enlisted leader for Strategic Communications Wing 1, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in the senior enlisted category; and

Yeoman 1st Class Shanika Jones, leading petty officer for Navigation and Administrative departments, on board USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), homeported San Diego, in the junior enlisted category.

"It was awe-inspiring to read about these great Sailors, who make the impossible possible, and turn challenges into opportunities," said Chief Quartermaster Daniel Duenas, awards board member. "The amount of dedication and motivation these Sailors have was massively impressive and humbling."

Each package was graded on the criteria of professional accomplishments, character, command climate/equal opportunity, leadership, and community involvement. As detailed in their nomination packages, the award winners went above and beyond in each of these categories, exhibiting extraordinary service.

"It was an honor to be a part of the selection process for the Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Awards," said Command Master Chief Rita Carman, awards board member. "As we reviewed the packages in each category, we were able to get a quick glance of what amazing things our Sailors are doing on every level. The dedication to the Navy and the community was very evident in all the hard work that they put in each and every day, as well as the extra mile they choose to give to constantly improve our Navy and help other Sailors to succeed. The selections were not easy to make with so many amazing candidates."

The Capt. Joy Bright Hancock Leadership Awards are presented annually to one senior and one junior officer and the Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Awards are presented annually to one senior and one junior enlisted service member. The Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Awards honor the visionary leadership of Navy service members whose ideals and dedication foster a positive working environment while reinforcing and furthering the integration of women into the Navy.

Established in 1987, these awards are presented annually, to recognize the inspirational leadership of Navy officers and enlisted Sailors on active or Reserve duty.

"The servicewomen for whom the awards are named, played a significant role in our [women's] ability to serve in a wide range of occupations and leadership roles today," said Cmdr. Christine Caston, senior awards board member. "The awards were named after two incredibly resilient and unwavering women."

The two award namesakes were Navy trailblazers, both reaching new heights for women within their naval careers, laying the foundation for other women to follow. The officer awards are named in honor of Capt. Joy Bright-Hancock, who served as a yeoman during World War I and later became a commissioned officer during World War II. In 1946, Bright-Hancock became the director of Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and was instrumental in ensuring Navy women achieved the same standing as their active-duty male counterparts. The enlisted awards are named in honor of Master Chief Yeoman Anna Der-Vartanian, the first woman in any of the U.S. Armed Services to be promoted to the rank of E-9.