Miami Native Earns Military Excellence Award at Recruit Training Command

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by Alan Nunn, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. – Seaman Recruit Annais L. Roman, a 2011 Everglades High School in Miramar, Florida, graduate and native of Miami, Florida, graduated as top Sailor from Recruit Training Command, Division 185, earning the Military Excellence Award on April 26.

Roman said winning the MEA reinforces her commitment to hard work and persistence.

“In other aspects of my life, I may have not reached certain levels or goals that I set for myself,” Roman said. “But it did not deter me. It pushed me to work even harder and strive for better and in doing so, when your time comes you will be rewarded. Winning this award means just that for me.”

The Navy Club of the United States Military Excellence Award is the top award presented to the No. 1 recruit of their graduating training group. The MEA is awarded to the recruit that best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military bearing and teamwork. The award placed her at the pinnacle of today’s newest sailors. Roman was awarded a flag letter of commendation for her achievements. 

Roman, 25, was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dance at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She held the rank of major in the Hialeah-Miami Lakes Sr. High Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. 

Roman said she joined the Navy to challenge herself.

“I joined the Navy because I know I have characteristics and untapped potential a normal civilian life will not be able to bring out of me,” Roman said. “The Navy will be sure to test me physically and mentally.”

Roman credited her Recruit Division Commanders, Chief Machinist’s Mate Julian Miles, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Delyn Scott, and Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class Kristoffer Hipolito for their leadership and guidance.

Her father, Abuid Roman, has been a source of inspiration during her brief Navy career.

“My biggest motivation coming into boot camp was my dad,” Roman said. “He served in the Marines and was another big part in my decision to join the Navy. The day upon leaving for RTC, I called him. Even though it was a short conversation, the thing that resonated most and carried me through boot camp was him saying, ‘I know you’re going to get through this. You are strong and when times get tough, don’t forget you are a Roman. Romans can do anything.’

Being apart from her family was the toughest part of boot camp for Roman. 

“I am one of six children, I talk to my family nearly every day,” Roman said. “Boot camp is a place where you have to be strong and my family is my weakness. For this reason, I actually didn’t write one a single letter home. I feel if I did, it would have broken my focus and I wouldn’t have been as successful as I was because I would have been thinking of home.” 

Boot camp is approximately eight weeks and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control along with lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. More than 35,0000 recruits are trained annually at RTC and begin their Navy careers.

Roman is assigned the rate of operations specialist.

After graduation, Roman will attend the Operations Specialist “A” School at Great Lakes, Illinois. Operations Specialists function as plotters, radio-telephone and Command and sound-powered telephone talkers and maintain Combat Information Center displays of strategic and tactical information. They operate surveillance and altitude radars Identification Friend or Foe, and associated equipment. They also serve as Air Traffic Controllers for helicopters and fixed-wing supersonic jet aircraft.

For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/rtc/