By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ernest R. Scott, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 2 Public AffairsNORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- A helicopter instructor pilot from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 2 was selected as the Navy's Woman of the Year honoree for the USO of Metropolitan New York, May 2.
Lt. Janis Harrington was one of five female service members - one from each branch of the armed forces - who received the award in commemoration of their dedication, achievements, and service to the country.
"It's been very humbling," said Harrington, who was surprised by her selection. "I was just doing my job and I am grateful for this opportunity I've been given."
Harrington, a self-proclaimed "Marine Brat," believes her leadership ability developed early in her career with assistance from her father, a retired master sergeant in the Marine Corps.
"I learned a lot from my Dad," said Harrington. "He told me to rely on my Chief and take care of my Sailors when in charge. I did what he said and I did what I felt was right; but I never thought I'd be honored like this."
May 11, 2011, Harrington deployed with Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW) 8 for the maiden voyage of aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). During this time, Harrington provided vertical replenishment (VERTREP) for Carrier Strike Group Two (CSG 2) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Here, Harrington applied the lessons learned from her father and gained valuable new skill sets that would further shape her leadership ability.
"My leadership through flight school, my first fleet command and [HSC-2] has taught me how to carry myself as a lieutenant in the Navy," said Harrington. "They taught me how to take care of my peers and my junior Sailors."
The USO held its 47th USO Woman of the Year Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. The USO also honored a senior female military officer and presented five Military Leadership Awards to female service members from each branch of the armed forces, highlighting their incredible stories of exceptional bravery and grace under the most extreme conditions.