By Seaman Katrina Mastrolia, USS Constitution Public Affairs
Seaman Jaida Williams, of the USS Constitution, received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal presented by the Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite during a ceremony aboard the ship Jan. 8.
Williams has served in the Navy for two years. She reported to Constitution in 2019 after recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois.
Active-duty Sailors stationed aboard Constitution provide free tours and offer public visitation to more than 600,000 people each year as they support the ship’s mission of promoting the Navy’s history, maritime heritage, and raising awareness of the importance of a sustained naval presence.
Williams was recognized for exceptional meritorious duty while serving as a vital member of Old Ironsides’ rigging team for the 22nd annual Chief Naval Operations Heritage Weeks. Williams trained 185 newly selected chief petty officers and 65 chief mentors in 19th century maritime sailing techniques, ensuring the Navy’s next deck plate leaders were well versed in early U.S. Navy origins.
“That’s why it is so important what you do,” said Braithwaite. “You have created a bridge from the past to the present. For all that those who have gone before you have done to create the honor and glory of the greatest Navy and Marine Corps the world has ever known. At this point, at this time, it is now your job. You have the watch.”
The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces that shows professional achievement that exceeds that which is normally required or expected, considering the individual’s grade or rate, training, and experience.
“Not many Seaman receive a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, let alone one from the Secretary of the Navy,” said Williams. “Words can’t explain how appreciative, honored and grateful I am to be able to experience this.”