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 him at the pinnacle of today’s newest Sailors; he was awarded a flag letter of commendation for his achievements.

GREAT LAKES, Ill. - November 21, 2018.-  Seaman Recruit Andrew Saucedo, a San Antonio native, graduated as top Sailor from Recruit Training Command, Division 012, earning the Military Excellence Award.

Saucedo said he is proud to be a recipient of the MEA. 

"I believe those who have chosen me for this award have set a standard for me while pursing my career within the military," Saucedo said. "In my time in the military, I will be reminded that I have a responsibility to give my best at all times.”

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 him at the pinnacle of today’s newest Sailors; he was awarded a flag letter of commendation for his achievements.

Saucedo, 25, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas in 2015, where he was a member of the football team.

Saucedo said he joined the Navy to learn new job skills and to show his appreciation.

“Growing up, I wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement," Saucedo said. "I realized the military would give me the skills and prepare me for the possible encounters that come along in that line of work. I also feel that as a man, I owe it my friends, family and all those who have served to give my time and efforts back.”

Saucedo credited his Recruit Division Commanders, Chief Machinist’s Mate Luis SanchezTorres, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Carlouie Claro, and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Juan Ticona for their leadership and guidance.

Saucedo said his father, Dennis H. Saucedo, raised him and his siblings to be disciplined and to have respect for the military. 

“I always admired my father for his relentless hard work and admiration for our military heroes,” he said. “My father knew that being part of a team and competing with individuals always drove me to do better. Growing up, he would mention that the military would be a good place for me to grow and develop, I have always kept that in mind throughout my adolescence. I did not know what to expect, but the men and women I have come across at RTC, such as my RDCs doing the day-to-day job of training myself and my shipmates, reminds me why I am proud to be a part of the Navy.”

Saucedo said the toughest part of boot camp was learning leadership.

“Knowing when to lead and when to back off and let others lead can be challenging when you have so many different personalities in one room,” he said. “Being humble is a necessity. I believe that has been one important aspect I learned here at RTC; it is how to be a better leader.”

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 30,0000 recruits graduate annually from RTC and begin their Navy careers.

Saucedo is assigned the rate of hospital corpsman. After graduation, Saucedo will attend Hospital Corpsman “A” School in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, where he will learn basic principles and techniques of patient care and first-aid procedures. 

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