Sailor of the Year

Before she was named the U.S. Navy’s 2017 Shore Sailor of the Year last spring, Chief Legalman Jean Yusten ’08 adopted a mantra: no excuses.

Based in Naples, Italy, Yusten had excelled within her command, earning honors that eventually qualified her for the Navy-wide Sailor of the Year competition. At first, she wasn’t sure she could win. Then she had a breakthrough.

“I realized I was only limiting myself by my own excuses,” she says.

Military service wasn’t always Yusten’s plan. After graduating with a theatre degree from Northwestern, she began working at a bank call center. “I only lasted three months before I started looking for a new job,” she says.

Yusten saw a Navy recruitment ad targeted toward women and signed up.

At first, Yusten saw it as an opportunity to travel the world and serve her country. Since then, her vision of service has expanded.

“I’m serving every single person who’s around me,” says Yusten, who works with judge advocates on operational and administrative law.

Having won Shore Sailor of the Year, Yusten now has another goal in mind: master chief petty officer, the top enlisted position in the Navy.

 “Only one percent gets it,” she says before claiming her mantra. No excuses.