VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- High honors for some local sailors.

They were picked from 25,000 of their peers, as Commander Naval Surface Force Atlantic Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year.

The big winners were Electronic Technician 1st Class Joseph Bennett and Operational Specialist 1st Class Ciria Howe.

Bennett is at sea with the USS Truxtun and unable to attend the ceremony at Little Creek, but Howe was there.

Operational Specialist 1st Class Ciria Howe

"It's mind-blowing," she said about the honor. "I'm so excited. I just feel so blessed to be here. I feel I can't even put it into words."

Petty Officer Howe says she hopes to one day become the Navy's first female MCPON -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.