News: Corpsman carries on ‘family tradition’
Story by Lance Cpl. Joey Mendez
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Family traditions and heritage are like blood – passed down from one generation to the next.
For Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jamie C. Harris, a hospital corpsman with 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, and native of Knoxville, Tenn., service in the medical field is his heritage.
“My whole family works or has worked in the medical field, so it’s always been something that interest me. It’s kind of a family tradition,” said Harris. “My cousin was a corpsman with 2nd and 4th Reconnaissance Battalion. I have an uncle who was an Army medic and most women in my family are nurses.”
While attending emergency medical technician school, he felt torn regarding his next step in life. The decision to either become a United States Marine or continue his education by attend nursing school troubled him.
“So I spoke to my cousin about my dilemma, and he explained how he spent his whole career with the Marines while working in a medical field and how being a corpsman is the perfect solution to the fork in the road I was facing,” Harris said.
So Harris took his cousin’s advice and enlisted in the Navy in December of 2008.
Since then, he has deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, once with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, and the other with Bravo Company, 2nd Tank Bn. Because of his contributions while deployed with 2nd Tank Bn., Harris was awarded the Chief Hospital Corpsman George William “Doc” Piercy award at the Marine Corps League Enlisted Awards Sept. 25, 2013.
During the deployment, he took charge as the senior corpsman, which made him responsible for a crew of three other corpsmen. He then supervised medical care on a base of 500 Marines and sailors.
“He is easily the most passionate person here, and he really cares about his job, said Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Simons, the leading petty officer for 2nd Tank Battalion Aid Station, from Palmyra, Ohio. “He will jump through any hoop to get the job done.”
Harris really enjoys being a corpsman and loves to work with Marines.
“I am very proud to be in the Hospital Corps especially serving on green side. Being a (2nd Marine Division) corpsman was what I came in the Navy to do and I would not choose anything else over it,” added Harris.
His fellow corpsmen follow the example and enthusiasm Harris displays and his love of taking care of Marines.
“He embodies what being a corpsman really means,” Simons said.