News: Golden on the green side: 1/3 corpsman named MARFORPAC Sailor of the Year
Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder
Cramped in a small room within the stark, gray halls of the 3rd Marines’ Regimental Aid Station, a quiet hospital corpsman diligently attends to his duties. Though the uncomfortable mid-day mugginess plagues his office, Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Jenkins works comfortably, his brow remaining untouched by sweat.
While the environment is modest, it is the classroom where the White Cloud, Mich., native, has labored and grown. In recognition of his leadership and success, Jenkins, the leading petty officer of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Battalion Aid Station, was selected as the 2010 Sailor of the Year for U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Feb. 25.
Prior to this selection, Jenkins was recognized as Sailor of the Year for 1/3; 3rd Marine Regiment; 3rd Marine Division and III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“Whether in garrison or in combat, Jenkins’ positive can-do attitude has set him apart,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Bradley Weiss, leading chief petty officer, 3rd Marine Regiment Aid Station. “His maturity and professionalism have helped him progress faster than most sailors, and made his presence apparent across the whole Fleet Marine Force in Kaneohe Bay. Jenkins will do the right thing for every sailor, whether people are watching or not.”
Drawing on the experience of his father and the leadership he has served under, Jenkins said he has tried to emulate them and seek their guidance by “closing my mouth and opening my ears.”
“My approach to leadership is not to focus on what I’ve done myself, but on what I’ve been able to do for the people who work around me,” Jenkins said. “In raising other leaders, I strive to set the standard for them to follow, which allows them to mentor and enrich the lives of their juniors and peers. From here, you take one great leader and multiply him by many.”
While spending time with his sailors and working to provide them tools for success, like educational resources online, Jenkins has helped his sailors learn to lead and be lead — matching mentors with protégés, and vice versa.
“I can learn everything in this world, but someday the Navy will sail on without me,” Jenkins said. “Everything I know and learn, I want to pass on to someone who can carry it further.”
While Jenkins’ thirst to better his sailors has benefited them in everyday garrison life, these benefits have manifested far beyond the confines of the base.
During Jenkins’ deployment to Nawa district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, with 1/3 from November 2009 to June 2010, Weiss said he “integrated with his Marines and became a vital part of their team, even when it came to setting up a combat outpost.”
In country, Jenkins labored to perform his duties as a corpsman, but rose over and above simply
completing his regular tasks. On duty, he worked to move medical assets closer to the front lines, worked with higher commands to streamline the ordering and reception of combat medical equipment, and identified and mended deficiencies of medical logistics within his area of operation.
“Although Jenkins has never been trained to be a Marine, his leadership ability and pride to get things done helped him excel on the deployment,” said Weiss, from Redwood Falls, Minn. “He used every opportunity he had to make a positive impact and do the right thing, even in remote locations in Afghanistan.”
Jenkins also worked to equip Marines, sailors, and members of the Afghan National Army with emergency life saving classes, and provided dental treatment classes to children and adults from within the local population of Nawa district. When his tasks were completed, he volunteered his time to help his fellow Marines and sailors, dedicating his time to patrols, assisting the chaplain, and distributing care packages.
“Jenkins is exceptional at balancing the operational requirements and the needs of his sailors,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Noyes, a hospital corpsman with 1/3.
“He displays both a depth of knowledge about the Navy and Marine Corps, and a genuine concern for his men that has been vital to our success,” said Noyes, of Burlington, Mass. “It’s clear to me that his own success as a leader was drawn from his concise and readily accessible knowledge, which I’ve been aspiring to since we met.”
Even amidst his success, Jenkins bears a quiet, calculated confidence built on his experiences in garrison and combat, and resolute in the importance of his mission.
“I love what I do because I’m following a long and proud tradition of Navy warriors that have set a high standard for us to follow,” Jenkins said. “It has increased my motivation to understand that every little thing we do back here supports the effort of our deployed troops, and ensures the freedom of the United States and our allies.”
On March 26, Jenkins will compete against more of his peers to earn honors as Sailor of the Year for U.S. Pacific Fleet. Nonetheless, the impact of his determination and leadership will long be felt within and outside the halls of the 3rd Marine Regiment RAS, regardless of how he places.
“Leadership is dynamic, between listening and putting things into action,” Weiss said. “Being able to combine the two is an important part of being a leader, and Jenkins does this extremely well. No matter what the outcome is with his Pacific Fleet board, everyone who serves around him will continue to benefit from his career.”