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    A Dentalmans Honor | U.S. Sailor Receives Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen, Jr. Award

    A Dentalman's Honor | U.S. Navy Sailor Receives the Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen, Jr. Award

    Photo By Pfc. Courtney Robertson | U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class John P. Pascual, left, receives the Dentalman Thomas...... read more read more

    CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, JAPAN

    04.14.2020

    Story by Pfc. Courtney Robertson 

    3rd Marine Logistics Group

    CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – In an intimate ceremony of less than 10 masked Sailors and Marines, U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class John P. Pascual was awarded the Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen, Jr. Award by U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Keith D. Reventlow, 3rd Marine Logistics Group Commanding General. Pascual received the award for devotion to his Sailors, meticulous attention to detail while leading personnel and managing supplies and equipment on April 14, 2020.

    The award is the namesake of Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen, Jr., the first dental technician to receive the Navy Cross after displaying extraordinary heroism. At the age of 18, Christensen deployed as a corpsman with 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion to the front lines of the Korean War.

    On Nov. 6, 1950, at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, Christensen’s train came under heavy enemy fire. During the attack, “he fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire to treat wounded Marines and move them to positions of cover,” according to his Navy Cross citation. Christensen was mortally wounded in the fight and shortly succumbed to his injuries.

    As a tribute to his heroism and devotion to his Marines and country, the Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen, Jr. Award was created to recognize dental technicians who demonstrate a high level of excellence, mastery and produce significant contributions to the operating forces.

    Pascual’s leadership felt he was deserving of the award and nominated him for his high performance and commitment to complete the mission during Exercise Cobra Gold, an annual exercise with the Royal Thai military in the Kingdom of Thailand.

    During Exercise Cobra Gold 2020, Pascal was responsible for dental emergencies throughout the 11-day exercise. His professionalism and demonstration of mastery of skill in a field environment positively impacted U.S. service members needing treatment and multiple nations’ militaries during Subject Matter Expert Exchanges.

    In addition to his performance during Cobra Gold, Pascual is recognized by his fellow Sailors for his leadership and upholding Navy values, and his dedication to his family at home and his command.

    “All the Navy values matter to me, but commitment is the one that sticks out most to me,” Pascual says. “I’m a family man. I am committed to being great at my job just as I am committed to being a great father.”

    He is inspired by his family to succeed and attributes his work ethic and his commendations to them.

    “I am not the best in any way,” Pascual explained. “Outside of my family, my biggest motivators are my military mentors. My wife and my son are my biggest motivation… because being the better me isn’t just for me anymore, it’s for them. My military mentors helped get me to where I need to be. They pushed me and they forged me into my better self.”

    Pascual’s focus is to develop his mentorship abilities, find more opportunities to lead and become a well-rounded man.

    His mentorship, humility and desire to succeed is recognized and admired by his peers and junior Sailors.

    “He is the same guy he was when we were stationed here in Okinawa before,” Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brian R. Hendricks explained. “He has always stood out as a man to look up to. His energy is just full of positivity, and with that it generated a lot of efficiency. I see a lot of consistency within his work. He is a very versatile leader, always ready to grow and learn whenever he gets the chance.”

    Pascual’s ideas on leadership is a manifestation of a strong need for a mentor.

    “When it comes to my junior Sailors, I tell them the words of advice I never got. Look for a mentor!” Pascual remarked. “It took me forever to understand I don’t know everything. I do need help and guidance. The military isn’t an individual mindset and job. Your peers are here to help, and most importantly your mentors are here to offer all their knowledge and expertise.”

    Pascual’s intention for his career isn’t, and never was, to chase awards. He is determined to better himself and become a leader those can seek to look up to.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.14.2020
    Date Posted: 05.03.2020 01:57
    Story ID: 368839
    Location: CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, JP 
    Hometown: GOODYEAR, AZ, US
    Hometown: NEWTOWN, CT, US

    Web Views: 306
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