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    Pearl Harbor Hospital Corpsman is The Navy Reserve Force Shore Sailor of The Year

    JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jessica Smith, assigned to Navy Reserve Center (NRC) Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was named the 2021 Navy Reserve Force Shore Sailor of the Year.

    On April 1, Smith was selected among three finalists from Navy Reserve shore activities full-time staff for fiscal year 2021’s top Reserve Force Shore enlisted Sailor. The recognition highlights the importance of having a year round active duty staff to provide support both administratively and operationally to the Navy Reserve Force ensuring their deployability at a moment’s notice.

    Smith was joined by two other active duty Reserve support Sailors during the Force’s finalist board, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jorge L. Gonzalez, Jr., assigned to Marine Forces Reserve, and Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Kenny R. Young, assigned to Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12), a component of the Naval Air Reserve Force.

    Smith, an active component Sailor, serves as NRC Pearl Harbor’s medical department head, the NRC’s senior medical department representative to Naval Reserve Readiness Command (NAVRESREDCOM), education services officer (ESO) and the administrative sexual assault prevention and response advocate (SAPR VA). Leading a department of three Sailors, the medical department oversees 500 selected reserve Sailors’ medical mobilization and warfighter readiness. She also serves as the assistant Sailor recognition program manager alongside the Command Master Chief and is the Sailor 360 program manager. Prior to her arrival to NRC Pearl Harbor, Smith had limited contact with the reserve component.

    “HM1 came here with no prior knowledge of the Navy Reserve,” said Master Chief Ervin Kelly, command master chief (CMDCM) of NRC Pearl Harbor. “She came in as a department head and subject matter expert with no expertise. She worked her way from no knowledge, to having the most knowledge here at the reserve center as far as Reserve Force medical is concerned.”

    Smith’s superb work, outstanding leadership, and positive impact upon Sailors set in motion the selection among her peers.

    “HM1 Smith is a role model … her (nomination) package is the culmination of her work while she’s been here at the NRC,” said Commander JoAnn O’Beirne, commanding officer NRC Pearl Harbor. “For her to reach this level within a three-year period, to become a subject matter expert, to have a package that was competitive enough to compete with Sailors across the Reserve Force, shows the dedication and hard work she’s done here as our medical department head. We appreciate having her as an example for our junior Sailors to strive to and learn from. She lifts her Sailors as she climbs the ranks.”
    A native of Detroit, Michigan, Smith graduated from Dakota High School and attended Wayne State University on a partial scholarship. Due to an increase in tuition, she withdrew from college and enlisted in the Navy in 2010 as a Hospital Corpsman.

    While serving in the Navy she graduated from college with a degree in healthcare management and is currently working on obtaining a master’s degree in healthcare management, with a focus on leadership.

    Smith credits hard work, mentorship, commitment to others, her Sailors, and the support of her nine-year-old son, Izaiah, as key to her successes throughout her Naval career.

    “I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have awesome mentors,” said Smith. “They’ve always taught me to take care of your Sailors first. You’re only as strong as your people,” Smith said. “If I was only out for myself, I would not be where I’m at in my career, let alone Sailor of the Year.”

    She now is in the running for Navy Shore Sailor of the Year, which will be announced in June. If selected, Smith would meritoriously advance to Chief Petty Officer.

    The late Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Jack Whittet initiated the Sailor of the Year program in 1972 to recognize outstanding Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Sailors. The program has since expanded to honor top-performing eligible First Class Petty Officers across the entire Navy.

    For 107 years, the Navy Reserve has been a ready, agile force providing valuable, vital support to the Navy and the Nation. The Ready Reserve Force consists of approximately 46,170 Selected Reserve (SELRES) Sailors, 10,084 Training and Administration of Reserve (TAR) members, 48,618 Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) members and 432 civilians. This force of over 100,000 delivers strategic depth and warfighting readiness to the Navy and Marine Corps team, and the Joint Force in times of peace and war.



    Date Taken: 04.23.2022
    Date Posted: 04.23.2022 23:52
    Story ID: 419153
    Location: PEARL HARBOR, HI, US 
    Hometown: DETROIT, MI, US

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