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    Richmond Native Retires from U.S. Navy after 26 Years of Loyal, Dedicated Service

    1.	Navy Senior Chief Construction Mechanic (Seabee) Philip Joseph Zettel, a 1996 graduate of Richmond High School, retires from the United States Navy on April 29, 2022, after 26 years of loyal, dedicated service.

    Photo By Julius Evans | 2. Senior Chief Zettel and wife Kim, are adorned in their head gear and their cold...... read more read more



    Story by Julius Evans 

    Naval Medical Readiness Logistics Command, Williamsburg, VA

    After 26 years of loyal, dedicated service, a Richmond, IN, native who served as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for his command has retired from the United States Navy on April 29.

    Philip Joseph Zettel, a Navy Senior Chief Construction Mechanic (Seabee) and a 1996 graduate of Richmond High School, earned an Associates of Arts degree in Social Sciences from Tidewater Community College and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Resources Management from Regent University.

    Before retiring, he was accepted into the Veterans Local Government Management Fellowship Skill Bridge Cohort to begin a career in Public Management as he looks forward to a career as an elected official.

    The Skill Bridge Cohort is an innovative program that provides transitioning service members with professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. The professional development offered through the program prepares candidates for a smooth transition into meaningful civilian careers. Participating corporations benefit by gaining access to the best and brightest transitioning service members, while also developing a more comprehensive understanding of the veteran job market.

    At his Navy job, he was the Senior Enlisted Leader and the Operations Leading Chief Petty Officer at Navy Expeditionary Medical Support Command (NEMSCOM), Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, VA. The command's name has since been changed to Naval Medical Readiness Logistics Command, headed by CAPT Robert C. Morrison, MSC, USN.

    During his tour, he was the driving force to implement current Navy policy and procedures while leading teams that re-postured the Navy’s expeditionary medical assets.

    NEMSCOM ensures that Warfighters have access to world-class medical care facilities. Anywhere in the world, where Warfighters place boots on the ground, expeditionary medical deployable systems are positioned there to care for their medical needs. These field hospitals deliver definitive health care in-theater. The tent-based facilities are easily adaptable, capability-based modules that can be tailored to meet a multitude of mission requirements. That’s where medical officers, nurses, Hospital Corpsmen, and the full complement of medical staff and support personnel stand at the ready to provide the highest level of world-class, life-saving medical assistance to all in-theater military personnel.

    NEMSCOM was also instrumental in responding to COVID-19 global threats. NEMSCOM provided mission capable medical facilities to Naval Base Guam and USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) at the height of the COVID outbreak that crippled operations on the ship. NEMSCOM also sent 10 Navy Hospital Corpsmen to New York to support COVID mitigation efforts. Zettel’s advisement was critical in the success of these missions.

    “I have been responsible for the personal and professional development of the command’s Sailors, and advising the commanding officer on Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for operating in an expeditionary environment,” Zettel said. “I was involved with humanitarian efforts to clean up after Hurricane George in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Mitch in Honduras. I was the tool room mechanic and I single handedly provided the battalion with chain saws, generators, rescue saws, and all other gas powered hand tools necessary to complete the mission.”

    Prior to NEMSCOM, Zettel was hand-selected by the area type commander as the Maintenance and Material Management Coordinator (3MC), and detailed to staff duty at Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, Virginia Beach, VA. A type commander is generally the ranking official responsible to supervise personnel, training, logistics, maintenance, and other support to ships, aircraft, and units.

    When speaking of the most important efforts he contributed to the Navy during his career, he was humbled when he offered his reply.

    “During my tour at Naval Special Warfare Development Group in September of 2004, I worked as the ‘Green Team’ High Speed Assault Craft lead mechanic. I was embedded in Navy SEAL Teams as a combat engineer, mechanic, and equipment operator during multiple deployments to Afghanistan, he explained. “During that time, I was involved in special operations programs and driving the Afghanistan Special Operations command leadership throughout various select routes in country.”

    As he prepares to conclude his time in the military, Zettel reflected on why he joined the Navy and the impact his service has had on his life.

    “At NEMSCOM, I feel that I identified and provided input to overcome shortfalls and misaligned policy to better align the Navy’s Expeditionary Medical Facilities. Keeping the needs of Combatant Commanders in mind, we provided critical lifesaving care to the Special Warfare Operators, fellow Seabees, Marines, and Sailors during humanitarian and operational missions,” he said, highlighting critical missions around the world.

    “I joined the Navy to see the world, and have been able to experience Okinawa, Sasebo, Yokosuka, and Iwakuni, Japan; Korea, Puerto Rico; Honduras; Afghanistan; Guam; Hawaii; Spain; and many cities in the United States. Additionally, the Navy provided me with an outstanding education and experience that enables me to continue supporting our great nation. For that I am thankful and proud to be a United States Navy Sailor.”



    Date Taken: 04.29.2022
    Date Posted: 05.23.2022 13:19
    Story ID: 421297
    Location: WILLIAMSBURG, VA, US 

    Web Views: 274
    Downloads: 1