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    2,000 Feet Above Sea Level Navy Medicine Hospital Corpsman Retakes the Plunge

    2,000 Feet Above Sea Level Navy Medicine Hospital Corpsman Retakes the Plunge

    Photo By Julius Evans | "I, Kyle Hugo, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the...... read more read more



    Story by Julius Evans 

    Naval Medical Readiness Logistics Command, Williamsburg, VA

    Plenty of attention has been given lately to multiple underwater Navy reenlistments. But a Navy Hospital Corpsman took reenlistments to a new height on Nov. 10.

    Petty Officer 1st Class Kyle Hugo, a Biomedical Equipment Quality Assurance technician, piloted his way into six more years of loyal, dedicated service when, at the controls of the Piper Archer single engine aircraft flown by him, served as the ceremony’s location.

    Lt. Cmdr. Michael Lucas, Naval Medical Readiness Logistics Command’s (NMRLC) Operations Director, flew with Hugo and was the reenlisting officer. Captured in a photograph, the expression on Lucas’ face tells the story of conducting a reenlistment ceremony 2,000 feet off the ground.

    “It was a unique experience,” Lucas said. “I actually anticipated performing this ceremony because I am not aware of another enlisted Sailor pilot who flew an airplane while reciting the oath of reenlistment.”

    Both he and Hugo are assigned to NMRLC, which is responsible for building and maintaining rapidly deployable medical systems to support contingency operations, humanitarian assistance, and real-world events and exercises around the globe.

    Nestled on Cheatham Annex, in Williamsburg, VA, NMRLC is led by Capt. Matthew P. Marcinkiewicz. Its mission is to support readiness by providing deployable medical systems, high-quality eyewear and ophthalmic devices, and fleet logistics solutions. Its vision is we will be Navy Medicine’s premiere integrated medical logistics support activity.

    As a pilot in his off duty time, Hugo is well positioned to support the integrated medical logistics support activity through his efforts, if ever called upon.

    A 2006 high school graduate of Ovey Commeaux High School in Lafayette, LA, he enlisted in the Navy in 2008. He always knew he wanted to join the military as his great grandfather, his father, and his brother were all Sailors.

    “Originally, I wanted to be an officer and fly. I’ve been flying since I was age 13. But as I transitioned through academia, I realized college wasn’t for me, so I dropped out,” Hugo said. “After working for a year at a metal stock supplier, I decided I wasn’t going to get stuck in Louisiana for the rest of my life. I went to a recruiter’s office and shortly after that, my first duty station was at a clinic at Marine Base Camp Fuji, Japan.”

    During his 14 years of active-duty service, Hugo has participated in three operational assignments. One was Operation Tomodachi, next was the Expeditionary Medical Facility ‘A’ deployment to Guam. Next was the deployment of a CT scanner to Djibouti. This refers to a computed tomography scan, which is a medical imaging technique used to obtain detailed internal images of the body.

    In addition, he served in Afghanistan in 2012; he also served at the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2013, and he served on a carrier deployment to the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf in 2017.

    When discussing how he got started as a pilot, Hugo recalled an adventure he had with his father who encouraged his growth and love of flying when he was a youth.

    “When I was 13, my father’s co-workers took us up in his plane and my dad asked me if that was something I would be interested in doing. My response was of course a very enthusiastic YES,” he exclaimed. “So, we found an instructor at the local airport and my father paid for the lessons, at the time a whopping $75 an hour, until I started working.”

    He explained that he had to take a break from flying for a while because of school, but he finished his license at age 20, one month before he joined the Navy. But he also recalled the places he has flown throughout his aviation career.

    “The farthest straight-line distance I’ve flown was about 90 nautical miles, but I’ve flown all over the U.S., including California, Chicago, Ohio, Southern Louisiana, Kitty Hawk and even Japan when I was stationed there,” he said. “I used to give air tours over Tokyo or fly my friends out to the islands in Tokyo Bay or around Mount Fuji. I’ve even be able to do aerobatics in a SNJ-5 Texan, which was a Navy training plane in WWII.

    “I hold a private pilot certificate with complex aircraft and tail dragger endorsements, and I am currently working on my instrument rating. Then I plan to use the GI Bill for my commercial and multi-engine licenses. I plan on buying my own plane within the next 10 years.”

    When asked about his professional career, Hugo recalled a common question he has received in the normal course of his duties.

    “I get asked what the craziest thing is you’ve seen as a Navy hospital corpsman?”

    The response, he said, takes him to a darker place and some of his darker memories he has experienced while serving in certain strategic global locations.

    “But the takeaway I like best is that because of me, people are still alive, and there’s no greater feeling in the world than having contributed to saving a fellow warfighter’s life.”

    With his pilot certifications and professional licenses, Hugo plans to one day become a commercial pilot. But while he continues to serve at NMRLC, he will be able to help the command meet its mission and volunteer for command level activities whenever his talents are required.



    Date Taken: 11.10.2022
    Date Posted: 11.15.2022 12:11
    Story ID: 433285
    Location: WILLIAMSBURG, VA, US 

    Web Views: 180
    Downloads: 1