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    Medical Forces Atlantic Announces 2022 Regional Sailor of the Year



    Story by Bobbie Camp 

    Naval Medical Forces Atlantic

    Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Travis S. Hunter was named the Naval Medical Forces Atlantic (NMFL) 2022 Regional Sailor of the Year (SOY) at a ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) Portsmouth-Annex on March 24.

    “This has been a fantastic SOY week,” said NMFL Command Master Chief Zachary Pryor. “We had a tough challenge to decide from all the amazing candidates, but we finally narrowed it down to the one deserving Sailor, and it wasn’t an easy thing to do.”

    Hunter, a native of Amityville, New York, graduated from Amityville High School in 2006 and graduated from St. John’s University in 2010. Afterward, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October of that same year and is currently assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Rota, Spain. He is humbled about being named NMFL’s Regional SOY recipient.

    “I honestly wouldn’t be here without the support of my fellow first classes, my junior Sailors, mentors, and the chief’s mess,” said Hunter. “I truly believe that we are all winners, and at the end of the day, this is for us, as I wouldn’t be in my position without everybody in this room.”

    Hunter was one of 22 Sailors from the NMFL region that participated in a rigorous evaluation process that took into consideration characteristics such as professional knowledge, military bearing, teamwork, education, and professional development.

    “In my journey, I think of obstacles or what it took to get here,” reflected Hunter. “I’ve had the opportunity to not be able to bear all the weight myself and had fellow first classes or even some of my junior Sailors lift me up, and I’ve had the opportunity to lift them up as well.”

    For Hunter, serving in the U.S. Navy gave him the opportunity to build professionally and personally, and to shape him into the Sailor he is today. His number one motivation is his family.
    “My wife has been the cornerstone right now to my success,” he said. “Knowing that she and my sister are at home, cheering me on day -n and day-out, is my main motivation.”

    Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Frank Garza, the command master chief for NMRTC Rota, has known Hunter since he was a student at Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, Illinois.

    “It is great to see outstanding work that he has done as the senior enlisted leader for dental services and has been performing at the level of a chief petty officer,” he explained. “He is the one out there leading from the front and not afraid to take chances, and I am proud of his representation of our command.”

    The Navy's Hospital Corps consists of more than 30,000 active duty and reserve hospital corpsmen that deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, in both wartime and peace. The rating is the largest, most professionally diverse, and highly decorated enlisted corps in the Navy.

    “What I most enjoy about my job as a hospital corpsman is the opportunity to serve, to give back and to take care of a fellow person or beneficiary,” explained Hunter. “Knowing that what you’re doing is making a huge impact on them and ensuring that they can back out there and be healthy in order to be with their family and loved ones.”

    Hunter’s nomination package will be forwarded for consideration at the fiscal year 2022 Bureau of Medicine and Surgery’s (BUMED) SOY board, where he will compete against other outstanding Sailors throughout Navy Medicine, with the winner being selected to promote to chief petty officer.

    “This week has been monumental to me, and I have had an amazing experience,” expressed Hunter. “I thank you, I thank you, I thank you.”

    SOY is a time-honored tradition introduced in 1972 by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet. This annual competition is held to recognize the superior performance of individual Sailors throughout the region, who demonstrate both professional and personal dedication and represent the Navy's best of the best.

    “Congratulations to HM1 Hunter on your well-earned selection as our regional Sailor of the Year,” concluded Rear Adm. Matthew Case, NMFL commander and director of the Defense Health Agency’s Tidewater Market. “To all the candidates: thank you for serving and being the highest-performing Sailors at your commands. I am extremely proud of all of you for representing the very best of Navy Medicine.”

    NMFL, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, delivers operationally focused medical expertise and capabilities to meet Fleet, Marine and Joint Force requirements by providing equipment, sustainment and maintenance of medical forces¬ during combat operations and public health crises.

    Navy Medicine – represented by more than 44,000 highly-trained military and civilian health care professionals – provides enduring expeditionary medical support to the warfighter on, below, and above the sea, and ashore.



    Date Taken: 03.24.2023
    Date Posted: 03.25.2023 17:04
    Story ID: 441202
    Location: PORTSMOUTH, VA, US 
    Hometown: AMITYVILLE, NY, US

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