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    I Am Navy Medicine – and Chief Hospital Corpsman Cristi Bussard - – of NMRTC Bremerton

    I Am Navy Medicine – and Chief Hospital Corpsman Cristi Bussard - – of NMRTC Bremerton

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | Chief Hospital Corpsman Cristi Bussard was one of four Sailors assigned to Navy...... read more read more

    With the announcement that four Sailors assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton were selected for advancement to the rank of chief petty officer for Fiscal Year 2024, we asked each to reflect on their designation.

    Cristi A. H. Bussard had waited.

    All through her time – and travels – from the Far East, Arabian Gulf, both coasts of Africa, the Mediterranean, Pacific Partnerships and Southern Partnership as an independent duty corpsman.

    Yet her approximately 21 years on active duty were drawing to a close. She was already preparing for retirement.

    Those plans are now officially postponed.

    “I had waited many years to hear my name on the list but had begun to prepare for retirement. It was a very surreal moment when the group came to my office to tell me the news. I was truly overwhelmed and speechless from the news,” said Bussard, born in Martin, South Dakota and raised in Corvallis, Montana with her parents and four sisters.

    “After the executive officer, command master chief, director of administration and all the Chief’s Mess came to notify me,” continued Bussard. “The first person I called was my husband, Torpedoman’s Mate 1st Class Brandon Bussard [also selected for chief petty officer] and then my long standing mentor, retired Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Jeffery Dell.

    For Bussard, her selection is a culmination of her years in the Navy after graduating in 2001 from Hamilton High School, located in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley.

    “Becoming a chief petty officer means an extended reach of impact to further lead and mentor Sailors. It is important to always work on spreading our knowledge and lessons learned to better prepare those to come after us,” noted Bussard, adding that there is also a sense of gratification on making the grade.

    “After being told by so many that it would not happen, or I couldn’t do it, it is great to work to prove them wrong,” Bussard stated.

    Her career in the Navy began during her final year of high school. Navy Medicine looked intriguing because of her love of science and the prospect to be able to care for those in need.

    “My interest in medicine stemmed from volunteer work I did while visiting retirement and long-term care facilities in my hometown. It was further spurred when I became an emergency medical technician at my first command in Atsugi, Japan providing base ambulance services,” Bussard said.

    It was during her tour of duty after Branch Health Clinic Atsugi when assigned to guided missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) she decided to become an Independent Duty Corpsman.

    After being stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, she attended Surface Independent Duty Corpsman in 2008 and graduated the next year. That time was pivotal for her personally as well as professionally.

    “I met my husband who was at that time stationed aboard the [attack submarine Los Angeles-class] USS San Francisco [SSN 711],” she said.

    As a surface independent duty corpsman, she was then assigned to the pre-commissioning crew of the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22), while also deploying aboard USS New Orleans (LPD 18).

    Co-locating in 2013 with her husband to the Bremerton area had her stationed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, followed by the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) before her current duty at Naval Hospital Bremerton.

    Her work in the Urgent Care Clinic wasn’t so much put on hold as it was put on the road as an Individual Augmentee – and senior medical department representative - during a recent deployment on the expeditionary fast-transport USNS Trenton (T-EPF 5) as part of U.S. Sixth Fleet conducting operations in U.S. Naval Forces Africa area of operations.

    Her IDC skills were put to the test when a Military Sealift Command civil service mariner sustained an injury which required immediate medical attention. Her expert handiwork caring for the injured crewmember prompted an appreciative correspondence note from the injured crewmember’s wife, a retired Navy captain, to command leadership.

    Bussard has been assigned to Family Medicine Clinic since her return and is about to become the resident focal point in helping to provide health care to all patients. There’s a reason the phrase, ‘go ask the chief,’ has been bandied about throughout the fleet since 1893.

    “I will do my best to always live by the Navy Core Values and continue to improve myself by continuing to develop those around me to empower us as a team,” stated Bussard.

    When asked to sum up her experience in Navy Medicine, Bussard replied, “Navy Medicine continues to strive for excellence in providing care by training, teamwork and prevention.”



    Date Taken: 09.29.2023
    Date Posted: 09.30.2023 13:25
    Story ID: 454779
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US

    Web Views: 107
    Downloads: 0