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    I Am Navy Medicine – and new Navy MSC officer – Lt. j.g. Catherine Basiga

    I Am Navy Medicine – and new Navy MSC officer – Lt. j.g. Catherine Basiga

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jennifer Benedict | A Navy family commissioning affair…Lt. j.g. Catherine Basiga is commissioned as a...... read more read more

    Even before Catherine L. Basiga had risen through the U.S. Navy enlisted ranks to become a hospital corpsman first class, she knew.

    She knew that preparation, proficiency and perseverance would help her just as she continued to help others.

    Basiga’s 10-year career is continuing on an ascendant angle being commissioned as a Navy Medical Service Corps officer with the rank of lieutenant junior grade, June 3, 2024.

    She was selected last year via the MSC In-Service Procurement Program, which provides a pathway to an officer commission for career motivated active duty enlisted personnel like Basiga, in pay grades E-5 through E-9, who meet the eligibility criteria defined.

    “I had leaders who allowed me to learn and experience different jobs within and outside my rating in the dental and medical treatment facilities, state-side and oversea locations. Through these experiences, I became confident in my leadership and administrative skills, which spiked my interest to pursue the path and continue my career as a healthcare administrator in Navy Medicine,” said Basiga, from Davao City, Philippines,

    She joined the Navy in 2012 from San Jose, California, with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Management Accounting, Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines, adding to that with graduate level work in obtaining her Master of Health Administration from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, La.

    Basiga’s roots are unassuming. She was one of two children raised by her single mother with support by her paternal grandparents and other relatives. She migrated to the U.S. in 2010 and joined the Navy with her husband, Rendal. Basiga started as a dental technician and her gradual procession provided learning opportunities and minor leadership roles.

    “Since I joined, I’ve had my share of ups and downs, celebrations, and frustrations. We are blessed with two children, Ewan (9 years old) and Mia (5 years old). My mother, Sol, has also been with us ever since our first year in the Navy,” shared Basiga who has been stationed at Naval Medical Center San Diego, with 1st Dental Battalion, Camp Pendleton and 3rd Dental Battalion Okinawa, Japan before her current duty assignment which will see her relinquish being Public Health Directorate leading petty officer as she moves on into a new role after working in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at the largest occupational health program in the entire Department of Defense, serving [approximately] 16,500 civilian shipyard workers.

    Basiga attests that applying for the Medical Service Corps In-Service Procurement Program seemed like an ideal commitment for herself, her family and also for the Navy.

    “I desired a rewarding career and a long-term profession that could also translate well in the civilian sector. I wanted to be a part of the professional ranks supporting Navy Medicine from behind the scenes. By working with and observing stellar MSC officers, I always told myself I would be like them someday. MSCs inspired me to start my graduate education and follow the route to become a healthcare administrator,” Basiga said.

    A healthcare administration is but one of many undergraduate and graduate training opportunities offered in a variety of MSC specialties leading to a MSC commission. Other specialties are physician assistant, environmental health, entomology, radiation health, industrial hygiene, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and social work.

    “I want to pursue the plans, operations and medical intelligence route to gain more operational experience and go to exciting billets,” continued Basiga. “I know I have a lot to learn, which will take years. I am willing to try the different jobs in the health care administrator realm and build on my future experiences to become a well-rounded MSC officer.”

    The entire application and selection process did have its challenging moments and required thoughtful deliberation.

    “Attention to detail. Making my package look neat, being meticulous to uniformity, using correct grammar, and having it checked and critiqued by leaders and mentors took a lot of work. I had to rewrite my personal statement a hundred times until I was completely satisfied. I had to be my own worst critic. Honestly, I was not even 100 percent confident. When the results were posted, I was in complete disbelief,” exclaimed Basiga.

    When she found out she was selected, she immediately told Rendal.

    “I shared first with my husband. This achievement is a milestone for our military careers and family. Behind the scenes, he did all the hard work with me, if not more,” said Basiga. “I then called Lt. j.g. Pinzas and Capt. Edusada, the real rockstars behind this entire application process.
    Then, I had to call/text/email the rest of the people who helped me with my application. My DPH/PSNS leadership for reviewing my package and preparing me for my interviews, my appraisers, those who wrote my letter of recommendations, and those who reviewed my package, and those who provided their input.”

    Basiga lingered long after work contacting all her present and past mentors, leaders, friends, junior Sailors, and everyone who’s impacted her life.

    “Some got to me first before I even got to them because the results were posted,” related Basiga. “My phone was pretty much blowing up in between. Capt. Patrick Fitzpatrick, NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer, personally called to congratulate me. Wow!”

    Basiga readily admits that becoming a MSC officer is the result of a group effort, from the mentorship to guidance to training to even moral support.

    “Overall, this achievement is genuinely an all-hands effort. My heart was just so full of gratitude and appreciation, especially to all the great leaders I’ve known and worked with. I am humbled that my hard work paid off. I would not be here today if not for the people who took their time to raise me in the Navy,” stated Basiga, noting that the entire process did provide her with valuable lesson learned.

    I have learned so much that I don’t know if I can itemize them. Most importantly, I learned the value of networking and seeking mentorship. It is a very humbling learning experience. This would not be possible without the people who took their time mentoring and guiding me throughout my career. Also, I learned that this is not a one-and-done thing but a continuous learning process,” Basiga said.

    Now that she has been through the entire process and been selected to become a MSC officer, Basiga has advice for others considering a same or similar path of achievement.

    “My advice is to get to know yourself. Be clear on your goals. Put your mind to it and get to work. I regret I waited until my eighth year in the Navy to make up my mind and finally start with my masters,” shared Basiga. “Learn how to find, read, and interpret instructions, research, ask questions, and seek mentorship. Utilize many military resources like tuition assistance and dare to start something great for yourself. We often find ourselves so overwhelmed with the things happening around us that we forget to take care of our personal and professional growth.”

    For Basiga, serving in Navy Medicine is not just professional, but also personal.

    “This organization saved my family when my son acquired a rare and fatal disease and when my daughter developed a chronic condition at such a young age that made her life miserable,” candidly shared Basiga. “For this reason, I support this organization’s trajectory. I am invested in the readiness of the warfighter, but most importantly, in their families, wherever they are in the world.”

    When asked to sum up her experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Basiga replied, “It is very rewarding to be a part of Navy Medicine, in any given day, I am very proud to be a part of this team!”


    Date Taken: 06.03.2024
    Date Posted: 06.05.2024 10:26
    Story ID: 473101

    Web Views: 283
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