PENSACOLA, Fla. – Naval Hospital Pensacola has named HM1 Lanna Begnaud, a command career counselor, as its 2013 Enterprise Sailor of the Year.
The Sailor of the Year program recognizes sailors who have done outstanding work throughout the entire year.
“The Enterprise Sailor of the Year program is a great way to recognize Sailors that are doing great things,” said Command Master Chief Douglas Sprague of NHP. “She’s already affected a lot of sailors as the command career counselor. She touches every sailor in terms of career development boards, reenlistments and school packages.”
As a command career counselor, Begnaud provides career counseling to over 800 sailors throughout NHP, including 10 branch clinics. She is part of a team that has the number one career development program in the Navy Medicine East region, per a recent Navy Medicine East inspection.
Along with her regular job, Begnaud was also able to complete 29 credit hours towards her master’s degree in business administration and was the site coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at NHP. During this past year, she has also served as a member of the Command Training Team, Command Assessment Team and the Pensacola Area Navy Ball Committee.
She also spends her time out in the community helping with programs that feed the homeless, maintain the community and support local teens.
When asked about community service, Begnaud said, “You can never really do too much community service.” “The local community supports us; we have to support them back.”
While this year has been one of great accomplishments for Begnaud, it was not always easy.
“This has been a really tough year for me, so to be able to be selected as [the Enterprise Sailor of the Year] is just wonderful,” said Begnaud, a native of Lafayette, La.
Begnaud became a foster parent during her tour at NHP, and in July 2011, she was given custody of a baby boy who was just 32 days old. She cared for him and had intentions of adopting him, but she had to give him back to the state in February so that a family member could adopt him. He was 19 months old.
“It was very tough to have to do that,” said Begnaud. “I almost felt like I had lost a child and was still expected to do my work and be a role model with a smiling face.”
Begnaud used this experience to better herself and be there for others.
“I choose to make myself a better path instead of a destructive one,” said Begnaud. “Being selected [as the Sailor of the Year] proved that I reached my goal. I did what I set out to do in February, which was to make myself better in every aspect of my life.”
As the 2013 Enterprise Sailor of the Year for NHP, Begnaud represented NHP for Navy Medicine East’s Sailor of the Year program and will receive a Navy Commendation Medal.