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WRNMMC Recognizes Fourth Quarter, Yearly Award Winners


By Bernard S. Little

WRNMMC Command Communications

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center leadership recognized its fiscal year 2017 fourth quarter and yearly award winners during a recent ceremony in Memorial Auditorium.
During the November event WRNMMC leadership team recognized “the superior performance of [its] military and civilian personnel, including the medical center’s volunteer force with emphasis on their outstanding achievements, exemplary personal conduct, military bearing and initiative in the performance of duty,” stated Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jonathan Spears, executive assistant to WRNMMC’s command senior enlisted leader and master of ceremonies for the event.
For fiscal year 2017, Hospitalman Apprentice AnhThu Nguyen achieved WRNMMC’s Blue Jacket of the Year, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Susan Joslin earned Junior Sailor of the Year, and HM1 Matthew Combs received the Sailor of the Year honor.
Nguyen, the events coordinator for WRNMMC’s Warrior Family Coordination Cell, stated about her Blue Jacket of the Year honor: “This award reassured me of my decision to serve, and my career in the Navy. I hope to encourage my peers to continue to dedicate themselves to their work and service to others. Also, I hope that through winning this award, leaders will know that it requires [their] positive example, actions and compassion [to] motivate those under them to follow and do the same.”
Nguyen, who is pursuing a degree in health service management and possibly, commission as an officer, explained that her job as events coordinator is rewarding because it allows her the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to wounded, ill and injured service members and their families when they need it most – when they are healing and rehabilitating.
“To me, what my team does, along with donors and other organizations, receiving a genuine smile and appreciation from our service members and their families, and hearing their stories of how each event or donation has helped them, is what motivates me,” Nguyen added.
“Winning Blue Jacket of the Year was a proud moment, especially when competing against some very impressive nominees with many accomplishments,” said Nguyen, who’s been in the Navy 17 months and assigned to WRNMMC for a little more than a year. “It was a humbling feeling knowing I could not have achieved it without the tremendous amount of support and help I received in preparation, as well as everyone close to me, who have molded me to becoming the person I am today,” she added.
Joslin, the leading petty officer for General Internal Medicine Service, Department of Medical Services, shared similar sentiments about earning WRNMMC’s Junior Sailor of the Year honors.
“It was a very humbling experience,” Joslin explained. “I was not expecting to win at all. I think that there are many deserving Sailors whom I have had the pleasure of work with, but with a little hard work, persistence, and a lot of dedication, anything can be accomplished. I am honored to have been selected as JSOY.”
Joslin’s daily duties include patient care, as well as providing guidance to the junior Sailors in her unit. She stated the most rewarding aspect about what she does occurs when junior Sailors come to her for help and she is about to point them in the right direction. 
“I feel that my leadership set me up for success and in the end, it led me to winning JSOY,” Joslin stated. “Anytime they saw an opportunity for me to participate, learn, and grow they always volunteered me for the job, which has allowed me to reach the command in ways I could not have done by myself.” 
Joslin, whose been in the Navy four years and assigned to WRNMMC a little more than three of those years, added, “I look forward to what the Navy has in store for me and as one of my mentors once said, ‘One step at a time,’ meaning I have to pick up HM1 before one day, hopefully, putting on anchors.” 
In addition to the yearly award winners, WRNMMC recognized it 2017 fourth quarter honorees including HM1 Rolando Samortin (Senior Sailor), HM2 Jonmichael Heldorfer (Junior Sailor), and Hospitalman Mercy Onwunta (Blue Jacket). Navy Ensign Molly Forte earned the award as nurse preceptor of the quarter, and Navy Lt. j.g. Katarina Uebelhor received the junior officer of the quarter award. Barbara Sitton earned WRNMMC’s senior civilian of the quarter award and Tiffany Cabrales-Marshall earned the junior civilian of the quarter honor.
WRNMMC leadership also recognized American Red Cross volunteer Hugh Eagleton as the Volunteer of the Quarter for the third quarter for calendar year 2017. Eagleton has volunteered for three-and-a-half years and served more than 750 hours in support of WRNMMC’s Inpatient Physical Therapy Team, patients, families and staff, according to Marin Herman, Red Cross station manager at Walter Reed Bethesda. Eagleton, a retired Navy captain, “completes all tasks asked or not, with excellence, allowing the team to have more time to spend with patients providing better care. The Inpatient Physical Therapy Team describes [Eagleton] as wonderful to be around, incredibly cordial to everyone who comes in the door, and is just a joy to have here in the department,” Herman added.