By Petty Officer 1st Class Bernard Anthony Morales, Staff Administration, Navy Medicine East
PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Navy has always been a part of my family. I have uncles who retired as master chief petty officers; two as senior chiefs, two as chiefs, two as first class petty officers, and one as a commander. My aunt, a retired commander, started out as a hospital corpsman and was selected for commissioning under the Medical Service Corps program.
As for me, I absolutely wanted to keep the Navy tradition going in my family. I enlisted 14 years ago, and am currently the leading petty officer of Navy Medicine East’s (NME) administrative department in Portsmouth, Virginia. As a native of Chesapeake, Virginia, and graduate of Salem High School in 2002, it’s especially nice to be close to home.
Recently I was selected as the senior Sailor of the year for NME headquarters. I am extremely humbled by this selection. Any Sailor who has ever been recognized as the Sailor of the Year understands that it’s not just about having an excellent year, but based on the accumulation of all the hard work and dedication put forth during your entire career. Being selected means you truly understand the importance of the great Sailors who you work alongside as well as the great mentors who have helped steer your career towards the right path.
I take pride in my ability to tackle the most challenging positions I’ve had the opportunity to be assigned to – from training others and managing damage control, to roles as the work center supervisor for maintenance and material management aboard a ship and various other management or leadership roles. Whether working with the Marines, onboard carriers or at shore-based commands like NME, I have been truly fortunate to have had the best leadership to guide and mentor me along the way.
In my current position, I lead Sailors and civilians in administrative matters for NME’s 20 commands as well as headquarters, and help manage the budget. My job is to ensure everything under NME’s administration is taken care of from internal requisitions and regional taskers to performance awards and the daily accountability for 193 staff members, correspondence and support agreements. It is both challenging and rewarding to be part of the administrative team that helps keep Navy Medicine running smoothly.
NME is one of two regional commands that manage Navy Medicine’s global health care. What we do directly impacts the more than 26,000 staff members throughout the region who care for approximately 1 million patients across the eastern hemisphere.
I am truly fortunate to have a job that I enjoy, and one that I continue to be passionate about. Helping ensure our Navy and Marine Corps family is healthy, ready and on the job is incredible!
I’m Petty Officer 1st Class Bernard Morales, and I am Navy Medicine.