Prior to joining the Navy, I had a hungry desire to serve those around me.
I grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 2007. As the oldest of six kids, caring for the needs of others just came natural for me. This desire to serve manifested while caring for my grandmother for two years in an unassisted-living community. It was a place where I saw the first-hand effects of what serving a community can do. Beyond caring for my grandmother I helped others in my community with chores, serviced their vehicles and even sat around just listening to others tell me about their day if they really needed it. Those things brought me great joy and were my way of “paying it forward.”
I was working and going to college during this time, but felt like something was missing. I wanted to “accelerate my life” and serve with a like-minded organization so I joined the Navy. In boot camp I chose to be a hospital corpsman. I saw that Navy Medicine was a route for me to serve on a global level, providing direction and unconditional care in a crisis, as I had previously strived to do.
I learned early on that Navy Medicine is there to provide care and direction for Sailors and Marines whenever it is needed during war or peacetime and in doing so Navy Medicine helps advance medicine on a global level.
Eight years later, I now serve Navy Medicine at one of the highest levels, implementing policy development, guidance and professional advice on health care programs. More specifically, I review retention and accession medical waivers for reservists, officers, and enlisted personnel. I have the honor of ensuring Naval and Marine forces have the highest state of medical readiness so they are ready to deploy and conduct their mission, in addition to protecting the safety of the individuals and those with whom they serve.
It’s a powerful feeling to be part of something greater than yourself, to have a role in an organization that influences so many people around the globe and to know that when I go to work every day what I do directly effects the health and readiness of our Sailors and Marines is extremely rewarding.
If I were to summarize my experience with Navy Medicine, I can do so with one word: diversity. In my opinion, diversity is at the core of the Navy’s success. Diverse skills, diverse experiences, diverse people from numerous cultures, and diverse jobs; all perfectly coming together to form a global leader.
I am Hospital Corpsman Second Class Timothy Bielke. I am Navy Medicine.