Editors Note: Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Maya G. Francis has since transferred to 2nd Dental Battalion Camp Lejeune North Carolina
I grew up in Mansfield, a small town in Ohio about two hours in between Cincinnati and Cleveland; it’s one of those places you love and call home, but as a teenager you can’t wait to leave.
My mother, who raised me on her own, was extremely active in local government. I spent many nights in my youth volunteering in her office and campaigning for her, and I absolutely loved it. Watching my mother commit herself to public service made me realize that service is my calling as well.
After graduating high school at 16, I decided to pursue a college education until I was certain about joining the Navy. At the age of 20, I finally decided to enlist. I was offered the opportunity to become a hospital corpsman during basic training, and I accepted. I have always had a passion for serving others, and as a part of Navy Medicine, I get to do this each and every day.
Today, I work at the Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS), the only Department of Defense-centralized site for postgraduate dental education. It conducts post-doctoral dental and board-eligible training in eight specialties, as well as the Maxillofacial Prosthetics Technician C-school. As supervisor of the comprehensive dentistry department, I assist in the management of 16 enlisted military and civilian personnel to support 18 staff and resident dental officers. As a dental assistant and leading petty officer of the presidential dental support team, I also support the White House Medical Unit, where we provide top-quality care to our nation’s leaders, their families and staff.
With only four years in the Navy and only one duty station under my belt, I’ve moved up the ranks pretty quickly. Because of the Navy, I’ve grown exponentially personally and professionally. I attribute that growth to a lot of hard work, studying, staying involved with my peer group, and leading volunteer efforts at our command and around our community.
Since beginning as a Seaman Recruit four years ago, I’ve experienced Navy Medicine as a student, a technician, and now as a supervisor. With the support of the staff here, as well as dedicated mentors, I’ve learned so much about our great organization and my role within Navy Medicine.
What really drives me to wake up and go to work every day isn’t the money or my personal accomplishments. It’s about the people I work with, the people I mentor, and watching them succeed. I come to work to take care of my people and help us grow as team. That’s what Navy Medicine is about.