Story and photo By Valerie A. Kremer, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
Navy Medicine announced its 2013 Sailor of the Year (SOY) during a ceremony at the Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Va., Jan. 14.
After being selected out of four candidates by a panel of Navy Medicine senior leaders, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Monica M. Reeves, Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), was named the SOY.
“We are blessed to have Sailors who come to work every day for their country,” said Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general, and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. “They are the foundation of our Navy. Because of what we do and the skillsets we possess, we have four of the best Sailors in the Navy who can excel in any platform. I guarantee you that when our Sailor of the Year competes against the rest of the Navy, they will turn heads.”
The other SOY nominees were Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jason J. Eusebio, Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit 5, San Diego; Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Sean M. Hufford, Naval Health Clinic Quantico; and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Scott M. Lyons, Naval Medical Training Support Center, San Antonio.
“These four Sailors represent everything that’s great about our Navy today and I am proud to call them shipmates,” said Force Master Chief Sherman Boss, director, Hospital Corps, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. “I thank them for leading our Sailors during one of the most difficult times our Navy has endured.”
Reeves, a native of Wonder Lake, Ill., serves as an Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) assigned to Directorate of Branch Clinics, NMCSD. During her 17-year career, she has served on USS Simon Lake (AS 33) in La Maddalena, Italy; USS Independence (CV 62); USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), at the Branch Medical Clinic Oceana, USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67); and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) among others.
Reeves said she was honored and proud to be selected as the SOY.
“Receiving the Sailor of the Year award shows that everything I have done and everything my Sailors have done has been worth it,” said Reeves. “It’s a tremendous honor and very surreal.”
During her career, Reeves graduated with honors from Hospital Corpsman “A” School, Great Lakes, Ill., went onto Aviation Medicine Technician “C” School, Pensacola, Fla., and graduated with honors again at Aviation Physiologist Technician “F” School, Pensacola, and Surface Force Independent Duty Corpsman School, San Diego.
Reeves shared her words of advice to Navy Medicine Sailors.
“When your lead petty officer or chief is talking to you about getting involved with the command, going to school, working in the community and mentoring, they are taking a personal interest in you and they really want to see you succeed,” said Reeves. “So everyone should jump at the opportunity to get involved.”
In his closing, Nathan remarked about Reeves’ achievements and thanked the rest of the nominees for their service and dedication.
“HM1 Reeves, you are a role model and a great example to all for your achievements and balance of family and work life,” said Nathan. “To all of our Sailors here, I want to thank all of you for being ambassadors to our Navy and to the nation.”
Reeves’ awards and decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), as well as various campaign and unit awards.