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Command Leadership

 

 

 

CO 

XO 

CMC 

Captain Cynthia Kuehner
Commanding Officer
Captain Richard Knittig
Executive Officer
CMDCM Dennis Hathorn
Command Master Chief

Biography

Biography

Biography



   
 
Commanding Officer
U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan
 

CAPT Kuehner is a former “Army Brat”, who has lived all over the world in a lifelong affiliation with the Uniformed Services. Kuehner earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1991 from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Upon graduation and commissioning, she attended Officer Indoctrination School in Pensacola Florida and began her Navy career as a staff nurse on the Pediatrics ward at Naval Medical Center San Diego, California. Kuehner departed Balboa in 1995 for her first overseas tour as an ambulatory care nurse in Sasebo, Japan, until 1999.

Competitively selected to attend graduate school, Kuehner was the first naval Officer to attend the Uniformed Services University of the Healthcare Sciences,  Bethesda, Maryland, in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program.  She earned a Master of Science Degree in Nursing in 2001.  Kuehner reported to Naval Health Clinic, Corpus Christi, Texas for her utilization tour.

In 2005, Kuehner reported to the Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where she ultimately served as the Department Head of Family Medicine.  An expert in her clinical field, Kuehner served as the Surgeon General-appointed Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty Leader from 2007-2011.  In 2008, Kuehner reported to Naval Hospital Bremerton, where she served as a primary care provider and ultimately the Department Head of Family Medicine, at one of the Navy’s premiere Family Medicine residency training sites.

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Kuehner served in leadership roles during two operational deployments in volatile combat zones, supporting both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  She was the Senior Nurse of Bravo Surgical Company in Fallujah, Iraq from February to September, 2004, providing combat casualty care at the busiest Level II facility in theater.  More recently, she served as the Senior Medical Officer, and ultimately as the Executive Officer, of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Khost Afghanistan, at Forward Operating Base Chapman, from February to November, 2010.  As the Provincial Partner for Health Sector Development, she worked with Afghan Government Officials, U.S. Departments, and Non-Government Organizations in Khost Province to bolster health services and support reconstruction efforts essential to the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.

Kuehner served as the Director, Primary Care and Branch Health Clinics at the Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia, from 2012 to 2015.  Leading the largest Directorate in Navy Medicine, she oversaw the clinical and administrative operations for nine geographically-distinct clinics, while meeting the primary care needs for over 120,000 beneficiaries in the Tidewater multi-service market.

Kuehner returned to the Naval Medical Center, San Diego in June, 2015 and was the first Nurse Corps Officer to serve as the Executive Officer in Balboa’s one hundred-year history.  Committed to high reliability and zero patient harm, she led and empowered the military, civilian and contract staff of 6,400 personnel with a keen focus on readiness, health and partnerships.

Kuehner assumed command of the United States Naval Hospital, Okinawa in August, 2017.

CAPT Kuehner is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC) and Advanced Nurse Executive (NEA-BC).  She is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP), as well as a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).  Kuehner’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), Combat Action Ribbon, Operation Enduring Freedom Campaign Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal, the Army Combat Action Badge, and various service awards.

 

 

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Executive Officer
U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan
 
Captain Richard Knittig graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Culver-Stockton College in 1987 and subsequently earned a Masters Degree in Biology from Saint Louis University in 1989. He was commissioned in the Naval Reserve through the Health Professions Scholarship Program in 1990 and attended medical school at the University of Missouri where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was the recipient of the Frank & Ena Hickerson Rhoads Medical Scholarship.  Captain Knittig reported as Executive Officer of U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan in July 2016.
 
Captain Knittig was assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego for his Transitional Internship and the University of Missouri for his Obstetrics/Gynecologic Residency. During that time, he also served as staff physician and operating room division head for Fleet Hospital 500. Upon graduation in 1998, he served consecutive department head tours at the Charleston Naval Hospital and U.S. Naval Hospital Naples.
 
Following selection for residency in Aerospace Medicine, Captain Knittig earned a Masters of Public Health degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2004.  He completed his advanced aeromedical training and subsequently served as clinical consultant at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola. He reported to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as Senior Medical Officer in July 2007 where he deployed with Carrier Stripe Group Eight in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During his tour, Health Services was awarded consecutive Blue M awards for medical excellence.
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Captain Knittig reported to Naval Hospital Pensacola in July 2009 where he served on the Board of Directors as Director of Surgical Services followed by Interim Executive Officer.  Knittig reported to the U.S. Naval Branch Health Clinic Bahrain in January 2012 where he served as Officer In Charge and provided direct support to the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. He reported to the U.S Naval Hospital Naples in February 2014 where he served as Chairman, Medical Executive Committee.

His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit medals and ribbons.

 

 


 

 

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Command Master Chief
U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan
 
Command Master Chief Hathorn is a native of Bassfield, Mississippi. He enlisted in the United States Navy in February 1993.  Following completion of basic training at Recruit Training Command, Orlando Florida he reported to Apprenticeship Training Center Orlando.

His Fleet assignments include USS SEATTLE (AOE-3) Earle, New Jersey; Naval Technical Training Center Meridian Mississippi; USS LASSEN (DDG 82); Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Cuba; Fleet Industrial Supply Center Yokosuka, Japan; United States Forces Iraq Baghdad Iraq; USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN-76); Navy Personnel Command, Millington Tennessee, USS DEXTROUS (MCM 13).  Command Master Chief Hathorn is currently serving as the Command Master Chief at Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan.

He holds a Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.  Additionally, Master Chief Hathorn is a graduate of the United States Navy Senior Enlisted Academy Class 193 and the Command Master Chief / Chief of the Boat course in Newport, Rhode Island.  He has earned his Enlisted Surface and Aviation Warfare Specialists designations.

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His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (1 award), Joint Commendation Medal (1 award), Joint Achievement Medal (1 award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4 awards), Good Conduct Medals (5) and numerous unit and campaign awards.

 

 

 

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