News Courtesy of: Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Greg Mitchell
SAN DIEGO (May 8, 2009) – Naval Medical Center San Diego celebrated the promotion of three new Master Chief Petty Officers during a ceremony held here May 4.
Hospital Corpsman Senior Chiefs Rick Anderson, Morrell Lavender and Gida Mamaril advanced to the military's highest enlisted rank during the special occasion.
"Today you will change and be presented with an opportunity to grow and create the next iteration of yourself," Commander, Naval Medical Center San Diego, Rear Adm. Christine S. Hunter, told the newly frocked master chiefs. "Keep your moral compass aligned. Take care of Sailors. Always give leaders your best advice."
"It's an honor that goes without saying," said Mamaril, a proud American of Filipino heritage. "To be promoted at this time is really special, and it seems so hard to find the words that truly tell how special it is."
Colleagues are not surprised by Mamaril's promotion to the next paygrade.
"Her promotion is very deserving because she has continued to do her part in Sailorization," said Hospital Corpsman Master Chief June Centeno, senior enlisted leader, director for medical services, Naval Medical Center San Diego. "Throughout her career she has shown sustained performance and consistent versatility in taking on the most challenging of assignments."
Mamaril was born in Pampanga, Philippines, in 1965, the fifth of nine children from her parents Brigido and Helen. Her father served in the Navy as a culinary specialist from 1965 to his retirement in 1985. Mamaril knew upon her completion of high school that she wanted to follow in her father's foot steps.
"I remember when my father retired, he asked my older brother to continue our family legacy as a part of U.S. Naval tradition," said Mamaril. "To his surprise, I was the one who stepped forward to serve out of respect for my father. He thought that I wouldn’t make it out of boot camp, but here I am now as a Master Chief Petty Officer."
Mamaril's first tour of duty was aboard the USS Acadia (AD-42) out of San Diego, Calif. She began in Supply department and performed mess deck duties, then struck to be a hospital corpsman after 18 months on board. "It was tough during those days," said Mamaril. "At that time, women were new aboard ships, and we were only allowed to be on destroyer tenders. As a female it was a challenge, but I persevered and learned from the experience. It made me stronger and better able to deal with problems in the future."
Mamaril continued that her current tour at Naval Medical Center San Diego has been the most rewarding while also giving her a new lease on life.
She deployed with 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group, as a part of the first wave of augmentees at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During this tour, she was appointed as the patient administrator chief, and developed a medical evacuation system for the Navy that was implemented for service support groups. She also had the unfortunate job of identifying the bodies of mostly Marines who had paid the ultimate price.
"To see the young faces of men who honorably died for the freedom of our nation was very emotional and moving for me," said Mamaril. "These were the faces of the young men who courageously died for our country. We should be very thankful for their service. When you have the experience of going through that kind of environment, everything afterwards pales in comparison."
Mamaril credits her achievements to perseverance. Even in times of adversity, she found the strength to overcome.
Mamaril recommends that junior Sailors who aspire to become successful in their careers should stay attentive to their dreams and never give up hope.