By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samantha A. Crosson, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO-“I start work at 0600 and begin by greeting everyone ‘Good morning’, I go around talking to all my Sailors and civilian personnel to see how they are doing, making sure everything is running smoothly,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Bento Goncalves.
Goncalves the Leading Petty Officer (LPO) of the Anatomical Pathology department is the recent recipient of the Star Performer Award at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD).
The purpose of the star performer is to recognize an individual who has gone above and beyond their duties and customer service.
Goncalves and his supervisor Chief Hospital Corpsman Michael Juan Deguzman recommended him for the award after seeing Goncalves’s work ethic and leadership style.
“The first time I saw HM1 Goncalves, I knew he would make a great impact in the workplace. He spoke the military language, was courteous, and wore the uniform proudly,” said Deguzman. “I rarely write awards of this magnitude but when I do, I make sure the person deserves it.”
Goncalves has served for nearly 20 years.
“I pride myself to the fact that I don’t ask my Sailor to do anything that I would not do or have done before. I know that I am being observed not only by my superiors but also by my subordinates,” said Goncalves.
Deguzman adds, “HM1 Goncalves leads by example. He does not give commands or tasks without knowing and understanding the situation. He is fair and treats people right whether civilian or military personnel.”
While explaining different aspects of his job, Goncalves has a passion that makes his eyes light up and a smile stretch across his face.
“I enjoy my job, I get to work with a great crew in Anatomical Pathology. The support I have from my sailors and civilian employees that I work hand and hand with make my days here at NMCSD a breeze,” said Goncalves.
A variety of tours in the Navy has set the tone for Goncalves’s career. He has participated in operations in Somalia, Cuba and helped Haitian refugees.
“I loved being deployed to foreign countries, getting to see different cultures,” said Goncalves. “I have been a part of countless humanitarian efforts, giving medical aid to patients who might not get any medical attention. That was an eye opener for me.”
Goncalves’s love for patient care is what drives him to excel at his current job.
“I know that although I work in a laboratory department away from direct patient care, we have a major impact on the patient’s medical treatment,” explains Goncalves. “With every specimen we receive, there is a person relying on us to make sure we do our best to give the best medical care this Naval hospital can give.”
As Goncalves comes to the end of his service in the Navy he prepares to use his experience to succeed in the civilian world.
“I plan on going back to school continuing my medical education after retiring from the Navy this year and keeping my level of maturity as a leader by using the Navy core values Honor, Courage and Commitment,” said Goncalves.
His chain of command realizes an outstanding Sailor is leaving the department and service soon. His chief hopes other sailors will emulate his outstanding traits.
“He is the ‘Best of the Best’ says Deguzman. “HM1 Goncalves influences Sailors up and down the chain of command.” For more information about NMCSD visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Pages/default.aspx.