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A Tale of Two Pryors: Family Paths Diverge in the Field of Medicine

17 July 2023

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Levi Decker, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Timothy Pryor, assigned to 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, left the enlisted ranks and became a commissioned officer in a ceremony held on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, July 11.
Pryor, a San Diego native, spent more than eight years serving in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman, providing medical care to service members while also working towards being a student doctor. He was commissioned as part of the Health Professions Scholarship Program, which provides educational and commission opportunities for service members and civilians.
“I want to serve my nation as a Navy physician,” stated Pryor. “It’s been a dream I’ve had for years. As a future doctor I’m privileged to commission and start this new part of my career.”
Ensign Pryor received his first salute from his father, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic (NMFL) Command Master Chief Zachary Pryor, who was also a hospital corpsman. Timothy Pryor is the second continuous generation of his family to serve in the military.
“It was … amazing,” expressed Command Master Chief Pryor after a moment of silence. “Just the pride of having raised a child and see them pursue a dream. It’s just a marvelous journey to see him go through. My wife and I are extremely proud of him.”
The change from enlisted to officer has yet to sink in for Ensign Pryor.
“It’s surreal; I don't think it’s really hit me yet,” said Ensign Pryor with a chuckle. “As an officer, I’ll be able to relate more to Sailors since we have gone through similar experiences.”
Ensign Pryor’s past assignments include the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Surface Warfare Schools Command (SWSC) Learning Site San Diego.
It was during his tour with the 31st MEU that Ensign Pryor had another pinning ceremony with his father, who was serving as the command master chief of Naval Hospital Guam, for his Fleet Marine Force (FMF) warfare device.
“Tim’s unit was on deployment and happened to stop in Guam, and I was able to pin on his FMF device,” explained Command Master Chief Pryor. “So, at least twice in my career I've been able to do something pretty unique for him, and it's very humbling as a father and as a master chief to be able to do that with your children.”
Having a father as a command master chief throughout Ensign Pryor’s enlisted career held a special experience for him.
“Having someone like Dad in my corner is like living next door to your chief,” joked Ensign Pryor. “I got a rare opportunity to receive mentorship about my career, leading people, dealing with adversity and navigating obstacles. He’s been the most influential person of my naval career, and I imagine I’ll continue to go to him for advice along the way for many years to come.”
Ensign Pryor holds an associate degree in human biology, as well as a bachelor’s degree in clinical lab science.
NMFL, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, delivers operationally focused medical expertise and capabilities to meet Fleet, Marine and Joint Force requirements by providing equipment, sustainment and maintenance of medical forces during combat operations and public health crises. NMFL provides oversight for 21 NMRTCs, logistics, and public health and dental services throughout the U.S. East Coast, U.S. Gulf Coast, Cuba, Europe, and the Middle East.
Navy Medicine – represented by more than 44,000 highly-trained military and civilian health care professionals – provides enduring expeditionary medical support to the warfighter on, below, and above the sea, and ashore.

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