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NMRLC Celebrates 126th Hospital Corpsman Birthday

21 June 2024

From Julius Evans

Naval Medical Readiness Logistics Command (NMRLC) acknowledged the 126th Hospital Corpsman birthday in a ceremony at Naval Ophthalmic Readiness Activity (NORA) on Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA, June 17, 2024.At the onset of the ceremony, Capt. Brian Hatch, NORA’s Director, promoted Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Dixie Burns to her present
Naval Medical Readiness Logistics Command (NMRLC) acknowledged the 126th Hospital Corpsman birthday in a ceremony at Naval Ophthalmic Readiness Activity (NORA) on Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA, June 17, 2024.

At the onset of the ceremony, Capt. Brian Hatch, NORA’s Director, promoted Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Dixie Burns to her present rank.

Chief Hospital Corpsman Xavier Perezmendez was the Master of Ceremonies and started the proceedings by reminding audience members of the rich heritage and long historical involvement hospital corpsmen have had through their longstanding contributions to the many battles in which this nation has participated.

“Today we reflect upon 126 years of heritage of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps. In every conflict, from the Spanish- American War to Operation Inherent Resolve, hospital corpsmen have been providing medical support and saving lives on the front lines. From clinics, hospitals, ships, submarines and battlefields, your service to our Nation has been of courage, loyalty, and dedication,” Perezmendez said. “Throughout history, corpsmen have been awarded 22 Medals of Honor, 174 Navy Crosses, 31 Distinguished Service Medals, 946 Silver Stars, and 1,582 Bronze Stars for heroics under fire.”

Perezmendez went on to say, “There are many poems, stories and sea stories that illustrate the decorated and rich history of the Hospital Corps! Please join me in a presentation of one of our time-honored favorites. ‘I am the one called Doc,’ written by HMC (Ret.) Harry D. Penny, Jr.”

With that, corpsman participants, who were posted at Parade Rest, awaited their turn to read portions of the famous poem. At the conclusion of the poem, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Alex Robertson led all corpsmen through reciting the hospital corpsman pledge.

Then, the ceremonial cake cutting ritual was held as the command’s eldest and youngest hospital corpsmen were asked to come front and center.

The cake cutting ceremony is important to all Sailors, as it is an annual renewal of each Sailor’s commitment to the Hospital Corps, and to the Navy’s commitment to our nation’s quest for peace and freedom worldwide. The birthday cake is traditionally cut with a sword, as a reminder that we are a band of warriors, committed to carrying arms so that our nation may live in peace.

Chief Hospital Corpsman Atsu Kotsanu and Hospitalman Matthew Lopez were selected to carry out the time-honored cake-cutting tradition.

In his closing remarks, Hatch praised NORA Sailors and the workforce for the time and effort in organizing the ceremony in making the event a success. He then went on to reiterate their important role.

“The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps do not have medics, they have corpsmen. Navy corpsmen get their names from the U.S. Navy’s Hospital Corps. Established in 1898, the Hospital Corps gave the U.S. Navy the ability to give enlisted Sailors formal medical training,” Hatch said. “Corpsmen assist doctors on board ships and submarines, and some are attached to Marine units. When in combat, corpsmen are trained to run toward the action to help the wounded, often risking their own lives to do so. You are unique breed with no equal. You stand on the shoulders of heroes who have gone before.

“Our U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsmen emulate a verse from the King James Version of the Bible in John 3:16 – ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ Thank you for who you are and what you do. Happy Birthday to your Corps!”

NMRLC’s mission is develop, acquire, produce, field, sustain, and provide enduring lifecycle support of medical materiel and optical fabrication solutions to the Fleet, Fleet Marine Force, and Joint Forces in high end competition, crisis, and combat. Its vision is to be the Joint Force’s premier integrated medical logistics support activity. Learn more about NMRLC by visiting the command’s web presence at https://www.facebook.com/NMLCPAO.

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.

Story originally posted on DVIDS: NMRLC Celebrates 126th Hospital Corpsman Birthday 

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