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Tri-Service Optician School onboard NWS Yorktown graduates 15 new opticians on first official day of summer

24 June 2024

From Max Lonzanida

Yorktown, Va. (June 20, 2024) Fifteen graduates of the Tri-Service Optician School’s (TOPS) Class 24-005 joined the Class of 2024 and set their sights on joining the fleet and respective field activities near and far as trained optical laboratory specialists on Thursday, June 20th. Their rigorous 24-week training course at the school, co-located at
Yorktown, Va. (June 20, 2024) Fifteen graduates of the Tri-Service Optician School’s (TOPS) Class 24-005 joined the Class of 2024 and set their sights on joining the fleet and respective field activities near and far as trained optical laboratory specialists on Thursday, June 20th. Their rigorous 24-week training course at the school, co-located at the Naval Ophthalmic Readiness Activity (NORA) onboard Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Yorktown concluded with a commencement ceremony attended by family and service members alike, making this milestone achievement a focal point for many on the first official day of summer.


Commander Christopher DeAngelis, MSC, Director of the Tri-Service Optician School provided official remarks during the ceremony. He remarked that “I’m continually impressed by the work of our Tri-Service Optician School students, making this school one of the best optician training courses in the Department of Defense. He also noted that their training took place at the NORA facility, which is the largest and finest Optical Fabrication Enterprise (OFE) within the Department of Defense. In addition to classroom instruction, practical training for the cohort of Sailors and Soldiers occurred onboard Fort Eustis, Langley Air Force Base and at Sewells Point in Norfolk among other locations. Instruction was provided by the dedicated staff of Civilians, Drill Sergeants, other Sailors, Hospital Corpsman and other specialists in the field to graduate students that will allow warfighters near and far the sight to fight and win in any domain.


“As new opticians you are now the most highly trained opticians that our military has to offer. You have the most up to date training available and the curriculum that you received in the past six months should serve as a baseline from here,” concluded Commander DeAngelis. It was also noted that their rigorous curriculum consisted of instruction on ophthalmic dispensing, fabrication and clinical optics among other subjects that equipped the graduates with the required skillsets to be successful at their respective duty stations.

Special awards were presented to several cohorts of the graduating class. Hospital Corpsman Apprentice Tanner Steward was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal as the cohort’s Navy Honor Graduate. Sergeant Eric Johnson was awarded the Army Achievement Medal as the cohort’s Army Honor Graduate. Several Soldiers in the cohort graduated with honors, among them Private Second Class Stephanie Aguayo, Private Second Class Terrance Daniels, and Private First Class Jennifer Ramos-Lopez. Additionally, several Sailors also graduated with honors, among them Hospital Corpsman Second Class Lindsay Blythe, Hospital Corpsman Apprentice Anthony Carreto-Cardona, Hospital Corpsman Third Class Joshua Forte and Hospital Corpsman Third Class Vincent Stanley.


Additionally, U.S. Army Medical Department Certificates were presented to the Soldier graduates by TOP instructors Sergeant First Class Darwin Prudencio and Staff Sergeant Rebecca Worthy. Thereafter, Class 24-005 comprised of the newest Navy Hospital Corpsman (NEC L19A) and Army Optical Laboratory Specialists (MOS 68H) took to the stage and received their respective graduation certificates.

About the Tri-Service Optician School:
The mission of TOPS is to provide formal optical training to Army Optical Laboratory Specialist MOS (68H) and Navy Hospital Corpsman (NEC L19A) students with quality training through a 24-week, DoD, uniformed services school on the subjects of ophthalmic dispensing, ophthalmic fabrication and clinical optics. Upon completing the required curriculum, graduates are immediately able to function as an independent optician in any military environment

Story originally posted on DVIDS: Tri-Service Optician School onboard NWS Yorktown graduates 15 new opticians on first official day of summer 

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