In the Spotlight

07 January 2022

From Petty Officer 1st Class Kegan Kay

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders and those fighting on the medical battleground have earned well-deserved recognition for their efforts.Hospitalman (HN) Hector Conde, a San Antonio, Texas native, is one such hero, serving as an active duty Sailor in the immunization department of U.S. Navy Medicine and Readiness Training
In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders and those fighting on the medical battleground have earned well-deserved recognition for their efforts.

Hospitalman (HN) Hector Conde, a San Antonio, Texas native, is one such hero, serving as an active duty Sailor in the immunization department of U.S. Navy Medicine and Readiness Training Command Sigonella at Naval Air Station Sigonella.

“The best part of my job is being exposed to medicine and the knowledge [the medical] providers and experienced corpsman provide to new corpsman,” explained Conde. “Once you have learned your job, there are responsibilities and a sense of pride no other rate can compare to. My role makes me proud to be a corpsman.”

Conde joined the Navy in August 2017 to help financially support his family, acting as a father figure to his siblings.

“I wanted to give them the best chance of accomplishing their dreams of going to college and becoming what they dreamt of when we were in poverty,” said Conde.

With a smile on his face, Conde proudly explained that his younger brother is now attending law school and already has two law firms already scouting him once he graduates. His younger sister has started attending school to become a registered nurse.

Along with his co-worker, HN Nolan Shepherd, a Beloit, Wis. native, Conde works tirelessly, providing immunizations and vaccines for everybody, from infants all the way to the oldest members of the Sigonella community. He sometimes sees up to 80 patients in a single day.

Since his arrival to the command in August 2020, in addition to providing regular pediatric well-child vaccines, Conde has been an integral part in the success of the various shot exercises to provide COVID-19 vaccines and seasonal immunizations to not just the Sigonella community, but to 5th and 6th Fleets as well.

“HN Conde is a solid and meticulous performer, admirably filling a position usually two paygrades higher than his own,” said Lt. j.g. Tiffany Tween, Conde’s supervisor. “Conde is a standout junior Sailor whose level of responsibility is above his paygrade and yet he takes it in stride. He is certainly a bright light within the department and hospital as a whole.”

Conde considers his work in the immunizations department to be the biggest accomplishment in his Navy career so far.

“To become a subject matter expert, I have studied the immunizations literature at home and have memorized everything from name, brands, treatment, intervals, dosages, etc.,” stated Conde. “I need to be situationally aware of anything that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has passed.”

With his professional, calming demeanor and ability to handle responsibilities beyond his paygrade, it is no surprise his command quickly nominated him to be “In the Spotlight.” For Conde, everything he does is just being a Sailor and he is proud to serve in the U.S. Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means loyalty, strength and dedication,” said Conde. “It offers a community that will go through any barrier, obstacle or problem together.”

While proud of contributions to his job, his family and the Navy, Conde ensures that he takes time for himself outside of work. He enjoys a wide range of interests, from restoring or modifying vehicles to spending time outdoors fishing and backpacking.

Since being stationed in Sicily, Siracusa Bay has been Conde’s favorite place to visit on the island.

“It is peaceful to be in the jetties fishing with the sound of waves and the silence,” explained Conde. “It’s the chance to be alone in your thoughts and problems so you can have time to problem solve and sharpen your skills as a Sailor as well as a human being all because you have the time to breathe.”
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